God’s Judgment on False Teachers
2 Peter 2:1-3
(1) But in the past there were (Old Testament) false prophets among the people, just as there will be (New Testament) false teachers among you. They will secretly spread destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought (redeemed) them—bringing quick destruction upon themselves. (2) And many people will follow their depraved behavior and will bring the way of truth under disgrace. (3) In their greed these teachers will take advantage of you with fabricated stories. You can be sure that their judgment and destruction, declared long ago, remains certain.
God Knows How to Rescue Believers
2 Peter 2:4-9
(4) For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but sent them into the abyss of torment (tartarus), putting them in chains of deep darkness to be held (guarded) until the judgment—(5) and if God did not spare the ancient world when he released the flood of judgment upon its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and his family of 8 persons—(6) and if God judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and overthrew them as an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly—(7) and if God rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was troubled by the perverse behavior of wicked men, (8) because righteous Lot lived among them day after day, and was tormented in his righteous soul by the evil behavior he saw and heard—(9) then the Lord knows how to rescue godly believers from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.
The Characteristics of False Teachers
2 Peter 2:10-16
(10) This is especially true of these false teachers who live according to the corrupt passions of their sinful nature (flesh) and despise authority. They (possibly referring to demons or evil angels) have no fear of boldly and pridefully confronting glorious ones in their own authority, (11) but even good angels, although greater in strength and power, do not proclaim a slanderous judgment against them before the Lord (see Jude 8-9). (12) But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. (13) They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to roam around during the light of day. They are dirty stains and open sores, partying in their pleasures even while they feast with you (possibly referring to Christian “love feasts,” the meal that early Christians ate in conjunction with taking the Lord’s Supper). (14) With eyes full of adultery, they cannot get enough of sin. They seduce the morally unstable and have hearts that are trained in greed—a cursed group of children. (15) They have left the straight path of truth and wandered off to pursue the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the riches of wickedness. (16) But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal that cannot speak—who spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet’s madness (see Numbers chapters 22-24).
Outer Darkness is Reserved for False Teachers
2 Peter 2:17-22
(17) These false teachers are springs without water and clouds driven by a storm. The blackness of outer darkness is reserved for them. (18) For they speak empty words of pride and, by appealing to the lustful passions of their sinful nature (flesh), they entice people who are barely escaping from those who live in error. (19) They promise people freedom, while they themselves are slaves to sin—because people are slaves to whatever has controlled their lives. (20) If they have escaped the corruption of this world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but are again entangled and overcome by it, they are worse off than they were in the beginning. (21) It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then turned away from the holy command that was passed on to them. (22) Of them the proverbs are true, because as it is written in Proverbs 26:11, “A dog returns to its vomit,” and as it has also been said, “A pig that is washed goes back to bathing in the mud.”