False teachers are trying to turn people away from God
1 This letter is from me, Jude. I am Jesus Christ's servant and I am James's brother. I am writing to you people that God, the Father, loves. God has chosen you to be his own people. He is keeping you safe until the time when Jesus Christ returns.
1:1Most people think that Jude (also called Judas) was Jesus' brother. James and Jude were two of Jesus' four brothers. See Mark 6:3. James became a leader of the Christians at Jerusalem. See Galatians 1:19; 2:9 and Acts 15:13. But, in his letter, Jude does not say that he was Jesus' brother. He thought about himself as Jesus' servant. Jesus became his Master. Jude wanted people to obey Jesus. He did not want people to think that he himself was very important.
2 I pray that God will be kind to you and that he will give you peace in your minds more and more. I want you to know more and more how much God loves you.
3 My friends, I wanted very much to write to you about how God has saved us from sin. That is what he has done for you and for us. But instead of that, I now know that I must write to you about something else. I must tell you to be strong and brave. You must do everything that you can to keep God's true message safe. God has given this message to his special people, and his message will never change. Do not let anyone teach you a different message.
4 I say this because certain bad people have secretly come among you. They are not servants of God. They are trying to change God's true message. They teach that we can do any bad things that we want to do. They say that God will be kind and he will forgive us for all those bad things. In that way, they do not accept the authority of Jesus Christ, who is our only Master and our Lord. God will certainly punish those bad people. A long time ago the Bible already said that God would punish people like them.
God will punish all bad people
5 I want you to remember these important things. You really already know all about them, but you must never forget them. Remember that the Lord brought Israel's people out of the country called Egypt. He saved them so that they were no longer slaves there. But later he destroyed all those same people who did not trust him. 6 Also, remember that some angels refused to obey God. They took more authority for themselves than God had given to them. They left their own proper place with God in heaven. So God has tied them up as prisoners for ever in a completely dark place. He will keep them there until that great day when he will judge everyone.
1:5Israel's people were slaves in Egypt. God saved them when Moses led them out from there. But most of them did not trust God. So they did not go into the land that God had promised them. Instead, they died before they arrived there. That is how God punished them. See Numbers 14:1-37; 26:64-65. 1:6Some of the angels in heaven thought that they were very important. So they stopped obeying God and they left heaven. See Genesis 6:1-4; Luke 10:18 and Revelation 12:7-9.
7 Also, remember what happened to the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities that were near them. Like those bad angels, the people who lived in those places were also doing evil things. They were having sex with people who were not their husbands or their wives. They liked to have sex in other ways that are not right. God destroyed their cities. He has punished them with fire that never stops burning. That is an example of what will happen to wicked people like them.
1:7Jude uses Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of places where people did bad things. See Genesis 18:20; 19:1-29.
8 These false teachers who have come among you do the same kind of bad things. Their dreams deceive them so that they use their bodies in a bad way. They refuse to obey God's authority. They say bad things against the powerful angels. 9 Even the leader of God's angels, Michael, did not speak bad words like that against the Devil. Long ago, Michael argued with the Devil about who should have Moses' dead body. But even when the Devil said bad words against God, Michael himself did not speak against the Devil. He did not think that he should do that. Instead, Michael said, ‘The Lord himself will show that you are wrong.’ 10 But these false teachers speak bad things against anything that they do not understand. They are like animals that cannot think properly. They just do the things that their nature causes them to do. Those are the things that are destroying them.
11 It will be very bad for them! They have lived in the way that Cain lived. They have made the same mistake that Balaam made, because they wanted to get money for themselves. Like Korah, they have refused to obey God. So God will destroy them.
1:11Korah thought that he himself was very important. He thought that he knew better than Moses. He refused to obey what God had told Moses. See Numbers 16:1-35.
The false teachers are very dangerous
12 When you meet as believers to eat special meals together, those false teachers meet with you. But they are dangerous and will stop you showing your love for one another. They come only because they want to eat too much. They do not respect God or other people. They only think about themselves and they are not ashamed. They are like clouds that you think will bring rain. But the wind blows those clouds along and there is no rain. They are like trees that have no fruit, even at the time for harvest. People pull trees like that out of the ground. They are completely dead and can give no fruit. 13 Those false teachers are like water in the sea that the wind blows during a storm. The dirt that comes to the top of the water is like the dirty things that those people do. They are like stars that have moved away from their proper places in the sky. God has prepared a completely dark place for them. God will keep them there for ever.
14 Long ago, Enoch also spoke about those false teachers. Enoch belonged to the seventh family that was born, starting with Adam. He said, ‘Look, the Lord will come with many thousands of his own angels. 15 He will judge all people. He will punish everyone who has turned against him. He will punish them because of all the bad things that they have done against him. He will punish them because of all the bad words that they have spoken against him. Yes, he will punish everyone who lives in a way that does not please him.’ 16 Those people are always complaining. They are never happy about other people. They just do bad things that will make themselves happy. They speak great things about themselves, to show how important they are. They praise other people only so that they can get something good for themselves.
1:14Enoch was a man who lived many, many years ago. He lived in a good way that pleased God. See Genesis 5:3-18, 24.
1:15These words that Enoch wrote are not in the Bible. Enoch wrote them in a book called ‘The Book of Enoch’.
Christians must continue to trust God
17 But as for you, my friends, remember the message that the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ have taught you. They spoke about what would happen in future times. 18 They said to you, ‘In the last days of this world, some people will laugh at God's message. They will say that it is silly to obey God. Instead, they will do the bad things that they want to do. Those things do not please God.’
1:18The last days of this world are the days before Jesus returns to the earth.
19 It is people like this who cause you to turn against one another, so that you belong to separate groups. Their thoughts belong to this world. They do not have God's Spirit in them.
20 But you, my friends, have believed the message that comes from God himself. So you must help one another to trust God more and more. Pray to God with the help of the Holy Spirit. 21 Continue to live in a way that shows God's love. As you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come, remember that he is very kind. Because of that, you will have life with God for ever.
22 Help those people who do not know whether to trust God. Be kind to them. 23 Some people are in great danger. You must save them from the fire of God's punishment. There are other people that you must also help. But be very careful! Those people have done very bad and dirty things. Those dirty things have spoiled their lives, like they are wearing dirty clothes. Keep away from those dirty things and do not let them spoil your life too.
Jude thanks God
24 God is able to keep you safe so that you continue to trust him. One day you will stand in front of him and you will be very happy. God will bring you to that place and you will be completely good. You will be able to stand near to God, who shines with beautiful light. 25 He is the only God. He is the one who saves us because of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we praise him! We say that he is very great! He rules with power and authority. This has always been true. It is true now, and it will be true for ever. Amen!