While Jude eagerly wanted to write about their shared salvation, he was compelled to write a letter urging them to contend for the faith that is the basis of that salvation. They had not kept a watchful eye and let ungodly people slip into their midst. Jude refers to these people as ungodly and are defined more specifically as people, “who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immortality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
When people like this are left unchecked amongst the People of God they become cancerous and bring down the community. I don’t think Jude is advocating for not allowing outsiders into the assembly completely. They should be allowed in to see what the community of God looks like and how the Family function. They are not to be mistaken as part of the Family though.
Jude then makes the parental comment of “I know you know this but I’m going to tell you anyway.” I remember hearing that growing up…and as much as I didn’t appreciate it then, being reconnected to the proper narrative puts life and actions back into their proper perspective. What is this narrative? All throughout history, even celestial history, people have gone with their “instincts” and abandoned the way of God. These “instincts,” which 2 Peter focused on as well, bring about the destruction that Christ has saved us from. The narrative that we have been brought into is one where we are recreated as God intended for us to be. Yes, we are animals, but we are also made in the image of God. Sin can be categorized as either trying to live out half of this reality. Either we live out our animalistic instincts, completely neglecting our divine nature in God’s image, or we live our lives trying to be god, ignoring that we are created beings.
Jude covers the full narrative of history to make sure his readers get the point that these people will be destroyed and they are blemishes to the beautiful painting that his the Family of God. They are spots on the wedding dress of the Bride of Christ. They are flies in the holy meal that we eat together. These people do not have the Spirit and are divisive.
There will be those who doubt. Be merciful to them. Don’t mistake these people as those who completely reject Christ. Seek and save those who doubt but keep a healthy amount of fear so that you do not fall.
Jude ends with a doxology, reminding his readers of the narrative they have given their lives to. A doxology is a hymn of praise and often acts in a way that unifies a congregation. More than likely they would have joined in the singing of the doxology when that part of the letter was reached. Ending with the “amen,” the congregation would have been saying they agreed to what was written. Take a moment to reflect on what this doxology says about us today in our current situation and how agreeing to it changes the way you will live tomorrow. Pick the narrative you will live by and live it.