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Commentary On The Book Of Jude.

January 9, 2019

cropped-12301412301.jpg“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.” (Jude 1:1).

The basic’s is this for the writing of this very short epistle to believers in Jesus Christ, the defense of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Always remember thought the author as he penned the letter, God’s people may at times forget the value and importance of truth and it’s defense, the Devil never forgets. The Devil is the constant enemy of the truth of the Scriptures from Genesis 3:1-7 to the very day Jude penned his short letter. As the Apostle Peter penned in his own first epistle, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8). The enemy is never asleep not does he ignore the spreading of the truth of the Word of God. The story of the Fall of humanity into sin and rebellion is the story of the beginning of the devil’s war on and against the truth; he is the father of lies and corruption. The devil is not here to point to the best way to live a godly life. He’s here to destroy, corrupt, twist, and simply lie to the very core of his being about God’s Word. This was the purpose of this short epistle to the Christians he wrote for and was encouraging to defend the truth. The disciples of the devil and his doctrine had infiltrated the church, they were showing themselves to be shepherds of the truth and preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the truth of their hearts and motives were becoming known by their words and actions. They were wolves in the Church of Christ and preaching heresy, they were truly apostates in all meaning of that word and action. They confessed Christ, but it was not the Christ who walked the Earth and preached and taught the Word of God as the absolute truth.

The false teachers were nothing new for the Church of Christ to deal with. They began the moment Jesus showed up and announced His message. His name was Judas Iscariot. The other names to remember on that long list down through the history of Church of Christ, Simon Magus, (Acts 8:9-24), Elymas, (Acts 12:6-12), Hymenaeus, (I Timothy 1:20, II Timothy 2:17), Alexander, (I Timothy 1:20, II Timothy 4:14), and Diotrephes, (III John I:9). These are just a few names that are recorded for our benefit to understand that truth will always be under attack. The story of Ananias and Sapphira, (Acts 5: 1-11), is a good case for what happens when you threatened the truth and unity of the Gospel in Christ. These corruptors and twisters of truth were as recorded by the Apostle Paul, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause  divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and  by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17-18). The Apostle Paul continued in the same defense to the Church at Corinth, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And marvel not: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (II Corinthians 11: 13-14). The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in Ephesus, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness. He is  proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questioning and strife’s of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising’s, Perverse disputing’s of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself.” (I Timothy 6:3-5). The Apostle Peter spoke on the threat, “And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving’s while they feast with you. Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children. Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” (II Peter 2: 13-15). Jesus warned the Church via the twelve, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6: 46). Strong language from the very Word of God who brought the universe into being. (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-18; II Corinthians 4:4).

The New Testament throughout it’s pages from the beginning to the end warns about the threat and corruptive influence of false and apostate teachers in the Church of Christ. The Apostle’s Peter, John and Paul warned over and over in their letters of the threat of the false teacher’s and their doctrines of devils and worldly philosophies. This was the reason for Jude to sit down and pen his own warning against false teachers who had entered the church and spread their false and corruptive influence upon the Church of Christ. Jude condemns all false and compromising teaching. He pleads his case for doctrinal purity and defending the faith given to them by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. In our Postmodern world and cultures where truth is only your truth and not for everyone is highly praised as being tolerant and open-minded, Jude condemns it as a threat to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. The Apostle Paul warned his young pastor Timothy in Ephesus, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the later times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (I Timothy 4:1-2). The Apostles Peter and John warned about such false teachers in II Peter 2: I John 4:1-3, 2 John 1:7; Revelations 2:14-15, 20-24). Jude’s letter is a direct and forceful condemnation of the false teachers and leaders who had infiltrated the Church with their Gospel of some of Jesus Christ that was not the Gospel that was preached by the Apostles let alone by Christ Himself.

As Thomas R. Schreiner notes, ‘(Jude’s) message of judgment is especially relevant to people today, for our churches are prone to sentimentality, suffer from moral breakdown, and too often fail to pronounce a definitive word of judgment because of an inadequate definition of love. Jude’s letter reminds us that errant teaching and dissolute living have dire consequences.’ (1, 2 Peter, Jude, The New American Commentary, Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2003, pg 403-404).

