v17 These false teachers are like places in the ground where water should come up. But there is no water. They are like clouds in a storm. The strong wind blows those clouds away quickly so that they bring no rain. God has kept a completely black, dark place where these false teachers will have to stay.
v18 The words that these teachers speak seem very important. But their words mean nothing. They tell people that it is not wrong to do bad things. People may do the bad things that their bodies strongly want to do. The false teachers say that it does not matter. So they lead people away from God. They lead away people who have only just stopped doing wrong things. Those people have just begun to be free from the wrong things that other people do. v19 The false teachers promise that these people will be 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. If anything has power over a person, then that person is its slave.
v20 These false teachers knew our *Lord Jesus Christ, who saves us. So they had become free from the power of the bad things that belong to this world. They had stopped doing those bad things, which make people even worse. But now they have started to do those bad things again, and those things have power over them. So, these false teachers are worse at the end than they were at the beginning. They are worse than before they knew the *Lord.
v21 It would have been better for them if they had never known Godís right way. But they have known the right things that God wants us to do. So it is worse that they have stopped doing those things. They have stopped obeying Godís rules, that people taught them. v22 People often say these true words: ĎAfter a dog has been sick, it returns to that same place, to eat that food again.í And: ĎA pig that someone has washed returns, to roll on the dirty, wet ground.í These words describe what has happened to these false teachers.