Study Guide

James, 1-2 Peter, Jude

James, 1-2 Peter, Jude Summary

James

Hey, James here!

He's a member of Jesus' inner circle, and he's writing this letter to Jewish-Christians all throughout the Roman Empire. He's got some important things to tell them—mainly that there will be tough times, but that it's all good. Being arrested and out on trial for your faith may be a bummer, but God will bring some good stuff out of it. Guaranteed.

James also has a major beef with rich folks. He thinks that they'll pay big time for all the perks they enjoyed in life. Those golden parachutes don't look so good now, huh? He also has some strong thoughts on the power of words: don't praise God one day and then badmouth fellow Christians the other—God really gets annoyed with all the double-speak going on. Finally, Christians have to keep the faith and stay strong because Jesus is coming back real soon.

Seriously…any day now.

1 Peter

This time, we hear from Peter, Jesus' right-hand man in the gospels. Yep, that Peter. He pretty much agrees with James on a bunch of things. These guys must have been tight.

Here are his thoughts:

  • Suffering can be good. It's all part of God's plan, so no worries. 
  • Whatever you do, don't start sinning just because times get tough. God will not be amused.
  • Christians should act like the newborn little babies they are (metaphorically speaking, of course). They need spiritual milk to feed them…and clean diapers. 
  • They also need to keep their behavior in line. That means listening to authority figures (anarchy is out). Slaves should obey their masters (um, what?). And wives? Well, you know your husband is in charge, right gals?

It's important for everyone to stay in line because Jesus will be coming back to judge everyone very shortly. For real this time.

2 Peter

Peter again with a couple more reminders for Christians before he bites the dust.

Watch out for false teachers. These are folks who claim to follow Jesus but spread all kinds of lies about him instead. Mainly, they've been saying that the world isn't gonna end so it doesn't really matter how we act. Well, that is just nonsense, says Peter. God may be a little slow getting this plan off the ground, but that's only because he doesn't wear a watch. Jesus will come again and judge all the baddies.

So keep your eyes peeled for anyone descending from Heaven on a cloud of glory.

Jude

Last but definitely not least, we get to hear from Jude. He's James's brother and he has a lot in common with his bro…and with Peter. He also doesn't think much of those false teachers: they're bad news and they're going down big time. When Jesus comes back—which he totally will—he'll deal with anyone who doubted him. And it is not gonna be pretty.

  • James 1

    Hi, My Name Is…

    • What up? James here. Servant of God. Follower of Jesus. All-around good guy.
    • James says that he's writing to "the twelve tribes in the Dispersion." In other words: Jewish-Christians who don't live in the Jewish homeland in Palestine.
    • And what does he have to say? We're glad you asked.
    • For starters—don't fret about tough times. Sure, going through trials and tribulations is no fun, but some good can come of it. Do tell.
    • Well, it can be a good test of your faith. Oh, and it can help you learn to be strong and persevere. So there's that.
    • If there's anything you don't know, just ask God about it. He'll fill you in on the details.
    • But whatever you do, says James, don't doubt him. God doesn't like it when you're saying one thing and thinking another. Doubting Thomases (or Dicks or Harrys) get nothing as far as he's concerned.

    More Advice from James

    • Are you poor? No problem! Anyone who follows Jesus and finds themselves short of cash is gonna get a major reward very soon.
    • Rich guys? They're gonna wither and die like a plant in the scorching sun. It's not pretty.
    • If you want to do something, but know you shouldn't, keep holding out. That really makes God happy. Anyone who can stand their ground in the face of temptation is definitely winning.
    • See, James doesn't think that God actually tempts people. You want to eat that extra donut because you think it's delicious. Not because God made it delicious. The time-to-make-the-donuts guy is kind of to blame there.
    • When you give into your desires, that leads to sin. And sin? Well, that leads to death.
    • Everything good that we do and everything awesome in the world comes straight from God, says James.
    • God created the world then showed it the truth—the truth about Jesus, that is. And believers are the "first fruits" out of everyone in the whole world. They're kind of like hipsters—they were into Jesus before he went mainstream.
    • Anything else?
    • Listen to each other. Don't fight and argue—it makes Baby Jesus cry. Besides, if you listen more, you might be able to help someone find God.
    • Be a doer. Don't nod along when you hear people talk about doing nice things. Go out and do your own good stuff.
    • Seriously, don't be a giant hypocrite. You can't say you're religious and then just sit by doing nothing. Hearing about God isn't as important as doing God's work. So get out there and care for some widows and orphans already.
  • James 2