Jude 1:3, “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 ya should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Questions arise then what was this faith once delivered to the saints? What is the common salvation? What and how do we contend for this faith? What is the faith of the Christian grounded upon and in whom are we to have faith in? The answer of course is in Jesus Christ and the Gospel He proclaimed and the Apostles preached and the Apostle Paul preached and wrote about. The common salvation was and is and will always be faith in Christ and Christ alone. What was delivered to the saints but the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified and His resurrection  from the dead. What did the Apostle Paul write to the Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). He also wrote, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Romans 6:6). He also wrote, “For I am determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (I Corinthians 2:2). The preaching of the cross of Christ is the message of the Gospel that Christ was crucified for the sins of the world and His resurrection proclaimed who He was. Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, was crucified for the sins of the world. That was why He came and why He was sent to the cross and the reason why the Apostle Paul preached so strongly on the subject and what Jude was warning his fellow Christians against forgetting.

The faith once delivered to the saints? Simply put, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For me are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10). The faith received and contended for is Christ and Christ alone. As the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy at Ephesus, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15). Timothy would eventually be killed for contending for the faith as Paul preached by an angry mob in Ephesus. Timothy would give his life for preaching Christ and Him crucified by showing himself a true and faithful servant unto death. Why so much pushing and pointing to the cross and the death of Jesus Christ? Again the Apostle Paul answers the question, “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18). Why such strong language about the cross of Christ? Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16). The cross of Christ is the central message of the Book of Jude. He reminded those hie wrote to the power of the faith and testimony that the apostles preached among them and what they must defend as those who heard the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The foundation of the Christian faith stands or falls on the message of the cross and Christ crucified.

Jude 1:4-8. “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the day of judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominions, and speak evil of dignitaries.”

To quote from John MacArthur’s own commentary on Jude, “Sound doctrine is under siege. In fact, it always has been.” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 2Peter & Jude, Pg. 157). From the Garden of Eden truth has been under attack, (Genesis 3:1-6). The Devil has been at war with truth since he uttered the first lie in the universe; he is after all the father of lies, (John 8:44). He is constantly attacking the truth of God and of His very word, (Acts 20:29-30; Ephesians 6:10-18). His tactics is distortion, deluding, destruction, and questioning the very idea that God meant what He said or will do. He is never not about his own business of corrupting the truth. As the Apostle Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8).  That is the enemy that the Christian is fighting and is to be always fighting on a daily basis for the truth. The truth is all important; the devil likes compromise. The Christian is mandated to stand up for the truth and defend the truth against the attacks of the devil and those in league with him and his desires to destroy all truth. Jude certainly and completely knew and saw what was at stake with his call for the defense of the Gospel given to them via the apostles. The letter he wrote was a battle cry to stand up and stand firm in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Word. He understood what the Apostle Paul understood and wrote about to the Church at Ephesus, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-13).

Both men understood the enemy. Both men spent their lives defending and declaring the truth and who the enemy was of that truth. Jude wrote about the false teachers who were already in the church and preaching a different Gospel than the one he or the other Apostles preached. The Apostle Paul warned the churches of Galatia, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you unto the grace of Christ unto another gospel. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before , I say now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9). Very strong language from the Apostle Paul against those who would preach any other Gospel of Jesus Christ other than the one he preached and proclaimed at the threat of his own life. That is how important the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was to the early church preachers and teachers. The letter Jude wrote was a call to defense against the early stages of the Gnostic doctrines of these false teachers and a call to defend against the teachings of Nicolaitanism which perverted grace and advocated immoral behavior, (Revelations 2: 6, 15). The New Testament author’s repeatedly throughout the Gospels, Epistles, and Pastoral letters warnings and the dangers from within and without to the faith given to them by the apostles, (Acts 20:28-32; II Corinthians 11:12-15; Galatians 1:6-9, 3:1-3; Colossians 2:8, 18-19; II Peter 2; I John 2:9-11, 18-22, 4:1-6; II John 7-11).

