The Message

Jude

1-2 I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!

Fight with All You Have in You

3-4 Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish. What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks (our Scriptures warned us this would happen), who beneath their pious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master.

Lost Stars in Outer Space

5-7 I’m laying this out as clearly as I can, even though you once knew all this well enough and shouldn’t need reminding. Here it is in brief: The Master saved a people out of the land of Egypt. Later he destroyed those who defected. And you know the story of the angels who didn’t stick to their post, abandoning it for other, darker missions. But they are now chained and jailed in a black hole until the great Judgment Day. Sodom and Gomorrah, which went to sexual rack and ruin along with the surrounding cities that acted just like them, are another example. Burning and burning and never burning up, they serve still as a stock warning.

This is exactly the same program of these latest infiltrators: dirty sex, rule and rulers thrown out, glory dragged in the mud.

9-11 The Archangel Michael, who went to the mat with the Devil as they fought over the body of Moses, wouldn’t have dared level him with a blasphemous curse, but said simply, “No you don’t. God will take care of you!” But these people sneer at anything they can’t understand, and by doing whatever they feel like doing—living by animal instinct only—they participate in their own destruction. I’m fed up with them! They’ve gone down Cain’s road; they’ve been sucked into Balaam’s error by greed; they’re canceled out in Korah’s rebellion.

12-13 These people are warts on your love feasts as you worship and eat together. They’re giving you a black eye—carousing shamelessly, grabbing anything that isn’t nailed down. They’re—

Puffs of smoke pushed by gusts of wind;
    late autumn trees stripped clean of leaf and fruit,
Doubly dead, pulled up by the roots;
    wild ocean waves leaving nothing on the beach
    but the foam of their shame;
Lost stars in outer space
    on their way to the black hole.

14-16 Enoch, the seventh after Adam, prophesied of them: “Look! The Master comes with thousands of holy angels to bring judgment against them all, convicting each person of every defiling act of shameless sacrilege, of every dirty word they have spewed of their pious filth.” These are the “grumpers,” the bellyachers, grabbing for the biggest piece of the pie, talking big, saying anything they think will get them ahead.

17-19 But remember, dear friends, that the apostles of our Master, Jesus Christ, told us this would happen: “In the last days there will be people who don’t take these things seriously anymore. They’ll treat them like a joke, and make a religion of their own whims and lusts.” These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves. There’s nothing to them, no sign of the Spirit!

20-21 But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!

22-23 Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

24-25 And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.

New International Reader's Version

Jude

I, Jude, am writing this letter. I serve Jesus Christ. I am a brother of James.

I am sending this letter to you who have been chosen by God. You are loved by God the Father. You are kept safe for Jesus Christ.

May more and more mercy, peace and love be given to you.

A Warning Against the Sin of Ungodly People

Dear friends, I really wanted to write to you about the salvation we share. But now I feel I should write and ask you to stand up for the faith. God’s holy people were trusted with it once and for all time. Certain people have secretly slipped in among you. Long ago it was written that they would be judged. They are ungodly people. They misuse the grace of our God as an excuse for sexual sins. They say no to Jesus Christ, our only Lord and King.

I want to remind you about some things you already know. The Lord saved his people. At one time he brought them out of Egypt. But later he destroyed those who did not believe. Some of the angels didn’t stay where they belonged. They didn’t keep their positions of authority. The Lord has kept those angels in darkness. They are held by chains that last forever. On judgment day, God will judge them. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns around them also did evil things. They freely committed sexual sins. They committed sins of the worst possible kind. There is a fire that never goes out. Those people are an example of those who are punished with it.

In the very same way, these ungodly people act on their evil dreams. So they make their own bodies impure. They don’t accept authority. And they say evil things against heavenly beings. But even Michael, the leader of the angels, didn’t dare to say these things. He didn’t even say these things when he argued with the devil about the body of Moses. Michael didn’t dare to judge the devil. He didn’t say the devil was guilty of saying evil things. Instead, Michael said, “May the Lord judge you!” 10 But these people say evil things against whatever they don’t understand. And the very things they do understand will destroy them. That’s because they are like wild animals that can’t think for themselves. Instead, they do what comes naturally to them.

11 How terrible it will be for them! They have followed the way of Cain. They have rushed into the same mistake Balaam made. They did it because they loved money. They are like Korah. He turned against his leaders. These people will certainly be destroyed, just as Korah was.

12 These ungodly people are like stains at the meals you share. They have no shame. They are shepherds who feed only themselves. They are like clouds without rain. They are blown along by the wind. They are like trees in the fall. Since they have no fruit, they are pulled out of the ground. So they die twice. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea. Their shame rises up like foam. They are like falling stars. God has reserved a place of very black darkness for them forever.

14 Enoch was the seventh man in the family line of Adam. He gave a prophecy about these people. He said, “Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones. 15 He is coming to judge everyone. He is coming to sentence all of them. He will judge them for all the ungodly acts they have done. They have done them in ungodly ways. He will sentence ungodly sinners for all the things they have said to oppose him.” 16 These people complain and find fault with others. They follow their own evil desires. They brag about themselves. They praise others to get what they want.

Remain in God’s Love

17 Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said would happen. 18 They told you, “In the last days, some people will make fun of the truth. They will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 They are the people who separate you from one another. They do only what comes naturally. They are not led by the Holy Spirit.

20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith. Let the Holy Spirit guide and help you when you pray. 21 And by doing these things, remain in God’s love as you wait. You are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life.

22 Show mercy to those who doubt. 23 Save others by pulling them out of the fire. To others, show mercy mixed with fear of sin. Hate even the clothes that are stained by the sins of those who wear them.

Praise to God

24 Give praise to the God who is able to keep you from falling into sin. He will bring you into his heavenly glory without any fault. He will bring you there with great joy. 25 Give praise to the only God our Savior. Glory, majesty, power and authority belong to him. Give praise to him through Jesus Christ our Lord. His praise was before all time, continues now, and will last forever. Amen.