    Sorry, One-Percenters

    • Being a faithful person means that you don't favor rich people over poor people.
    • When fancy folks wearing expensive clothes stroll into church, everyone falls all over themselves to get these hoity toity guys a seat.
    • But when someone without a lot of cash in his pockets walks in, he's told to stand or sit on the ground. It's not very polite.
    • If that's how you treat the poor—whom God specifically said were going to be part of his kingdom—then you are really not getting it, says James.
    • Why should Christians love these rich guys so much anyway? Wealthy folks are the ones who have you arrested for following Jesus. They drag you into court and basically mock God. What's so awesome about them, again?

    Faith vs. Works: The Ultimate Showdown

    • Remember when Jesus said that you should "love your neighbor as yourself"? He was pretty serious about that.
    • If you don't follow his teachings, then you've broken God's law. And we know what happens to law-breakers, don't we? Hint: it's not pretty.
    • If you're merciful to others, God will repay the favor. But if you spend most of your free time judging people based on their appearances, then God is gonna judge the heck out of you, too.
    • Seriously, you can't say you follow God and then act like a jerk.
    • Having faith alone can't save you. You also need to do good works to complete the picture.
    • James continues: it won't help anyone for you to just smile at poor people and wish them well. Where are they supposed to live? How are they going to eat? If you don't help those who need it, all your pious faith and feel-good beliefs are dead in the water.
    • Of course, some knuckleheads think that you can separate out faith and works.
    • These folks say, Hey, I have faith in God. You do the good works. Then everyone will be covered.
    • Nope. Sorry. Doesn't work like that.
    • Look, says James, there's one God, right? That means you can't divide out believing and doing. If you have faith in him, you'll act like it. Put your money where your mouth is.
    • Take Abraham for example. God told him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and Abraham was totally gonna do it. He had the knife at the kid's throat when God told him to stop.
    • Abraham didn't just believe that what God said was right. He acted on it. Rahab, too. She might have been a Canaanite prostitute, but she helped the Israelites get into the Promised Land. Because of what she did, God totally dug her.
    • If your spirit leaves your body, you're dead. And if you just think nice things about God but never do anything, then you're dead, too. 'Nuff said.
  • James 3

    Those Who Can't Do, Teach

    • Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher like James. Oh, really?
    • Teachers have to watch what they do and say at all times because people are just waiting for them to screw up. Well, it's sort of true.
    • But teachers also make mistakes. Tons of them. Sometimes it's hard to keep control of your tongue.
    • A person's tongue is the rudder on a ship. It's a little tiny piece tucked away under the boat, but it can steer the whole vessel through uncharted waters. The tongue is pretty small, too, but it can take you to some amazing places.
    • It's sort of like how a whole forest can go up in flames just from a few matches. Our tongues are like tiny fires ready to set the world ablaze. Stand back!
    • But an unruly tongue can produce good words and bad words.
    • We say all kinds of good things about God with our mouths. But then we talk bad about his creations—other people—in the same breath. How rude!
    • Folks really shouldn't be doing this, says James.
    • It makes as much sense as having a faucet that pours out pure, sparkling water on one day and then raw sewage on another. Gross.
    • If you're smart, then you'll be humble and kind.
    • But if you've got the wrong kind of wisdom (the devilish kind), then you'll be a bitter, envious, selfish, clawing, liar. Yikes.
    • The bad kind of wisdom can wreck the world. The good kind can bring peace and sunshine and rainbows to everyone.
  • James 4

    Let's Fight!