Jude 1:9-13. “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not; but what they naturally as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without water; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame, wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”

Jude fully saw and realized the great and coming danger that the apostates posed to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ let alone the truth of Scripture. Jude wrote to shout a warning and a battle cry to the true followers of the Gospel to ‘contend earnestly for the faith,’ (Jude 1:3a), he pointed out to battle for the pure and holy doctrine of ‘our common salvation’ against those who changed or distorted the Gospel and ‘crept in unnoticed’ (Jude 1:4), and a battle cry to see and recognize their false teaching before they cause the true Gospel of Jesus Christ turned into another heretical religion of gnostic thought. The short letter was to reveal and expose the face of the apostasy in the church. These apostates were so ungodly and so spiritually corrupts that the author used the most direct and condemnatory use of language he could use to explain the purpose of his letter. Jude in his short but to the Gospel defense point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ listed three characteristics of the heresy of the apostates in the church and three examples to past apostates, and to five comparisons to natural events. Let’s go back to Jude 1:8. This is a transitional point of the letter of Jude. The rule of thumb for apostates is their typical in ungodly behavior and character traits; just like the apostate Israelite’s, the fallen angels, and the perversions of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The vile and evil nature, works, and teachings of these men are often from their dreaming; this term that the author uses to identify the apostates as phony visionaries let alone teachers of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. These are teachers of false dreams and visions that puff up the teacher and corrupt the understanding of the listener. They were the preachers of the itching ears and willing to believe whatever doctrine that allowed them to not have to repent or change their lives. The heresy of the preachers of a corrupt version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the warning of this very short epistle.

Jude 1:8-10. Let me repeat a point of this letter of Jude. It’s a transitional moment in this letter. False teachers will always show their true lives by their ungodly traits. They follow the traits of all those who corrupt the truth of Scripture as shown by the history of the Israelite’s who abandoned God’s word, of the fallen angels who rebelled against the sovereignty of their Creator, and of the corrupting of the natural flesh of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. These men that Jude writes about have corrupted their lives via their wicked dreaming. Jude is pointing out who these ungodly and false visionaries are to his readers that they are dealing with false teachers who are claiming that their authority is the truth from God. These false teachers claim ‘new’ divine truths and revelations but in fact they are preaching against the truth of Christ. Stand up and against these false and wicked preachers and teachers of a truth they have rejected for their own glorification. Stand up against these false teachers of lies and distortions of the message of Christ and His message. False and heretical teachers such as Joseph Smith, (1805-1844), founder of the false and corrupted religion of Mormonism would fall under this epistles attack against ungodliness. The Book of Mormon claims to be another Gospel of Jesus Christ, what did the Apostle Paul write about such preaching, writing to the church’s in Galatia, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though, we or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so I say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9).

Joseph Smith fits the very definition of apostate and corrupter of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Read the story of Joseph Smith, see what his theology of corruption has created in a church that is not the truth of the message that Jesus Christ taught the early church let alone what the apostles taught; certainly not what the Apostle Paul preached and wrote. The entire Book of Galatians condemns the entire Book of Mormon let alone it’s theology of works for salvation, and their teaching against the Godhood of Jesus Christ. This is what Jude was warning about. This is the warning that the Apostle Paul warned about to the Colossians,, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” (Colossians 2:18). What is Paul’s admonition to the Church of Jesus Christ, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (I Timothy 4:1-2). Also to Timothy, “Study to thew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (I Timothy 2:15). What are these men of the Gospel of Jesus Christ admonishing us to do but to defend against error and false teaching. What are we defending but the truth of Scripture, what is Scripture? The Apostle Paul answers the question via the Holy Spirit, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (I Timothy 3:16-17).

Jude 14-16. “And Enoch also the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouths speaketh great swelling words, having men’s person in admiration because of advantage.”

