1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
The Sin and Doom of Ungodly People
3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.
11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
A Call to Persevere
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude, similar to James, was another half-brother of Jesus. The epistle Jude wrote is short and to the point: Satan will do all he can to keep us from a lifetime of faithfulness to Jesus. The bad news is that many people will not make it to the end of their life as followers of God. Because of this, Jude says that he “felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith” (v. 4). Contend means to strive in a contest against difficulties. Make no mistake about it: We are in a contest between good and evil as a war wages for your soul. This book was written as a warning to Christians as to the many dangers in their path. In this warning, Jude keeps his eye on both the past and the future in order to instruct us in the present. He urges us to not miss out on the great hope we have in Christ, but also gives many examples in Scripture of those who have missed out.
Jude writes that for these unbelievers, the things they do will ultimately destroy them (v. 10). Unfortunately, many times we have the same longings as those who don’t know God. If we are left to follow our own desires, we too will run our lives into destruction. So, how can we guarantee that our lives will have a different end from those Jude warns us about? If they couldn’t save themselves, how could we?
The answer comes in verse 24. Jude writes, “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy”. We are not the ones who will ensure we don’t stumble, God is! He is the One who has the power and authority to present us before His throne as those who are righteous and holy. It’s only through the power of the Holy Spirit that our end will be different from so many that have gone before us. Therefore, we don’t have to work our way into salvation, but rather surrender to His salvation given to us. In other words, we are to “keep ourselves in God’s love as we wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us to eternal life” (v. 21). The goal isn’t to prove to God that we love Him, but to stay in His love for us!
- What are some of the characteristics mentioned in this book of the people who do not follow Jesus?
- If the devil were to take you out from following Jesus, how do you think he would do it?
- What does it mean to “keep yourself in God’s love”? How can you do that in your life today?
By The Way
According to a list compiled by GotQuestions.org, Jude references a number of different stories in the Old Testament: the Exodus (v. 5); Satan’s rebellion (v. 6); Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 7); Moses’ death (v. 9); Cain (v. 11); Balaam (v. 11); Korah (v. 11); Enoch (vv. 14, 15); and Adam (v. 14).
Leave a Comment Below
Join the Team
Interested in writing for the Bible Reading Plan? Email email@example.com.