    • Why do people love to fight so much?
    • Well, sometimes a person wants something they don't have. So they get all freaked out and angry about it and start going to war with other folks. That's one way to get what you want.
    • But the real reason those people don't have the stuff they want is that they don't ask God. Or they ask, but they're super selfish about it, so God doesn't hand it over. He's not gonna help you win the lottery if you're just gonna use the money to buy a garage full of sports cars.
    • Seriously, says James, don't you know that if all in love with the things in this world, then you've made yourself into God's enemy?
    • God likes it when folks are humble, not when they act like entitled jerks. If you snuggle up with him, he'll snuggle up with you, too.
    • Don't be "double-minded" (thinking one thing and doing another). Walk the straight and narrow with God and everything will be a-okay.
    • More rules: don't badmouth another believer. If you're saying nasty things, you're judging. Remember, only God can judge you. Forget the haters, because somebody loves you.
    • And don't make too many plans for the future. It's kind of arrogant.
    • Maybe you plan on graduating from college in four years and making mega bucks in the recording industry. Well, you don't know what's gonna happen between now and then. Only God knows that, says James.
    • The world doesn't revolve around you and your dreams. You're like a mist that floats into the world and then disappears a few seconds later. (Has your self-esteem plummeted yet?)
    • James would rather you say Maybe I'll get my degree and then start dropping albums left and right. If that's what God wants. At least then you're showing respect to the Big Guy.
  • James 5

    Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

    • Listen up, rich folks: God is not amused with you.
    • Major bad times are coming your way. All your wealth will rot. Your fancy designer clothes are gonna be eaten by moths. Your gold and silver coins are gonna rust. Then the rust is gonna eat away at your skin like fire. Yeah. It's gonna be pretty miserable.
    • It's bad enough that you hoarded money, says James, but you didn't even come by your cash honestly. The folks you've cheated out of their hard-earned dollars have appealed to God and he's heard them. You lived in the lap of luxury during your time on Earth, but all that will be over soon.
    • But believers (who we're assuming aren't rich) should just be patient. Jesus will be coming back anytime now.
    • Wait for him like a farmer waits for his crops to grow, says James. You know they're coming. It's just a matter of finding the right time.
    • Stay strong and don't start complaining about everyone else. Otherwise you're gonna be judged. Big time.
    • If you're looking for examples of folks who have done it right, look no further than the prophets of the Hebrew Bible. Especially Job. These guys faced tough times, but they kept on keeping on.

    More Advice

    • Also, when you say something, really commit to it. Seriously, no means no and yes means yes.
    • Whether you're having a good time or a bad time, you should pray. God likes it when you check in every once in a while, says James.
    • If you're sick, ask some of the elders in the church to pray over you and anoint you with oil. Hey, it can't hurt. And that oil really smells good.
    • If you sin (oops!), admit what you did to the community. God will totally forgive you if you take responsibility when you come up short.
    • Everyone should also pray for each other. Prayer can be pretty powerful. Elijah prayed that it wouldn't rain, and not a single drop fell for three years and six months.
    • And if any believer stops believing, the rest of the community can try to win him back. After all, scooping up lost sheep is one of God's favorite pastimes.
    • On that note—bye-bye! See you on the flip side!
  • 1 Peter 1

    For Pete's Sake

    • This letter's from Peter. He's an apostle of Jesus Christ, and he's ready to party.
    • Peter's writing to believers in 
    • . There's probably a mix of Jewish-Christians and Gentile-Christians in those parts. In any case, it's a pretty diverse group.
    • Now, what does Peter have to tell us?
    • Well, for starters—everything is awesome! God gave the world Jesus and anyone who believes in him is gonna get some sweet rewards. That's the good news.
    • The bad news is that some people are gonna have to suffer for their faith. Yeah, it's a bummer, but some good things can come of it.
    • Namely, those who stay strong will show how amazing Jesus is and how much they love him. They're proving it all night. If they do this, they'll be saved.