Modern Western Culture and Society has no room anymore for the concept of judgement and of the doctrine of hell as the final place for the ungodly. It’s the new age of tolerance and complete acceptance of whatever lifestyle one wants. Eternal and final punishment for the ungodly is a taboo subject even in some church’s. The Post-Modern worldview and lifestyle is that everything and everyone is good and no such thing as right  and wrong really and that there is no fear of an after-life because it’s either there or it’s not there. Live today and enjoy life for tomorrow we die and enjoy some vague after-life or rot in the grave. The Post-Modern Society philosophy is that life is your own and no one is going to judge you about anything. Tragically the political correctness of Post-Modern thought and doctrinal corruption of even the Church has caused godliness to grow and corrupt the very core of it’s beliefs; the corruption even has and is within the Evangelical Church even to the point where hell is a theological embarrassment. The Church in areas of the defense of the Scriptures have watered down basic truths such as eternal punishment in hell. God is love and they stop their with their message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the point that the message of the Bible and God’s view of judgment has been changed and altered to make Society feel better about dying and death. God’s judgement upon sin has become a secondary concern to many Church’s and it shows in the way Society behaves.

God’s Word is direct and too the point on the coming reality and truth of the judgement of the ungodly in society and their eternal future. Enoch was not the only one proclaiming and preaching against the ungodly and their possible future. Just a few verses to make the point, Genesis 6-8, 18:1-33, Deuteronomy 28:15-68, Isaiah 1:3, 5:13-23, Jeremiah 2-9, 46-51, Ezekiel 20:33-44, 25-32, Joel 3:12-16, Zechariah 12:2, 9, 14:2, Malachi 3:2-6.Matthew 12:36, 25:31-46, Luke 12:48, Acts 5:1-11, Romans 14:10-12, I Corithians 3:12-15, 5:5, II Corinthians 5:10, Galatians 6:7, Colossians 3:24-25, Revelations 6-20. The history of both kingdom’s of Judah and Israel show God and His judgement upon ungodly behavior. Sounds like judgement to me and anyone who reads scripture with eyes open and listening to the Holy Spirit. God is and will always be the final judge of human affairs. He judges with death and He judges with eternal judgement with separation from Him for all eternity. The writer’s of the New Testament is quit clear and straightforward about future judgement of the ungodly.

God is just and His justice does have a time limit. His eventual justice upon the earth does relate and pinpoint to future events. Certainly the Second Coming of Jesus Christ being a future event that should be not forgotten by the Church; though one gets the impression it is being regulated to the tail end of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Read and the Apostle Paul’s message to those hearing him at Athens, Acts 17:31, “Because He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” Other verses, Matthew 24:29-30, Romans 2:5-8, 16:2, II Peter 2:9b. God will judge the world in justice and righteousness also very public; Christ will call to account all the nations of the earth, “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another; as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:31-32). This is a judgement where no one’s sins will go unpunished who are not of His sheep. God will judge justly and impartially, Romans 2:11, Galatians 2:6. The Apostle Paul wrote much on the coming judgement of the unrepentant to the Church at Rome, Romans 1:21-31, 2:1-3. Judgement is coming for the ungodly by God who has given to His Son Jesus Christ the full authority to judge, John 5:22, 27). His warnings about judgement are just that for sinful humanity, warnings of coming eternal punishment, Exodus 20:20, II Corinthians 7:1, Hebrews 10:27, 11:7, John 19:8, Acts 24:25. The Lord Jesus Christ warned people, Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” God’s judgement is also based on His Law, Deuteronomy 27:26, Romans 2:12, 3:19, Galatians 3:10, James 2:10. The human heart is sinful and deceitful and wicked at it’s core, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:10-18, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 2:1-3. We are not able to keep His perfect Law no matter how hard we try, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 7:5, 8:7. We are rebellious by nature, Psalms 78:10, Isaiah 30:9, Jeremiah 9:13. Everyone violates His perfect Law, Romans 3:23, James 2:10. Basically despite what Post Modern man wants to think about himself, we are deserving of judgment, II Thessalonians 1:6-8, and the ungodly will get it. Jude wrote about the Post Modern Man as much as he did for his audience he addressed the letter to.

