Summary: The nature of false teachers
February 19, 2012
This is just the bare outline of the text. You can listen to the details of this sermon here.
Read Jude before beginning this chapter.
God promises false prophets will infiltrate the church (:1-3)
But there were false prophets also among the people,
Among the Jews in the Old Testament (cf. 1:21).
even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them,
The Greek word for Lord is δεσπότης (despotes). We get our English word “despot” from it.
The fact that they are bought does not mean they are redeemed. It simply means they are the property of the despot.
In other words, they deny that God has any sovereign rule over them even though He is their rightful owner, ruler, etc.
and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:
They lie to you to make money off of you.
whose judgment now of a long time
The Greek word for “now of a long time” only appears here and in 3:5. Think about this along with Gen. 1:1. In other words, their judgment is as old as the heavens! It,
Their judgment is not inactive. It is currently pending.
and their damnation
They think things will never change, but judgment is not sleeping or negligent.
Does it seem to be the opposite? Does it ever feel like God lets the guilty go unpunished and like maybe He’ll never return?
God reminds us that He delivers the righteous out of temptations and reserves the wicked for judgment (:4-9)
4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
You can’t forget the contrast between the wicked and the righteous. Here we see angels that sinned were cast down to hell. They will stay there, guarded carefully, in chains of darkness because they have an appointment with judgment!
Now skip ahead and read verse nine.
Were the angels out of God’s control? Did He lose His authority as their Despot? Did He fail to deliver them out of temptation?
God is no liar, and neither is He a failure. Everything happened exactly as He willed it to happen.
5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
This word for saved means “to guard” something. The sinning angels are guarded carefully unto judgment, and Noah was guarded carefully unto salvation.
There’s a stark contrast between Noah and the old world. Noah was righteous because he was a partaker of the divine nature; the rest of the world was ungodly and suffered judgment!
6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;