    The Bible Tells Us So

    • So, actually, this is good news. According to Peter, Jewish scriptures talk about the coming of Jesus, what he would do, and how he would save the people. Now Christians are reaping the benefits. Even angels don't get these sweet perks.
    • That means it's time to get ready. Gird your loins, gents. Don't fall back and start living like you did before you found out about Jesus. Keep the faith and good things will happen, says Peter.
    • God judges everyone by what they do. So don't get sloppy now.
    • You escaped from the crazy, pagan worship of your ancestors. You figured out that idols made of silver and gold could never save you—only the blood of Jesus could.
    • Now that you know the truth, he says, your souls are good to go. So, love your fellow believers. You're all like newborn babies who get a new chance at living life with God as your dad.
    • Peter quotes the prophet Isaiah and compares people to grass and flowers. Stay with us. Grass and flowers grow, but eventually, all plants wither and die. Just like human beings.
    • God, on the other hand, keeps going forever.
  • 1 Peter 2

    Let's Get Stoned

    • Peter has plenty more to say: if you're on God's team, act like it. Don't be hateful or bitter or insecure or envious or a liar.
    • Act the newborn Christian you are. Drink nothing but spiritual milk and you'll grow up big and strong and holy.
    • Or be like a stone.
    • Again, stay with us here.
    • There are some stones that folks didn't think were good enough for building houses. Jesus was one of those. Believers are the others.
    • But these rejected stones will be used to build up a spiritual house, says Peter
    • Again, Peter quotes Isaiah's thoughts on stones. He tells us that the stone that everyone hated will become the cornerstone—the most important piece in the whole building. Take that, inept builders.
    • That same stone will trip up those haters and make them fall. Fall into sin, that is. They've turned their backs on God and they'll get their comeuppance one day.
    • But believers are super special. They're God's new people. And he's gonna be merciful with them. Other folks? Not so much.

    Be Good

    • Okay, so if you're a believer in Jesus, how should you be acting?
    • Well, first of all, don't sin. Also, you should try to behave yourself when you're dealing with non-believers. They may think Christians are a little wacky, but if everyone keeps their behavior on the up and up, it could change their mind. Hey, it's worth a shot.
    • Also, don't go around challenging authority figures on purpose. Be respectful to the emperor and his governors. Peter doesn't want anyone thinking Christians are anti-social anarchists. Honor everyone you meet. But especially throw in a little groveling when you're dealing with the emperor.

    They're Slaves for You

    • Okay, how about slaves? Well, says Peter, you guys should also be totally accepting of your masters. Even if they're super hard on you.
    • After all, if you do something wrong and get beat for it, then that's on you.
    • But if you haven't done anything at all and still get the crud kicked out of you by your owner? Well, that time God is on your side.
    • Actually, this makes you just like Jesus. He didn't do anything wrong and the powers that beat and crucified him. He never even retaliated—he just trusted that God would sort it all out.
    • So think of that when you're being mercilessly whipped over a missing loaf of bread that you didn't steal.
  • 1 Peter 3

    Wifely Duties

    • More Peter, more not-21st-century-friendly advice: ladies, obey your husbands.
    • Even if your man is an unbelieving jerkwad, just keep being sweet as pie.
    • Hey, maybe one day you'll win him over with your feminine charms and Christian piety. Maybe.
    • Also, girls, don't spend too much time on your image. Just say no to braiding your hair, wearing gold, or putting on fancy clothes. It's overkill.
    • Instead of worrying about what you look like on the outside, show off your beautiful inside. There's nothing hotter than a "gentle and quiet spirit."
    • Try to be like Sarah. She listened to her husband, Abraham, and nothing weird ever happened to them. Hmm…might want to take a peek at Genesis again, Peter.
    • Okay, so we've heard about wives. How about the gents?
    • Well, Peter thinks that husbands should be considerate to their wives, too.
    • Sure, the ladies are the "weaker sex," but they're also God's children who will reap all the same rewards as men. We guess there's no misogyny in Heaven.