The Book of Enoch. The disciple and brother Jesus knew about the Book of Enoch and probably read and studied it; maybe even at the suggestion of his older brother. But the book was known for about two other years before the Epistle of Jude was penned and read and eventually placed into the canon of Scripture. This quotation from the Book of Enoch by Jude underscores the basic fact that there was an ancient prophecy from this seventh generation from Adam and makes its point that God’s final judgement was going to come upon sinful man one day. The Lord will indeed come in judgement, He will not come alone in that judgement, and He will come to execute and make known His judgement on those who deserve judgement because of their wickedness. The sinful and prideful wickedness of man was going to be judged and not allowed to continue forever. These sinful and wicked people refers to the apostates whom Jude in his epistle writes about in great condemnation. These are false visionaries , they boast about their spiritual authority as if God were impressed with them, their men of wicked ways they have no shame of, brute beasts of no morality completely ruled by their fleshy instincts and desires, Basically these are wicked and unrepentant humanity. This was Enoch’s prophecy even before the Flood of Noah. The prophecy of Enoch is not recorded in the Book of Genesis but the Holy Spirit of God who was there inspired and lead this brother of the Lord to use it in his letter, (II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:20-21). Jude had read Enoch somewhere within his education. (Jude used Enoch as the message of Enoch was passed down through stories and oral teaching until it was finally put into a book form to be read. Book of Enoch was not the only book Jude had knowledge of that was not part of the Old Testament canon and that he used would be ‘The Assumption Of Moses’ which is were  Jude 1:9 is quoted from).

Jude 17-23. “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who would walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference. And others save with fear , pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

Jude’s short epistle comes to the point that there is one important question and stand for the believer in Jesus Christ living in the world and contending for the faith. How can the believer in Christ fight for and defend the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the age of great persecution and false teachers and those who simply corrupt the Scriptures for their own benefit. The statement is simple, how do they like ourselves apply Jude’s warning to the raging apostasy of today’s Post-Modern world view that has penetrated the even the Church? The Lord Jesus Christ’s preaching and even warnings were spoken with the full force of God’s Word, we as believers are at war with the World and it’s rulers in and of darkness. We are at war with a philosophy that preaches that broad is the way of truth and life and salvation whereas Christ preached a narrow way, “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14). He preached and pointed to eternal damnation and eternal life. Jesus taught His followers were at war with the kingdom of Satan as they belonged to the kingdom of God, (Matthew 13:38), we are at war with love and hate, we are at war with the worlds wisdom and philosophy of what truth and life are about. He preached absolutes, where the Post-Modern World’s philosophy is there are no absolutes in anything let alone ways to heaven; if you believe in one anyway. The modern church has become less and less about the Gospel and it’s preaching let alone defense and more about tolerance of the creeping influence of the society it’s suppose to be preaching against and fighting the war of spiritual darkness that seeks the Church’s destruction. The power of Scripture has been placed behind the all important image of the Church as being all welcoming and tolerant of those who literally wish it to change it’s faith and doctrines to make the world comfortable and feel less judged. The church is suppose to change the culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not with the idea that it can be changed by tolerating the worldly and carnal nature of the world and a little of the Gospel sprinkled into the message when it suits the believer and the world is not offended. The modern church seems to have forgotten what James, the other brother of the Lord, wrote in his own epistle, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4). You cannot mix the Gospel with the philosophy of the world which will always be contrary to God’s Word.

