Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those that are called; beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.
2 Mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied.
3 Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you, urging you to contend earnestly for the faith which was delivered once and for all to his saints. 4 For there are certain people who have crept in secretly, who long ago were designated for condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into a license for immorality, and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Old Testament warnings
5 Now I desire to have you remember (as you know all things already) that the Lord having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that did not believe. 6 And the angels which did not keep to their own domain, who left their proper abode, He has kept in everlasting bonds, under darkness, to the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, these gave themselves over to fornication and went after strange flesh. Such are given as an example. All of them suffered the punishment of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil in dispute about the body of Moses, does not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said: The Lord rebuke you.
10 But these revile whatever things they do not see with their eyes or cannot examine naturally. They are like the beasts without reason. In these things are they destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah.
Characteristics of the rejected
12 These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves. Clouds without water, carried along by winds, autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
14 And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying: Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their lusts (and their mouth speaks great swelling words), showing respect of persons for the sake of personal advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which have been spoken previously by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 how they said to you: In the last time there shall be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These are they who make divisions, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, build up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
22 On those who are in doubt have mercy. 23 And others save, snatching them out of the fire; and on some, have mercy with fear, hating even the underclothing stained by the flesh.
24 Now to him that is able to guard you from stumbling, and to set you before the presence of His glory without blemish in exceeding joy, 25 to the only God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and power, before all time, and now and for always in the future. Amen.
:6 The Greek word translated “angels” is also translated ‘messengers’ or ‘followers’ (e.g. Mt. 11:10). It doesn’t always refer to cosmic beings. Jude is building an argument based upon the example of Israel in the Old Testament, and so he is referring to historical incidents found there rather than to any myths of Angels sinning in Eden. The allusion here is to the earth opening to swallow Korah and his rebels (Num. 16:32).
:12 Love-feasts- A reference to the breaking of bread service, which is intended to celebrate the love of Christ in dying for us.
:15 People are condemned because of their words- how we think and speak is of huge importance to Jesus (Mt. 12:37).
:23 The fire- Fire is used here symbolically, as often in the Bible, for condemnation. People aren’t literally on fire as we see them fall away from the faith; they are however effectively falling into condemnation and losing their hope of eternal life. We should urgently do all we can to pull them out of this rather than saying nothing or pretending not to notice.
:24 We will be seen by Jesus at the last day as “without blemish” in His eyes, because His righteousness has been imputed to us.