For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”2 Peter 2:18-22
This is one of the classic Arminian texts used to dispel the notion of eternal security. They claim that those who do not remain faithful to Christ are in danger of being damned again and forfeiting the right to eternal life that was once their possession.
But trying to keep something I could not earn or deserve by my own faithfulness seems like nothing more than a disguised cloak of works-salvation; for if I can do anything to lose it, then I must ultimately do something to gain it.
The scriptures are abundantly clear that salvation is a free gift, neither earned or deserved and based in no way upon our own merit. That being said, why would the Lord promise something we must endeavour to keep? No this text must be dealing with something else.
Perhaps the key to understanding this passage is to know what Peter means by "escaping the pollution in the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". I doubt Peter was referring to some eco-friendly Jesus who could cleanse away the filth of carbon emissions and the like.
Let me ask you the reader these two questions:
a. What does it mean to escape the pollution in the world?
b. What does through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ mean?