1 From Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.
To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father, and who are kept safe for Jesus Christ.
2 May mercy, peace, and love fill your lives!
Warnings about False Teachers
3 Dear friends, I had intended to write to you about the salvation we share. But something has come up. It demands that I write to you and encourage you to continue your fight for the Christian faith that was entrusted to God’s holy people once for all time.
4 Some people have slipped in among you unnoticed. Not long ago they were condemned in writing for the following reason: They are people to whom God means nothing. They use God’s kindness as an excuse for sexual freedom and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 I want to remind you about what you already know: The Lord once saved his people from Egypt. But on another occasion he destroyed those who didn’t believe. 6 He held angels for judgment on the great day. They were held in darkness, bound by eternal chains. These are the angels who didn’t keep their position of authority but abandoned their assigned place. 7 What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them is an example for us of the punishment of eternal fire. The people of these cities suffered the same fate that God’s people and the angels did, because they committed sexual sins and engaged in homosexual activities.
8 Yet, in a similar way, the people who slipped in among you are dreamers. They contaminate their bodies with sin, reject the Lord’s authority, and insult his glory. 9 When the archangel Michael argued with the devil, they were arguing over the body of Moses. But Michael didn’t dare to hand down a judgment against the devil. Instead, Michael said, “May the Lord reprimand you!”
10 Whatever these people don’t understand, they insult. Like animals, which are creatures of instinct, they use whatever they know to destroy themselves. 11 How horrible it will be for them! They have followed the path of Cain. They have rushed into Balaam’s error to make a profit. They have rebelled like Korah and destroyed themselves.
12 These people are a disgrace at the special meals you share with other believers. They eat with you and don’t feel ashamed. They are shepherds who care only for themselves. They are dry clouds blown around by the winds. They are withered, uprooted trees without any fruit. As a result, they have died twice. 13 Their shame is like the foam on the wild waves of the sea. They are wandering stars for whom gloomy darkness is kept forever.
14 Furthermore, Enoch, from the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about them. He said, “The Lord has come with countless thousands of his holy angels. 15 He has come to judge all these people. He has come to convict all these ungodly sinners for all the ungodly things they have done and all the harsh things they have said about him.”
16 These people complain, find fault, follow their own desires, say arrogant things, and flatter people in order to take advantage of them.
17 Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you to expect: 18 “In the last times people who ridicule God will appear. They will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who cause divisions. They are concerned about physical things, not spiritual things.
20 Dear friends, use your most holy faith to grow. Pray with the Holy Spirit’s help. 21 Remain in God’s love as you look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you eternal life.
22 Show mercy to those who have doubts. 23 Save others by snatching them from the fire of hell. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives.
24 God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault. 25 Before time began, now, and for eternity glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.