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The Epistle of Jude • A New Translation for ‘Apostasy Rising’

For the second installment of my new sci-fi apocalyptic thriller Apostasy Rising, I wrote my own translation of the New Testament Epistle of Jude using the latest in biblical Greek scholarship and breaking out my Greek-translating chops still left over from graduate school.

I hope it inspires your own faith and life with Christ as you ‘contend for the once-for-all faith delivered, committed, entrusted to the saints.’

Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ, a brother of James.

To the beloved who have been called by God the Father and kept safe in Jesus Christ:

May mercy be yours and peace and love in abundance!

Beloved, while I was eagerly preparing to write to you about our shared salvation, I found it necessary to write and urge you to struggle and contend for the once-for-all faith delivered, committed, entrusted to the saints.

For certain people have secretly slipped in among you, whose condemnation was long ago written about, ungodly people, those who pervert the grace of our God into a license to engage in outrageous, debauched behavior and deny our only Sovereign and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Now, I want to remind you, although you were fully informed about this, that at one time the Lord, who saved his people from the land of Egypt, afterward he destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their own position of authority but left behind their proper dwelling, until the great judgment day he has kept them in eternal chains under the darkest of darkness. Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and all of the surrounding cities, which in exactly the same manner as they, lived immorally, indulging in sexual sin and pursuing unnatural fleshly desire—they serve as an example of suffering a punishment of eternal fire.

Nevertheless, in the same manner these dreamers defile their flesh, rebel against authority, and blaspheme the glorious celestial beings. But when the archangel Michael, when he was contending with the Devil himself and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare pronounce a judgment of slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these people defame what they do not understand, and those things they do not understand instinctively—just like irrational animals—by those things they are destroyed.

Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and into Balaam’s error they have abandoned themselves for wages, and into Korah’s rebellion they have been destroyed.

These people are stains on your Love Feasts, eating with you without a care in the world, stuffing themselves. They are waterless clouds swept along by winds. They are bare, fruitless autumn trees, twice dead and uprooted. They are wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shame. They are wandering stars for whom the gloom of darkness has been forever eternally reserved.

It was also prophesied about these ones by Enoch, the seventh from Adam, saying, “Behold! The Lord is coming with thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment against everyone, to convict everyone’s soul concerning the ungodly deeds they have committed in such ungodly ways, and concerning the defiant words that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These people are grumblers and fault-finders; they are pursuing their own lustful desires. And these loud-mouths speak with boastfulness, showing favoritism and flattery for the sake of gain.

But you, beloved, remember the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. For they said to you, “In the end times there will be mockers, scoffers who will pursue their own ungodly, lustful desires. These are those people who cause divisions, unspiritual ones, who do not have the Spirit.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ leading to eternal life.

On the one hand be merciful to those who are doubting, and on the other save others by snatching them out of the fire, and to others show mercy with fear—hating even the garments defiled and stained by the sinful flesh.

Now to him who is able to keep you free from stumbling and present you before his glorious presence spotless, blameless and with exceeding joy—to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power and authority, before all time, now and forevermore! Amen.

 

Copyright © 2019 Jeremy Bouma. All rights reserved.

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Apostasy Rising / Season 1 Episode 2

Ichthus Chronicles • Season 1

The Church’s Future is History

The year is 2123. The citizens of the world have united. Peace, prosperity, and progress reign supreme. Rising apostasy threatens to consume Ichthus, the last remnant of Christianity. And the Church’s most chaotic hour since the Protestant Reformation has dawned with the dissolution of the faith and creation of a one-world religious assembly, Panligo.

Standing at the center in this second episode continuing the epic story is a broken parish priest whose faith in the future of the Church is beginning to fray—and whose life has just been decimated by an act of terror. Only questions swirl around who perpetrated the act of persecuting violence. And evidence begins to surface of an old nemesis of Ichthus rising from the shadows to once again bring the Church to its knees. The only hope for Christianity’s future survival seems to be a lost religious order, and discovering its beginning and end means traveling back in time to visit one of Christ’s apostles.

Will the future Church survive forces threatening her from inside and out? Will Ichthus retrieve from history what it needs to survive the future? And will ordinary believers rise to do the impossible when the Church needs them most?

Ichthus Chronicles is an explosively inventive series that recasts the Christian struggle in a future world rife with social and religious challenges combined with technological and political change that feels close to home—inviting readers to experience the sacrifices and struggles to persevere unto victory in the face of hostile forces, both in the future and the past.

Not since the blockbuster Left Behind series has a story captured the heart of the Church’s mission in these last days—offering a unique, page-turning adventure that not only entertains through thrilling action and mysterious suspense, but captures the urgency of our own day and inspires for the journey of faith.

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