    Be Excellent to Each Other 

    • And some advice for everyone: just love one another.
    • If someone does something bad to you, don't try to get even by seeking revenge. Bless them instead.
    • It's the only way you're gonna inherit that kingdom of Heaven everyone keeps talking about. Just say no to evil.
    • After all, if you're trying to be good, who could fault you for that?
    • And even if someone does attack you while you're doing the right thing, God totally has your back. Not literally.
    • Don't be afraid if someone asks you what you believe. Tell them politely. If you're a good person, it'll be tougher for naysayers to attack you.
    • Peter keeps going: you've got nothing to worry about because Jesus suffered and died so that everyone could be saved. Even those naysayers.
    • Remember when Noah built that ark and God saved only eight people after cleansing the world with water?
    • Now he wants to save everyone through water—the water of baptism, to be exact. By being baptized, believers ask God to help them do what's right.
    • All this is possible because of Jesus, says Peter.
  • 1 Peter 4

    A Little Suffering Never Hurt Anyone

    • Here's what Peter thinks: Jesus suffered and died, and that means that you've got to be ready to suffer a little, too.
    • You've already lived your life as Godless pagans, he tells them. Now it's time to start living for Christ alone. Warning: it'll totally mess up your crazy weekend plans.
    • Those Gentiles out there don't have moral or sexual restraint. They're huge drunks who worship a bunch of silly idols, and they think you're becoming a bit of a buzzkill since your conversion.
    • But you've already given your lives over to God. You know what's right—and it's not drunken orgies.
    • Our time is short, he says. This world is coming to an end. Very, very soon.
    • That means you've got to keep on the straight and narrow path. Be serious and disciplined. Pray. Love each other. Don't complain. Help everyone.
    • He continues: We all have different gifts. We should use them to make the world a better place. Well, at least until Jesus comes back and ends life as we know it.
    • More warnings: don't be surprised if things start getting a little hot around here. Not everyone likes Christians, and occasionally someone will get arrested or hauled into court or maybe even put to death.
    • It's all part of God's plan. If you've got to suffer—be happy about it. Remember how Jesus suffered? Well, you're getting a share in that, says Peter.
    • If some Roman official hates on your because you love Jesus, that's great news.
    • But if you get hauled into court because you've murdered someone or stole something or even just stirred up trouble in town? Well, that's bad news.
    • Those who suffer as Christians will be blessed by God, says the P-man.
    • In any case, it's better just to keep the faith and get your reward at the end of the game. After all, if this is what believers are gonna go through, just think what God has in store for anyone who rejects him.
  • 1 Peter 5

    Respect Your Elders

    • Peter speaks here as an elder in the community. That is, an important and respected guy in the flock.
    • He wants other elders to know that they've got a big responsibly. They're the shepherds guiding God's little sheep. They shouldn't be looking to get something for themselves or lording their authority over everyone. They should just be in it for the love of God. And the free bread and wine, natch.
    • On the other hand, new believers need to recognize that the elders are the guys in charge. Elder knows best!
    • But both the elders and the new believers should be nice and respectful to each other. God loves it when you're humble, so try that out for a change.

    It's the End of the World as We Know It

    • The end is nigh, so submit to God totally and completely.
    • He cares about you, so tell him your troubles and he'll help. But don't forget to be disciplined and stay on guard.
    • A (metaphorical) lion is prowling around the community looking for strays to gobble up. But if everyone sticks together, he can't touch them. There go his dinner plans.
    • Sure, you may be suffering right now—Christians all over the world are—but this is only a temporary situation. Give it some time, says Peter. Jesus will be back soon and everything will be awesomesauce.
    • Peter closes the letter by saying that he's sending it on with his friend, Silvanus.
    • The church in Rome sends greetings. Peter calls it by the code name "Babylon" because he considers the Romans as wicked as the Babylonians—those baddies who destroyed Jerusalem back in the Hebrew Bible (source). So much for not stirring up trouble.
    • Hugs and kisses and peace to everyone. Peter will see you later, fellow Christians.
  • 2 Peter 1

