1This letter comes from Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and James’ brother. I am writing to those who are called and loved by God the Father, and who are kept safe by Jesus Christ: 2May God’s mercy, peace, and love increase in your experience!
3My friends, I was already looking forward to writing to you about the salvation that we share. But now I need to write urgently to you and encourage you to vigorously defend the truth about God,#3. Literally: “faith,” or “belief.” given once and for all time#3. “Given once and for all time”: since God revealed the truth about himself at many different times in history, probably the idea here is the consummate revelation of God by himself in the Person of Jesus. to God’s holy people. 4For some people have quietly crept in among you. They were written about and condemned a long time ago, for they are wicked people who pervert God’s grace, turning it into a license to immorality, while also denying our Lord and master Jesus Christ.
5Even though you already know this, I want to remind you that though the Lord saved his people out of the land of Egypt, later he still destroyed those who disbelieved. 6Even those angels that were not content with their God-given positions but abandoned their rightful places—he has placed them in eternal#6. Eternal in the sense of consequence, not in duration—as is obvious from the context in that this “eternal” aspect ends with the judgment. The same applies to the “eternal fire” in verse 7 that is exemplified by Sodom and Gomorrah—the effects are eternal, but the towns are not burning now, nor “forever.” chains of darkness until the great Day of Judgment. 7In just the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns nearby that pursued immorality and perverted sex are provided as an example of those that experience the punishment of eternal fire.
8Likewise these dreamers#8. The reference is to the people mentioned in verse 4. pollute their bodies, disregard authority, and insult heavenly beings. 9Even the archangel Michael, when he was arguing with the devil over Moses’ body, didn’t dare to condemn him with a slanderous insult, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you.” 10But these people ridicule whatever they don’t understand; and what they do understand they instinctively follow like unthinking animals—this is what destroys them. 11They’re in terrible trouble! For they have followed Cain’s way. Like Balaam and his delusion, they have abandoned themselves to the profit motive. Like Korah and his rebellion, they have destroyed themselves. 12These people spoil your fellowship meals, for they are selfish shepherds that don’t have the slightest sense of shame—they only take care of themselves. They’re clouds blown along by the wind that bring no rain. They’re bare trees without fruit—twice dead, pulled out by the roots. 13They’re violent ocean waves, foaming in their own disgrace. They’re false stars, doomed forever to utter darkness.
14Enoch, seven generations on from Adam, spoke prophetically about these people: “Look! The Lord is coming together with thousands and thousands of his holy ones 15to judge everyone, to reveal all the wicked things people have done, and all the terrible things hostile sinners have said against him.” 16Such people are grumblers, always complaining. They follow their own evil desires, speaking boastfully about themselves, and flattering others to get what ‘they’ want.
17But you, my dear friends, please remember what you were told by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18They explained to you that in the last times mockers would come, following their own wicked desires. 19They cause divisions; they are worldly people who don’t have the Spirit.
20But you, my friends, are to build yourselves up through your trust in God. Pray in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves safe in God’s love, and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ who brings eternal life. 22Show kindness to those who doubt. 23Save those you can by snatching them out of the fire. Show mercy—but with great care, hating even the “clothing” that is contaminated by sinful human nature.#23. In other words, while being merciful to the sinner, be very careful about the “sinful clothing” human beings have on them, so as to avoid becoming “infected” yourself.
24Now to him who can keep you from falling,
and who can bring you into his glorious presence without fault, and with great joy,
25to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, now, and forever.