Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who have met with loving-kindness from God the Father, those whom he has set apart for Jesus Christ, and called them;
Mercy and peace and love be yours, in full measure.
Beloved, as one who is ever ready to write to you about that salvation which is your common concern, I am compelled to send you this letter of warning; you have a battle to fight over the faith that was handed down, once for all, to the saints.
Godless men, long since destined thus to incur condemnation, have found their way secretly into your company, and are perverting the life of grace our God has bestowed on us into a life of wantonness; they even deny Jesus Christ, our one Lord and Master.
Learn one lesson, and you know all. Let me remind you, how the Saviour who had rescued his people from Egypt went on to destroy those who had proved unfaithful.
The angels, too, who left the place assigned to them, instead of keeping their due order, he has imprisoned in eternal darkness, to await their judgement when the great day comes.
So with Sodom and Gomorrha and the cities round them, which fell into the same debauchery as their neighbours and pursued unnatural lust; they bear, for our warning, their sentence of eternal fire.
And so it is with these as it was with those others; they pollute nature, they defy authority, they insult august names.
(And yet, when the archangel Michael held debate with the devil, in their dispute over the body of Moses, he did not venture to accuse him insultingly; he was content to say, May the Lord rebuke thee.)
Such men sneer at the things they cannot understand; like the brute beasts they derive knowledge only from their senses, and it serves to corrupt them.
Woe betide them, they have followed in the path of Cain; greed, that led Balaam astray, has been their ruin; they have taken part in the fatal rebellion of Core.
What defilement there is in their banquets, as they fare sumptuously at your side, shepherds that feed themselves without scruple! They are clouds with no water in them, driven before the winds, autumn trees that bear no fruit, given over anew to death, plucked up by the roots;
they are fierce waves of the sea, with shame for their crests, wandering stars, with eternal darkness and storm awaiting them.
Of these, among others, Enoch was speaking, Adam’s descendant in the seventh degree, when he prophesied, Behold, the Lord came with his saints in their thousands,
to carry out his sentence on all men, and to convict the godless. Godless and sinners, with how many ungodly acts they have defied God, with how many rebellious words have they blasphemed him!
Such men go about whispering and complaining, and live by the rule of their own appetites; meanwhile, their mouths are ready with fine phrases, to flatter the great when it serves their ends.
But as for you, beloved, keep in mind the warnings given you long since by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
how they told you, that mocking spirits must needs appear in the last age, who would make their own ungodly appetites into a rule of life.
Such are the men who now keep themselves apart; animal natures, without the life of the Spirit.
It is for you, beloved, to make your most holy faith the foundation of your lives, and to go on praying in the power of the Holy Spirit;
to maintain yourselves in the love of God, and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with eternal life for your goal.
To some you must give a hearing, and confute them;
others you must pluck out of the fire, and rescue them; others again you can only pity, while you shun them; even the outward fringe of what the flesh has defiled must be hateful to you.
There is one who can keep you clear of fault, and enable you to stand in the presence of his glory, triumphant and unreproved, when our Lord Jesus Christ comes;
to him, who alone is God, to him, who gives us salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, glory and majesty and power and domination are due, before time was, and now, and for all ages. Amen.