(1) From Jude (the younger brother of Jesus), a minister (servant) of Jesus Christ and a brother of James (who became the primary leader of the Jerusalem Church and was the author of the letter of James)—to those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father, and kept secure for Jesus Christ. (2) May God’s mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance!
Contend for the Faith
(3) My beloved friends, although I was initially eager to write to you about our common salvation, instead I felt compelled to exhort you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted (delivered) to God’s holy people.
A Warning About False Teachers
(4) For certain individuals whose judgment was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert God’s grace into a license for unrestrained immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only sovereign Lord.
(5) Although you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people Israel out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who continued in their unbelief. (6) And the angels who did not keep their own positions of authority (domain) but abandoned their proper places in heaven—these God has held in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the day of judgment. (7) In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns indulged in sexual perversion and pursued unnatural passions. They serve as an example of those who will suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
(8) In the same way, these ungodly people, relying on their false dreams, pollute their bodies, reject authority, and slander the glorious ones (angels). (9) But even when Michael the archangel was debating with the devil about Moses’ body, he didn’t dare condemn him for slander, but just spoke the words of Zechariah 3:2, “The Lord rebuke you!” (10) But these people speak against whatever they do not understand, and the things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.
(11) A terrible woe to them! For they have followed the way of Cain; they have abandoned themselves to Balaam’s error; and they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. (12) These people are blemishes at your love feasts (communion meals of early Christians, which included the Lord’s Supper), eating with you without any fear—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown by the wind; autumn trees that are twice dead, without fruit and uprooted; (13) wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
(14) Now Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied against them, “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones (angels) (15) to 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 God.” (16) These people always complain and blame others; they go wherever their evil passions lead them, and they brag about themselves and flatter (entertain) others for their own advantage.
(17) But, my beloved friends, remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. (18) They told you, “In the last days (end time) there will be mockers who will follow their ungodly passions.” (19) These are the people who start divisions, who follow their mere natural instincts, and who do not have the Holy Spirit (unregenerate).
Words of Encouragement and Guidance
(20) But you, my beloved friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) and keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that will bring you to eternal life. (22) Be merciful to those who doubt (waver); (23) save others by rescuing them out of the fire; to others show compassion with fear—hating even the clothing stained by the sinful nature (flesh).
Praise to God
(24) Now to God who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—(25) to the only God our Savior be majestic glory, power, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time and now and for ever and ever! Amen (let it be).