The Letter of Jude
“Judgment is Coming, Especially for False Teachers”
“He who saved a people of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe” (1:5).
The Letter of Jude is very similar to 2 Peter. The letter is a warning to believers that false teachers who have perverted the grace of our God into a license for sin will undergo a devastating, destructive judgment.
Turning the Grace of God into a License to Sin
Jude states that the faith had been delivered once for all to the saints (1:3). The believers were “once for all fully informed (1:5). This new teaching was a perversion. The new teaching was brought by false teachers who “pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (1:4). Some people perverted the grace of God and the work of Jesus on the cross into a license to sin. Their attitude was something like: “Our sins our forgiven, so let’s do whatever we want”.
The New Testament strongly condemns such an attitude (Romans 6:1-15, 1 John 3:4-10). Rather than promote sin, the grace of God through the work of Jesus on the cross condemns and defeats sin.
Examples of Judgment
Jude reminds his listeners that there is a devasting, destructive judgment in store for these false teachers, but also by implication for those who follow them. Jude gives several examples from the Old Testament to illustrate that judgment will eventually come.
- God brought Israel out of Egypt, but afterwards destroyed those (in the desert) who did not believe (1:5).
- Angels who “did not keep their proper position” have been kept in chains “until the judgement of the great day” (1:6).
- Sodom and Gomorrah acted immorally but were destroyed by an eternal (of an age) fire.
- Jude also mentions the “way of Cain”, “Balaam’s error” and those who perished in Korah’s rebellion.
All these serve as evidences and examples that God will judge wickedness. It is a great error to turn the grace of God and the work of Jesus into a license to sin.
Admonition to Stay Faithful, 1:17-23
Jude knows that a warning is needed, but hopes that his listeners can maintain their “holy faith”. He says believers should not be surprised that false teachers have arisen. The Lord Jesus and the apostles said this would happen (1:17). In the Old Testament, one reason that God allowed false prophets among the people was to test the people, to see if they loved God with heart and soul, or not (Deuteronomy 13:3). Likewise, one reason false teachers are around today is for our testing (2 Peter 2:1-3, 1 John 4:1).
“But you beloved…keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal (of the age) life” (1:20-21).
Bill & Stephanie Schlegel
(Editor’s Note: Yesterday, we provided some links to Bill’s website, Satellite Bible Atlas and trip to Israel. Today you might enjoy this interview with Bill from our friends at Restitutio. https://restitutio.org/2019/08/01/interview-53-why-knowing-the-land-of-israel-matters-bill-schlegel/.)