Jude, the brother of James and the brother of our Lord, makes an uncompromising declaration: sinners will be judged. The word “sinner” (Greek, “hamartolos”) is used for an archer missing the target or for a traveler leaving the familiar road and taking twisted paths that cause him to lose his way. The word denotes one devoted to sin by choice. A transgressor whose thoughts, words and deeds are contrary to God’s eternal laws.
This passage teaches us that each person’s deeds, ways, and words must be accounted for. The terrifying and inescapable truth is that Jesus is returning to judge sinners. However, for the believer, that promise becomes eternal hope— “So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:11, 12).
It is we who sin, but it is Jesus who removes the sin that would eternally cling to us. We need not fear. The Lord saves us now and will keep us at His return.