To think that the modern church can be part of the worlds idea of truth let alone be part of the world’s philosophy of who and what God has written is the warning of James’s epistle let alone his younger brother Jude’s epistle. The Church’s current lack of real and in-depth discernment stems from a true failure to properly study and interpret the Scriptures as the Word of God that it is. Lazy and half-hearted, half-believed, exegetical sloppiness-carelessness-laziness, and the general belief and attitude of indifference to the God of Scripture let alone the Scriptures of God have corrupted and dragged the believer into countless errors. The church has become lazy and practically ignorant of Scripture and knows just enough to sound like they read something. What happened to the idea of searching the Scriptures like the Church at Berea in the Book of Acts, (Acts 17:11). What happened to the admonishment of the Apostle Paul that he wrote to Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15). What happened to the idea of searching the Scriptures and finding the truth of things and defending it? What happened was that the Church simply became lazy and indifferent to defending the Gospel and the Scriptures for listening to someone else telling them what something means and should be applied to the Christian life. Spiritual maturity has become far and in-between in the modern church and replaced with listening to someone else and their thoughts and opinions on Scripture and it’s application in daily life. The Church has too many people writing books on Scripture and too many treating those books as if they were in the Bible. They know more about the books of popular Christian authors than the letters of Paul, Peter, James, and even Jude. The Church of Christ has created popular author’s from writer’s who have taken from the original authors, Jesus-Paul-Peter-James-Jude-John, their ideas and made them their own. The modern author is not Scripture but an opinion on Scripture. Jude has more to say about the modern church than any modern author will ever pen because it was inspired and written via the Holy Spirit of God to warn the Church of Christ of the dangers from the worldly corruption and ungodly influence of the Post-Modern World view that too many modern Christians think can be part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and some act as if even better than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jude’s warning is still in effect for the modern Christian.

But Jude also knew to write encouragement to those who were standing fast to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. He knew that most of the Church of Christ, like the Church at Berea, was studying the Scriptures for the truth of his statements like they did for the Apostle Paul. The Church of Christ is commanded to contend for the faith once delivered unto the church by the apostles and James in his letter and Jude in his. Study to shew thyself approved unto God! Study! Study! Study! Search the Scriptures and search them completely and without fear. Get to know the author of the Scriptures who will not led you into error! Jesus told the Pharisees to search the Scriptures for the truth of His own statements, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39). Jesus Himself told those who wanted to believe in Him and or His words to search the Scriptures and see for themselves the truth of His life and message. Jude, James, Peter, and the Apostle Paul constantly commanded that one be ready for a defense of what the faith given to the Church of Jesus Christ. The Church of Christ has fallen very far from this commandment and simply study just enough to get by. The Church of Christ needs to return to the study of Scripture not the works of those debating and commenting on the written Word of God. The Holy Spirit of God inspired Jude’s warning to the church of his time and the modern church of the Post-Modern Philosophy that there is no one truth, no one way, and no one life! For the Church in Jude’s time and our own, the Christian today must be ready and willing to discern and defend and even guard themselves from believing in heresy and going astray and continue walking down the path of sanctification in and by Christ alone.

Jude 1:24-25. “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the very Scriptures themselves are absolutely essential, important, and building blocks of the foundation of and for the redeemed. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the doctrine of the believer’s eternal security; also known as the perseverance of the saints of Christ. The acts of the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ-justification, regeneration, conversion, adoption-could never be fully understood or appreciated or eternally thankful for if the idea of the complete and absolute security of salvation in Christ and Christ alone was not forever. The belief and standing firm on the foundation of the Christian life as the sole road to salvation in and by the sacrifice of Christ. The point, Christ and Christ alone is our salvation and in no other name. If our salvation was up to our own works or abilities on any level we would fail every time. If our righteousness was enough then Christ died for nothing. If our righteousness was without enough sin then Christ was crucified for nothing. If we are saved by anything that we can or could do then the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ was a lie and utterly useless for anything. We are saved by His righteousness and His alone. The Apostle Paul said it well, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death.” (Romans 7:24). The Apostle Paul understood all to well the utter useless and pitiful showing of our lives if our salvation was up to us in any way. Complete salvation is not based on our works as believers and we as believers should be very thankful that we have nothing to do with our salvation.

