Summary: an exposition of Jude 17-25
Islington Baptist Church November 26, 2000
The key call of the book of Jude is found in v.3 where it says “Contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints”
With all of our energy and strength we are to stand up for the Jesus who has been revealed to us in the Scriptures: His person and deity, his resurrection, his claims (such as his being the exclusive way to the Father in Heaven) , his miracles, and his teachings.
Jude’s call to contend for the faith is directly linked with this problem: the church he was writing to had been infiltrated by those who were denying Christ and teaching that because of God’s grace one could sin as they pleased. v.4
In v.5-16 Jude says a number of less than complimentary things about these infiltrators. He portrays them as Hell bound sinners in league with some of the worst sinners of all scriptures (Korah, Cain, the fallen angels, Balaam, the judged Israelites of the wilderness, the Devil himself, and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.)
As you I can readily attest: It’s not a good thing to be compared to or mentioned in the same breath as the ones I have just referred to.
A specific application for us that we talked about last week is this: You and I ought to do everything we can to avoid being connected with the individuals just mentioned. The sins of those just mentioned must not characterize us: (sexual immorality, grumbling, murmuring, slander, speaking against authority, money grubbing, flattery, taking advantage of others for gain)
Today we are going to finish the book of Jude up by considering v.17-25 READ
One of the things I want to draw your attention to in our text is the way in which Jude speaks to those to whom he has sent this letter:
-“as one ones are have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ”
On his part there is a deep Christ like affection for his hearers. Jude has also succeeded in making a clear distinction between his intended readers and these ones who have infiltrated the church and led, it seems, many into sin. They are the beloved, while the infiltrators are in essence the hated. Of them he is optimistic that they are going to be found faithful and true and on their way to Heaven—while on the flip side the end of the infiltrators is eternity in Hell.
By the way Jude writes he exudes a positive confidence, regarding his readers, “of better things in their case—things that accompany salvation” (note Hebrews 6:9)
Another thing I want to draw your attention to, before we really start to dig into today’s text is this: Note how Jude emphasizes the deity and Lordship of Jesus Christ in this book.
The ones Jude blasts are guilty of denying Christ. Jude in v.1, 4,17, 21, 25 hammers home in repeated fashion the deity and Lordship of Christ.
Take a look for a moment at v.5. Note the words “I want to remind you”. Now take a look at v.17 “remember the words…”. As he did in v.5 so Jude does again. He seeks to refresh our memories and take us down memory lane—that we might learn from the past.
Here in v.17-19 Jude calls us to remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold in regards to such evil men who had infiltrated their midst.
BIG POINT: The appearance of such sorts of men in the church should come as no surprise. Because: we’ve been warned ahead of time.
1. The appearance of scoffers, who according to 2 Peter 3 mock the imminent return of God to judge the world for sin, should come as no surprise to us
2. The appearance of ones in the church who follow their own ungodly desires (meaning that they have no fear of God or concern for His ways) and who indulge themselves in all manners of wickedness under the guise of grace, should come as no surprise to us.
3. The appearance of men and also women who seek to divide church’s (taking to themselves disciples and causing factions within the church) , should come as no surprise to us.
In I Corinthians 1 Paul had to deal with an early form of this when he said “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ” and then in ch.3:1 Paul essentially says to them “because of this you cannot be addressed as spiritual, but rather as worldly”