Book 26 - JUDE'S LETTER, TO AN UNKNOWN CHURCH
With people, places, definitions ......
Writer: Jude, the brother of James, and thus of Jesus
Date: c AD67, before the fall of Jerusalem in AD70
Where written: Possibly Palestine
Readers: A church, or number of churches of mainly Jewish Christians, perhaps in the Palestine area. Or in Assyria or Persia where Jude traditionally preached
Why: To warn against immoral teachers and heresies undermining their faith in Jesus
According to Some Modern Scholarship: Written by an unknown Christian towards the end of the 1st century or in to the 2nd.
Jude v1-2 - Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who have obeyed the call, who are loved by God the Father and kept in the faith by Jesus Christ - may you ever experience more and more of mercy, peace and love!
FALSE AND IMMORAL TEACHERS ARE AMONG YOU
Jude v3-4 - I fully intended, dear friends, to write to you about our common salvation, but I feel compelled to make my letter to you an earnest appeal to put up a real fight for the faith which has been once and for all committed to those who belong to Christ. For there are men who have surreptitiously entered the Church but who have for a long time been heading straight for the condemnation I shall plainly give them. They have no real reverence for God, and they abuse his grace as an opportunity for immorality. They will not recognise the only master, Jesus Christ our Lord.
THE PUNISHMENT AWAITING THOSE WHO DECEIVE
Jude v5-11 - I want to remind you of something that you really know already: and although the Lord saved all the people from the land of Egypt, yet afterwards he brought to their downfall those who would not trust him. And the very angels who failed in their high duties and abandoned their proper sphere have been deprived by God of both light and liberty until the judgment of the great day. Sodom and Gomorrah and the adjacent cities who, in the same way as these men today, gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion, stand in their punishment as a permanent warning of the fire of judgment. Yet these men are defiling their bodies by their filthy fantasies in just the same way; they show utter contempt for authority and make a jest of the heavenly glories. But I would remind you that even the archangel Michael when he was contending with the devil in the dispute over the body of Moses did not dare to condemn him with mockery. He simply said, the Lord rebuke you!
These fellows, however, are ready to mock at anything that is beyond their immediate knowledge, while in the things that they know by instinct like unreasoning beasts they have become utterly depraved. I say, Woe to them! For they have taken the road of Cain (who killed Abel, Genesis 4:8); for what they could get they have rushed into the same error as Balaam (killed by the Israelites, Numbers 31:8); they have destroyed themselves by rebelling against God as did Korah long ago (who rose up against Moses and was killed, Numbers chapter 16).
THEY COME AS TROUBLE-MAKERS
Jude v12-16 - These men are a menace to the good-fellowship of your feasts, for they eat in your company without a qualm yet they care for no one but themselves. They are like clouds driven up by the wind, but they bring no rain. They are like trees with the leaves of autumn but without a single fruit - they are doubly dead for they have no roots either. They are like raging waves of the sea producing only the spume of their own shameful deeds. They are like stars which follow no orbit, and their proper place is the everlasting blackness of the regions beyond the light. It was men like that Enoch (seventh descendant from Adam) prophesied (in the apocryphal book of Enoch) when he said: 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.'
These are the men who complain and curse their fate while trying all the time to mould life according to their own desires. They "talk big" but will pay men great respect it if is to their own advantage.
JESUS FORETOLD THE COMING OF SUCH MEN
Jude v17-19 - Now do remember, dear friends, the words that the messengers of Jesus Christ gave us beforehand when they said "there will come in the last days mockers who live according to their own Godless desires". These are the men who split communities, for they are led by human emotions and never by the Spirit of God.
CONTINUE IN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE; SAVE THOSE YOU CAN
Jude v20-23 - But you, dear friends of mine, build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith and by praying through the Holy Spirit keep yourselves within the love of God. Wait patiently for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which will bring you to the life eternal. For some of these men you can feel pity and you can treat them differently. Others you must try to save by fear, snatching them as it were out of the fire while hating the very garments their deeds have befouled.
A BEAUTIFUL BENEDICTION
Jude v24-25 - Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glory without fault and with unspeakable joy, to the only God, our saviour, be glory and majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before time was, now, and in all ages to come, amen.
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