Jude 1:1-11

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 have turned away from God. They are trying to change God's true message. They teach that we can do any evil things that we want to do. They say that God will be kind and he will forgive us for all those things. They do not accept the authority of Jesus Christ, who is our only Master and our Lord. God will certainly punish those wicked people. A long time ago God said that he would punish people like them.

5 Remember that the Lord brought Israel's people out of Egypt where they had been slaves. But later he destroyed all those same people who did not trust him. I want you to remember these important things. You should already know all about them, but you must never forget them. 6 Also remember that some angels refused to obey God. They took more authority for themselves than God had given 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 as they travelled through the wilderness, 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 to do disgusting things. They refuse to obey God's authority. They insult God's 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.

1:9Deuteronomy 34:5-6 tells us about when Moses died.

11 It will be terrible 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.

1:11Cain killed his brother Abel. See Genesis 4:1-16; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12.
1:11Balaam caused Israel's people to do bad things. See Numbers 22-25; Deuteronomy 23:4-5; Revelation 2:14.
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.