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Jude  ◦   Chapter 1

1Jude, an ambassador and representative of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,

To those who have responded to God's call — who are being transformed by God's healing love and nurtured by Jesus Christ:

2May you continue to grow in the abundance of God's mercy, peace, and love.

3My dear friends, I have longed to write to you about God’s healing plan (his Remedy in which we share), but instead, I must write to warn you to defend the truth about God as revealed by Jesus — this precious truth that is the foundation of our faith and the secret with which we have been entrusted.4Scripture from long ago tells that those who reject this truth remain terminal and cannot be healed. Such people have slipped in among you and are attempting to twist the truth about God. These people, even though they purport to be believers in God, are actually godless because they have rejected the truth about God's true character and principles, and instead, teach a powerless gospel that misrepresents God, fails to transform lives, and denies that Jesus Christ is our Lord and the source of our healing and restoration.

5So let me remind you–even though you are well aware of these facts–that the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt to be his partner in teaching the truth about God and distributing his healing Remedy throughout the world. Unfortunately, God found it necessary to put into the grave those who rejected him and worked to stop his plan.6And the angels who rejected the truth about God chose to leave heaven and have become so settled into lies about God that no amount of truth and love can reach them; their minds are bound in darkness, and they are awaiting the final Day when the diagnosis of all will be revealed.7In a similar manner, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah rejected the truth about God, and their minds became so settled into lies about him that they were beyond healing: they gave themselves over to sensual indulgence and perversion. They stand as evidence of what will happen to all those who reject the truth about God and are exposed to eternal fire.

8In the very same way, these infiltrators create imaginary fantasies about God and the universe. They abuse their bodies, reject divine authority, and make fun of holy beings.9But even the archangel Michael, when he raised Moses from the dead, did not slander the devil who tried to stop him and claim Moses for himself. Michael merely said, "Stand aside; you have no right or authority here."10Yet these infiltrators make fun of truths they don't even comprehend; they reject reason, and instead, like animals, do whatever they feel by instinct, thereby destroying the capacity for knowing truth, and causing their own destruction.

11Oh, how sad–how terribly sad and horrible it will be for them! They have chosen, just like Cain, to reject truth and go with passion; they have sought, like Balaam, to reject beneficence and seek riches for self; they, like Korah, have rejected humility and sought to promote themselves in power and authority.

12These people are festering cankers at your fellowship meals, claiming to be Christian but seeking only to get the best for themselves, trying to get attention and recognition, or gorging themselves without regard for anyone else. They are like clouds without rain–useless and blown around by the wind; they are like leafless, fruitless trees, uprooted and completely dead.13They are like the waves of the sea — tossed in any direction their feelings are surging; their lives are turbulent whirlpools of shame. They are like the lost stars of heaven on their way to eternal nothingness and darkness.

14It was Enoch — the seventh descendant of Adam — who prophesied about people like this: "Be aware, the Lord is coming to earth with millions of his holy angels15in order to bring about the accurate diagnosis of all things–to bring all selfish beings face to face with their own terminal condition, with the pain and suffering they have caused, and with all the lies about God they have told."16These people are complainers, faultfinders, criticizers, always making excuses for themselves and blaming others; they only care about themselves and constantly follow their own selfish desires; they brag about themselves and use flattery to manipulate and exploit whomever they can.

17But, my dear friends, remember what the ambassadors of our Lord Jesus Christ warned us would happen.18They said, "In the last days, there will be people who laugh at truth, make fun of godliness, and prefer to follow their own passions, lusts, and desires."19It is people like these who cause factions to form, who split families in two, who break congregations apart–and they have come in among you. They follow their own base instincts and feelings, for they have rejected God's Spirit.

20But you, dear friends, as you talk to God — with your minds enlightened by the Holy Spirit — continue to build your characters and relationships upon the holy truth about God and on his methods and principles.21Continue to be conduits of God's love as you allow the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal you and bring you back into full unity with him and give you life everlasting.

22Be merciful to those who don't understand and who live in doubt;23don’t stand idly by when you see others destroying themselves in ignorance and selfishness, but proclaim God’s healing Remedy and rescue them from burning up their lives in sin. Be kind and patient with sinners, but hate the selfishness that covers them like putrid, germ-saturated clothing.

24To him who is able to heal you completely so that you can stand in his glorious presence with perfect character, rejoicing when we meet him face to face,25to the only God — our Savior through Jesus Christ — be all glory, majesty, power and authority from before time began, and now, and forevermore! Amen.