Could you explain Jude 1:4? Because the translation of my Bible says “these men were predestinated to it.” So they had no choice?


"For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 4).

Sometimes subtle things are lost when statements are translated from one language into another. The question you should ask yourself is what was predetermined, the men or the condemnation? What you learn by going back to the original language is that it was condemnation or consequence of their behavior that was marked out long ago.

In this case, Peter in II Peter 2, discusses almost the same thing: "By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber" (II Peter 2:3).

Many times we see wickedness and wonder why God doesn't do something about it. Both Jude and Peter are telling us that God hasn't overlooked these wicked people. In fact, God declared the consequence of their deeds long ago. It will eventually catch up with them. They have a choice as to whether to continue their bad behavior or to stop. But they have no choice as to what God will do to them if they continue their bad behavior. There is no plea bargaining with God.

"Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I had said, "I will speak thus," behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me -- until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction" (Psalms 73:13-18).