    Hi, Again

    • Peter's back. And this time he's writing to all of Christendom. Yeah, he likes to go big picture.
    • He's also got some good news: God has given Christians everything they need to live good lives now and in the coming world. Christians have the smarts to escape the trappings of "the world" and to live as one with God.
    • But Christians have to keep up their end of the faith bargain. They have to do good deeds and be smart and control themselves and preserve and be holy. Oh, and be loving, too. Exhausting.
    • If anyone doesn't do these things, well, it's not gonna work out so well for them in the end.
    • But if you stay on the path to goodness, everything will be alright and you'll get your ticket to board the train to Heaventown.

    Death Becomes Him

    • Peter knows that Christians already get this stuff. But he wants to keep giving refreshers as long as he's around to do it. See, he's not long for this world—death is knocking. It's hard out there for an apostle.
    • Now, some folks have accused Peter of making up all this stuff about Jesus. (Who you gonna call? Mythbusters!)
    • Not so fast. Peter saw all of Jesus' goodness with his own two eyes. Remember that time he went up to a mountain with Jesus and the boss started to sparkle like a vampire?
    • All this great stuff that Peter's been telling the world about actually happened. Not to mention, he adds, that the Hebrew Bible totally predicted that how Jesus' life would go down. (P.S. That's a New Testament POV and the Hebrew Bible fans don't agree.)
    • But just in case you're thinking that Peter is selectively interpreting the Bible—he's not. Those interpretations come straight from God. (And yes, this is Peter talking about himself…super trustworthy!)
  • 2 Peter 2

    The Big Baddies

    • There are teachers and then there are false teachers.
    • False teachers teach people to believe things that are completely wrong—like that the world isn't going to end and God isn't going to judge everyone. They're just ignoring stuff that Jesus said, and God won't be pleased when he gets a hold of them.
    • The worst part is that tons of folks fall for it. Don't let these guys drag you down with them, says Peter. They'll try to trick you with their lies about the end times, but don't believe it for a minute. God has judged them and he's going to annihilate them in the end.
    • Look, when a bunch of angels disobeyed God, he didn't just shrug it off. He cast them down into Hell. Naysayers will be seeing them soon.
    • When God saw the world was wicked, he flooded it and killed everyone. Well, everyone except Noah and family.
    • And when he saw those sinners behaving badly in Sodom and Gomorrah, he burned their town to the ground. Luckily, 
    •  was able to escape in time.
    • The moral of the story? God does not play.
    • He will bring an end to this world and judge folks. But like he did with Noah and Lot, God will show mercy anyone who does what's right and follows him. Hey, God's not a total meanie.
    • These false teachers though? They're sinners. They want things they shouldn't have. They hate the folks in charge. And they're also not beneath telling lies.
    • They're kind of like stupid animals in a slaughterhouse. They're on a conveyer belt to their death and they don't even know it.
    • And the hating continues: false teachers are like a cancer that eats away at the Christian community. They're adulterous and sinful. They lead the faithful astray. Oh, and they're super greedy.
    • They're kind of like Balaam, this guy from the Hebrew Bible. He loved money so much that he went against God. Bad move.
    • God has reserved a dark corner in Hell just for these folks. They spit out all kinds of nonsense and try to lure people in with the promise of "freedom."
    • People can only really be free if they give themselves over to God. These false teachers want Christians to tie themselves to the world and keep on sinning.
    • They might promise freedom, but they're actually slaves to sin. They won't be able to deliver on that promise.
    • The worst part about this all is that these guys know what is right. They were sinful pagans before they started following Jesus. Now they're going back to their evil ways even though they know it's wrong.
    • They might as well have never heard of Jesus. At least then they could plead ignorance when God came knocking.
  • 2 Peter 3

    The End Is Extremely Nigh

    • Peter reminds his readers that this is the second letter he's sent to them. (Oh, we remember, Peter.)
    • He's writing again to let them know that Jesus is going to come back. For real.
    • Yes, people are saying that he's a little bit behind. Yes, the disciples thought he would have been here already. What can we say? Jesus likes to be fashionably late?
    • This is all part of the end of the world anyhow. Naysayers will pop up and start trash-talking the second coming. We thought he'd be here already. You keep telling us he's on his way, but everything's the same as it always was.
    • Look, scoffers, says Peter, God destroyed the world once with water. Remember the flood? And Noah's ark? So, why wouldn't he take the whole place out again? This time he's going to do it with fire, though.
    • Also, you're forgetting that God doesn't keep time like humans do. He'll get here, but it won't be by our clocks, says Peter.
    • Besides, God might be waiting for more people to come around on this whole Jesus thing. After all, if he gives us some more time, more folks will be saved from those fires of destruction. See, that's just sensible.
    • Trust me, he says. The end of the world will come when we all least expect it. Everything's going crumble and die, and only the faithful will be left standing.
    • That means keep the faith, guys. Stay strong, be good, and fight the good fight, and you totally won't be scorched alive as God burns the Earth to rubble, okay?
    • Paul also mentioned this stuff in his letters. Of course, some folks don't know how to properly interpret a letter, so they're claiming that Paul's writing supports them. Nope. Paul's on Peter's side all the way…says Peter.
    • Right, so stay on the good path. Don't stumble and fall as you're walking along. Love Jesus and everything's gonna come up roses.
    • Peter out. Peace.
  • Jude 1

    Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Teachers

    • Who's writing now? It's Jude.
    • Hey, Jude.
    • He's a Christian and he's also James's brother. Way to keep it in the family, guys.
    • He's writing to all Christians everywhere.
    • Hey, all Christians everywhere!
    • When Jude was sitting down to write this letter, he got a little concerned about some certain folks who are operating in the community. They're telling everyone that being good people doesn't matter much. Peter called them "false teachers." Jude doesn't think much of them either.
    • Remember when God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt back in Exodus? After that, he took down anyone who didn't give him the respect he deserved.
    • He didn't let those rebellious angels hang around either. And he didn't shed tears for those jerks in Sodom and Gomorrah. He punished those sinners and then he made himself a delicious ice cream sundae to celebrate.
    • The false teachers are just like these destroyed people. They could have reaped the benefits of salvation, but they decided to be sexually immoral, disobey leaders, and lie about angels. Not smart.
    • Back when Moses died and the archangel Michael came to collect his body, he got into a little tiff with the devil. But instead of accusing the devil of being a liar—which he was—Michael took his problems to God. And, oh did God judge.
    • These false teachers are like dumb animals who are headed for the slaughter. (Hey, we've heard that before. Must have been a popular ancient slam.)
    • They're just like Cain or Balaam or the guys who died in Korah's rebellion back in the Hebrew Bible. In other words, they're extremely stupid and extremely sinful.
    • And yet, these guys hang out in your midst. They sit with you while you're eating bread and wine during fellowship meals. They're the fly in your soup, ruining the whole meal.
    • A couple more metaphors if you don't mind. These guys are like clouds with no water, trees with no fruit, waves that wash shame onto the shore, and stars that have gone off course.
    • In the end, these dudes will rot in the deepest, darkness corner of Hell.
    • It's just like Enoch says. (He's Noah's great-grandfather, and even though it's not in the Bible, lots of Jews of the time enjoyed reading and discussing the Book of Enoch). He told everyone that God would come and judge the heck out the guys who didn't really follow him.
    • The apostles told everyone about this, too. When the world is about to end, all the naysayers will come out of the woodwork and try to break everyone up.
    • Of course, Jude knows that none of his people are going go down this dangerous path. They need to stay faithful, pray, love God, and look forward to Jesus' coming.
    • As for the naysayers? Try to be nice to them, says Jude. Who knows? Maybe they'll come back into the fold and start thinking and doing the right thing.
    • Last but not least: lean on Jesus, says Peter.
    • And that's all, folks.