Sunday School Bible Survey:      JUDE

Theme: Earnestly contend for the faith.

Key verse:
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).

From the Scofield Study Bible:

WRITER: Jude, the brother of James (vs. 1)

DATE: Probably A.D. 66

THEME: It is not so much Jude who speaks, as the constraining Spirit (vs. 3), and the theme is, "Contending for the faith" (Luke 18:8, refs.). In this brief letter the apostasy (II Thessalonians 2:3, note) of the professing church is predicted, and the cause and course described. As in Second Timothy and Second Peter the apostasy is treated as having already set in.

The Epistle is in five divisions:

  1. Introduction (vs. 1, 2)
  2. Occasion of the Epistle (vs. 3, 4)
  3. Apostasy is possible (vs. 5-7)
  4. Apostate teachers described (vs. 8-19)
  5. The saints assured and comforted (vs. 20-25)


  1. S. Maxwell Coder said, the beginning of the church age is recorded for us in the book of Acts, and the end of the church age is set forth in the little epistle of Jude.
  2. Dr. Coder said since the book of Acts is called "the Acts of the Apostles," Jude should be called "the acts of the apostates."
  3. Jude has been called "the vestibule to the book of Revelation."
  4. Warnings about apostasy are given all throughout the Bible. Isaiah the prophet wrote, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20).
  5. Isaiah said, "His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant" (Isa. 56:10—12).
  6. "That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits" (Isaiah 30:9, 10).
  7. Our Lord said in Matthew 7:15, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
  8. The apostle Paul said, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears" (II Tim. 4:3).
  9. Paul warned the elders of Ephesus, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock" (Acts 20:29).
  10. While there are hundreds of such warnings throughout the Bible, Jude is the only book in the Bible which is entirely devoted to the great apostasy which will take over all of Christendom before the second coming of Christ.
  11. Jude was the "brother of James" (vs. 1; cf. James 1:1; Acts 15:13; 21:18; Gal. 1:19).
  12. In Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3 we are told that our Lord had several half-brothers and half-sisters. The brothers' names are given: "James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas."

From J. Vernon McGee::

THEME: "Assurance in days of apostasy. The word for keep occurs 5 times (see verses 1, 6, 21, 24)."

"Jude was intending to write an epistle regarding our "common salvation" when the Spirit detoured him to write concerning the apostasy. It is a graphic and striking description of the apostasy. What was a little cloud the size of a man's hand in Jude's day is, in our day, a storm of hurricane proportions — because we are in the apostasy of which he foretold. It is a question now of how much worse it can become before genuine believers are taken out by the Rapture. Jude gives the only record in the Scriptures of the contention over the body of Moses. Also, only Jude gives the prophecy of Enoch. Jude affords a fitting introduction to the Book of Revelation."

Summary by Matthew Henry:

We have here,

  1. An account of the penman of this epistle, a character of the church, the blessings and privileges of that happy society (vss. 1, 2)
  2. The occasion of writing this epistle (vs. 3).
  3. A character of evil and perverse men, who had already sprung up in that infant state of the church, and would be succeeded by others of the like evil spirit and temper in after-times (vs. 4).
  4. A caution against hearkening to and following after such, from the severity of God towards the unbelieving murmuring Israelites at their coming out of Egypt, the angels that fell, the sin and punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah (vss. 5-7).
  5. To these the apostle likens the seducers against whom he was warning them, and describes them at large (vss. 8-10).
  6. Then (as specially suitable to his argument) he cites an ancient prophecy of Enoch foretelling and describing the future judgment (vss. 14, 15).
  7. He enlarges on the seducers' character, and guards against the offence which honest minds might be apt to take at the so early permission of such things, by showing that it was foretold long before that so it must be (vss. 16-19).
  8. Exhorts them to perseverance in the faith, fervency in prayer, watchfulness against falling from the love of God, and a lively hope of eternal life (vss. 20, 21).
  9. Directs them how to act towards the erroneous and scandalous (vss. 22, 23).
  10. Closes with an admirable doxology in the last two verses.

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —