1Jude, 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 for1:1 Or by; or in Jesus Christ:
2Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
The sin and doom of ungodly people
3Dear 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. 4For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about1:4 Or individuals who were marked out for condemnation long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a licence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
5Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord1:5 Some early manuscripts Jesus at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6And 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. 7In 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.
8In 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. 9But 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!’1:9 Jude is alluding to the Jewish Testament of Moses (approximately the first century a.d.). 10Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct – as irrational animals do – will destroy them.
11Woe 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.
12These 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. 13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved for ever.
14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15to 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.’1:15 From the Jewish First Book of Enoch (approximately the first century b.c.) 16These people are grumblers and fault-finders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
A call to persevere
17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’ 19These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.1:23 The Greek manuscripts of these verses vary at several points.
24To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen.
1I, 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.
2May more and more mercy, peace and love be given to you.
A Warning Against the Sin of Ungodly People
3Dear 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. 4Certain 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.
5I 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. 6Some 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. 7The 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.
8In 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. 9But 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!” 10But 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.
11How 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.
12These 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. 13They 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.
14Enoch 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. 15He 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.” 16These 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
17Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said would happen. 18They told you, “In the last days, some people will make fun of the truth. They will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19They are the people who separate you from one another. They do only what comes naturally. They are not led by the Holy Spirit.
20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith. Let the Holy Spirit guide and help you when you pray. 21And 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.
22Show mercy to those who doubt. 23Save 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
24Give 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. 25Give 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.