Our salvation is the foundation of the unchanging person of and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8). What was the plan for our salvation? “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover who He did predstinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and who He justified, them He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30). He promised, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised.) What is this power of this salvation by grace, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16). What is the provision given to the believer in Christ, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (II Corinthians 5:21). The Apostle Peter wrote, “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going stray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (I Peter 2:24-25). Our salvation is in Christ and only in Christ and His righteousness and that was the warning that Jude wrote about in his short letter to the churches. The final authority of your salvation is Christ’s righteousness and He and He alone is your foundation to stand on. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Again the Apostle Paul, For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 3:11). Again to the Ephesians, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.” (Ephesians 2:20). Your works has no part in the foundation of your salvation in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In conclusion. Our salvation is not ours to obtain by our own labors but by the labors of Christ on the cross. This was the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Jude was proclaiming and making it known that it was the Churches duty to defend and proclaim. The Epistle of Jude is a call to study, to defend, to preach the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God; not sit around and wait for others to do it. The Scriptures are under attack and being corrupted by the enemies of the truth from the very beginning this war has been going on and it will continue until Christ returns. The Church is at war and it better understand that it’s at war without and even from within. This is what the whole point of the Epistle is about-defend the truth! Defend the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as preached by the apostles, by the Apostle Paul, by those who followed and those who gave their lives for that Gospel preached by Jesus Christ Himself. The modern Church seems to have forgotten it’s mission and part of that mission is to study and defend the Scriptures as given to us by the Holy Spirit for the reason of living a godly life. The Epistle of Jude is a trumpet call to the modern Church of Christ that it is forgetting it’s Great Commission and who it is that is the reason the Church is in the world. The modern Church is forgetting that’s job is to change the culture toward Christ and not think it can change the culture via the same culture it is trying to change. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Jude was reminding the Church that it’s sole duty and purpose in why it is here. The history of the Church of Christ entering a very dangerous time in human history where truth is only relevant to the individual and there is no absolute truth to anything. That is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the apostles died for nor the Apostle Paul was beheaded over. The Epistle of Jude is a warning to the modern church that it is in danger of allowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be corrupted beyond meaning anything let alone absolute truth. Our children’s eternal future are at stake. What have we left them to believe in or defend? What will they say to us this future generation when they have very little or nothing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ left to study let alone defend when we are not defending it now? Are we defending the Gospel of Jesus Christ once delivered to the early Church? Is it?

“We must seek the truth, love it, defend it, and hand it down uncorrupted to our posterity.” Philip Melanchthon.

REFERENCES/RECOMMENDATIONS

The Bible.(KJV).

The Cross Of Christ. By. John R. W. Stott.

The Message Of Acts. By. John R. W. Stott.

The Message Of Ephesians. By. John R. W. Stott.

Paul: A Man Of Grace And Grit. By. Charles Swindoll.

Paul. By. Gunther Bornkamm.

Paul. By. Edgar Goodspeed.

William Tyndale: A Biography. By. David Daniel.

William Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God An English Voice. By. David Teems.

John Knox: Fearless Faith. By. Steven J. Lawson.

Early Christian Writings. (Penguin Classics).

Early Christian Doctrines. By. J. N. D. Kelly.

Theology: The Basics. By. Alister E. McGrath.

Christianity’s Dangerous Idea. By. Alister E. McGrath.

Learning Theology With The Church Fathers. By. Christopher A. Hall.

Reading Scripture With The Church Fathers. By. Christopher A. Hall.

The Search For the Twelve Apostles. By. William Steuart McBirnie.

The MacArthur New Testament 2 Peter & Jude. By. John MacArthur.

Saved Without A Doubt: Being Sure Of Your Salvation. By. John MacArthur.

A New Handbook Of Christian Theology. By. Donald W. Musser, Joseph L. Price.

The Books Of Enoch: The First Book Of Enoch, The Second Book Of Enoch, The Third Book Of Enoch, The Book Of Fallen Angels, The Watchers, And The Origins Of Evil. By. Joseph B. Lumpkin.

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