2 Peter 2:1-22

God will punish false teachers

1 Many years ago, there were false prophets among God's people. They did not speak God's true messages. In the same way, there will also be false teachers among you. They will come among you and they will teach you things that are not true. Their wrong ideas will deceive people. Those false teachers will even speak against the Master, who paid the price for their sins. As a result, they will bring trouble on themselves that quickly destroys them. 2 Many people will believe these false teachers. They will live in a bad way, like the false teachers. As a result, other people will say bad things against God's true way to live.

3 The false teachers want you to give them money. So they will teach things that are not true. A long time ago, God already decided that he must punish them. God is ready to do that now. Certainly, he will soon destroy them.

4 God even punished the angels who refused to obey him. He threw them down into the deep hole of hell. He tied them up and he kept them in that completely dark place. They will remain there until the day when God will judge them.

2:4In the beginning of time, some of the angels who lived in heaven with God turned against him. So God sent them far away from him. See Jude 1:6.

5 Also, a long time ago, God punished all the bad people who lived in the world. He sent water to cover over all the earth. All the people who had turned away from him drowned in the water. But God kept Noah safe. Noah had told people God's message that they should do right things. So God saved Noah, and seven other people, from the water.

2:5The story about Noah is in Genesis 6:1-7:24.

6 Later, God punished the people who lived in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Because they did bad things, God decided to destroy them. He burned those cities completely, so that only ashes remained. When God did that, he showed what will happen to all people who refuse to obey him. 7 But God saved Lot from danger. Lot was a good man. He was very sad because the people in Sodom did not obey God's laws. They lived in a very bad way. 8 Lot lived among those bad people. Every day, he saw the bad things that they did. Every day, he heard the bad things that they said. As a result, Lot had much trouble in his mind, because he was a good man.

2:8The stories about Sodom and Gomorrah, and about Lot, are in Genesis 18:16-19:29. Peter is showing that God will destroy bad people. But God will help people who obey him.

9 We know that the Lord God has done all these things in past times. He knows how to save people who respect him from their troubles. But he will continue to punish the people who refuse to obey him. He will keep them until the day when he will judge them. 10 God will certainly punish those people who want bad things for themselves. They do the wrong things that their bodies want to do. They do not want to obey anyone's authority.

These false teachers are not afraid of what other people think about them. They think that they themselves are very important. They are not afraid to say many bad things against the great angels in heaven. 11 The angels are more powerful than the false teachers are. But even these angels will not say bad things against them when the Lord is present.

2:10This could mean angels. Or it could mean very important people, who have great authority.

12 But these false teachers speak against things that they do not understand. They are like wild animals. Their minds cannot think properly. They only do what their nature causes them to do. Wild animals are born so that people can catch them and kill them. In the same way, God will destroy the false teachers. 13 They have caused other people to have much trouble. In return, God will cause them to have trouble. They just do things which will make their bodies happy. They have wild parties, even during the day. They eat and drink too much when they eat meals with you. They enjoy all these bad ways to be happy. As a result, people think bad things about you as well. They cause people to be ashamed about you. So they are like dirty marks that spoil something which is clean. 14 All the time, they are looking for women who will have sex with them. They never stop doing wicked things. They teach people who have weak minds to believe wrong things. They just want more and more things to make themselves happy. God will certainly punish these people, because they are so bad.

15 These false teachers have left the way which is good and right. Like Balaam, Beor's son, they have gone the wrong way. Balaam wanted money so much that he did wrong things to get it. 16 But a donkey told him that he was not obeying God. We know that donkeys cannot talk. But that donkey spoke with a human voice. It stopped the prophet Balaam from doing more crazy things.

2:16We can read about Balaam and the donkey in the book called Numbers. Balaam caused Israel's people to do bad things. See Numbers 22-25; Deuteronomy 23:4-5 and Revelation 2:14.

17 These false teachers promise good things that will never happen. They are like a dry well that has no water. They are like clouds in a storm which the wind blows away so that no rain comes. God will certainly send them to the darkest place in hell. He has kept that place ready for them.

18 The messages that these teachers speak seem very important. But their words really mean nothing. In that way, they lead people away from God. Some people have not been believers for very long. They have only just become free from the wrong things that people do. But the false teachers tell these people to do bad things that will make them happy. 19 The false teachers tell these believers to do whatever they want to do. They promise that this will make them really free. But the false teachers themselves are not free. Instead, they are like slaves. They cannot stop doing the bad things that will destroy them. We know that if something has power over a person, then that person is its slave.

20 People like that learned about our Lord Jesus Christ, who saves us. As a result, they had stopped doing the bad things that belong to this world. They had become free from the power of those things. But now they have started to do those bad things again. Those things have power over them and they cannot stop doing them. So now, these false teachers are worse than they were at the beginning, before they believed in the Lord Jesus.

21 It would have been better for them if they had never known God's good way. But they did understand about the right things that God wants us to do. And then they turned away from that way of life. They stopped obeying God's good rules, that people had taught them. 22 You know these true proverbs: ‘After a dog has been sick, it returns to eat it again.’ Also: ‘After you wash a pig, it will quickly roll in the dirt again.’ These words describe how the false teachers live.

2:22The words about the dog come from Proverbs 26:11.