“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 12-13).
Compressed into five vivid word pictures, Jude graphically describes the sobering perils false teachers/change agents are to themselves and others.
They are doomed rebels: They are wandering stars headed for a spiritual black hole.
A wandering star is an anomaly. Typically, the lights in the firmament of heaven—the sun, moon, and stars—are most predictable in fulfilling their assigned task of marking days, seasons, and years.
A wandering (or shooting) star may briefly light up the night sky and impress the few stargazers who are watching, but its brief moment of fame is quickly over, and its eternal oblivion is irreversible.
Change agents—like Cain, Balaam, and Korah (v. 11)—get to do their own thing for a while, but their notoriety is temporary, and their infamy is eternal. Once they depart from this life, they are forever in a spiritual black hole with no possibility of return.
Spiritual dreamers are ungodly rebels without a noble cause.