Tag Archives: Jude

Video: A sermon on the book of Jude — A glorious salvation and refuting false teachers

I love the book of Jude.  So many great messages in just 25 verses, and still so relevant!  He perfectly describes the “Christian” Left false teachers of today while opening and closing with magnificent passages about all that Jesus has done and will do for us.  I gave this message when our pastor was sick.  I had less than 24 hours notice plus a Saturday evening commitment to fulfill, so cut me some slack :-). And for some reason they had a glaring light right next to the screen in back, which was less than ideal.  But I still loved being able to share these truths.

Note: This was at a former church that I can no longer endorse.  Short version: They had really sound theology . . . until they didn’t.  Then they got way off track and we had to leave.

Jude 7 and “other flesh”

The Book of Jude is a phenomenally accurate take-down of the “Christian” Left.  In only 25 verses it describes these false teachers perfectly.  One of their lies is that the “sin of Sodom” was just in-hospitality.  They quote part of Ezekiel to justify this and ignore all other references to Sodom, including the primary Genesis account.  Sadly, most people don’t bother to read the Bible themselves and are all too happy to swallow the worldly and un-biblical view of these wolves.

Jude 7 is one of the passages they ignore or twist to their ends:

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Kevin DeYoung has a great response to this in What Does Jude 7 Mean By “Other Flesh”?:

Having said all that, I still see good reasons to accept the traditional interpretation and conclude that Jude 7 is a reference to the sin of homosexual behavior.

1. This interpretation is in keeping with prevailing Jewish norms in the first century. Both Josephus and Philo not only condemn relations that are “contrary to nature,” they explicitly understand Genesis 19 as referring to homosexual acts.

2. As a striking example of sexual immorality, it would certainly be more relevant in a first century Greco-Roman context to warn against homosexual behavior as opposed to the non-existent temptation to have sex with angels (cf. 2 Peter 2:6).

3. It would be strange to refer to attempted sex with angels as pursuing other “flesh.” Of all the ways to reference angels, the very physical, human, and earthly sarx seems an odd choice.

4. The men of Sodom did not know they were trying to have sex with angelic beings. Even if sarkos heteras could be taken to mean a “different species” (and I don’t think it does), the men of Sodom had no idea that that is what they were pursuing. Isn’t it more likely to think they were guilty of pursuing sex with other men (as they saw them), then that they were guilty of pursuing sex with angels (which they did not understand)?

5. If pursuing “unnatural desire” is a reference to seeking out sex with angels, how do we make sense of the beginning of verse 7 which indicts Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities of this sin? Were Admah and Zeboim guilty of trying to have sex with angels? It makes more sense to think that Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities all had a reputation for sexual immorality and that one flagrant example of such sin was homosexual practice. This is why the parallel passage in 2 Peter 2:7-8 can depict Lot as greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of these cities. They had a reputation for lawlessness which did not rely on angels to be manifested.

In short, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region was not just a one-time attempted gang rape of angelic beings, but, according to Jude a lifestyle of sensuality and sexual immorality, at least one aspect of which was exemplified in men pursuing the flesh of other men instead of the flesh of women

 

The book of Jude

Have you ever heard of a false teacher preaching from the book of Jude? It isn’t likely, because Jude takes them to task.  It comes just before Revelation at the back of the Bible.

It is only a page, so just take a couple of minutes to read this and you will have completed a whole book of the Bible!

It was written by Jude (surprise!), one of Jesus’ half-brothers. He is modest in his introduction. He could have done the ultimate in name-dropping (“It’s me, Jesus’ brother . . .”).

The general theme of Jude is to avoid false teaching. He highlights past examples of false teaching and examples from his time then gives guidance on how to avoid it and achieve victory over it.

It is interesting that the church was only a few decades old and false teachers had already slipped in. Most of the New Testament letters correct false doctrine, and Jesus himself spent a lot of time blasting the false teachings of the Pharisees. More verses on the importance of sound doctrine and rooting out false teachers can be found here.

Jude highlights the doom of people without Christ, and encourages believers to persevere in their faith.

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Judgment on False Teachers

3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

God is serious about sound teaching.  Many theological liberals mock the need for understanding scripture properly.  Ironically enough, that is more evidence of their credentials as wolves in sheep’s clothing.  The apostate denominations teaching all sorts of perversions are the same ones denying the deity and exclusivity of Jesus.  No surprise there.

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

I thought it was very interesting how the ESV said it was Jesus who saved the Israelites in Egypt.  Of course I know that Jesus is God and there are countless other verses to support that, but I didn’t know that the earliest and best manuscripts had “Jesus” instead of the less specific “Lord” in verse 5.

Verse 7 references the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sexual immorality and perversion. This and other Bible passages show how rampant, unrestrained homosexuality was the real sin of these towns, despite some revisionist claims that their real sin was inhospitality. It is true that inhospitality was a serious social error in those times, but God isn’t in the habit of annihilating multiple cities because humans violate their own customs. If you read the original account in Genesis 19 it is clear that to call the citizens’ behavior “inhospitality” would be a gross understatement.

8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Verse 11 has three references to Old Testament passages: Cain, who offered the wrong kind of worship to God and killed his brother out of jealousy, Balaam, who pretended to serve God out of greed and encouraged others to sin, and Korah, who rebelled directly against Moses and indirectly against God.

Verses 14-16 point out how serious rebellion is and how it will eventually be judged.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Note the repetition of  “ungodly” four times.

A Call to Persevere

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

The last section emphasizes perseverance, or staying the course. Living the Christian life can be very hard at times, but we can trust that everything works out for the best in the end. Focus on Christ and living for him and you won’t have any regrets.

This all applies today like it did 2,000 years ago.  Verse 21 emphasizes that Jesus brings us eternal life. Thanks be to God for that!

Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

That is magnificent ending to this short book.  Jesus will indeed present his followers as blameless before God.  That is the real Gospel: Jesus died for our sins and rose again.  He is the one true God who is over all things.

False teaching is rampant in the church today.  The cure is to be intimately familiar with the truth.  Study God’s word as much as you can, and be ready to share the truth in love.  Because eternity matters.

Jude overview

This reading is Jude.

Jude is only one page, but it covers a lot of topics. Sometimes a little background information or further study will be in order to be able to understand the references. We’ll cover it in two segments. It is another book worth reading twice. It comes just before Revelation at the back of the Bible.

It was written by Jude (surprise!), who is generally thought to be a half-brother of Jesus. He is modest in his introduction. He could have done the ultimate in name-dropping (“It’s me, Jesus’ brother!”)

The general theme of Jude is to avoid false teaching. He highlights past examples of false teaching and examples from his time then gives guidance on how to avoid it and achieve victory over it.

It is interesting that the church was only a few decades old and false teachers had already slipped in. Most of the New Testament letters correct false doctrine, and Jesus himself spent a lot of time pointing out the false teachings of the Pharisees. More verses on the importance of sound doctrine and rooting out false teachers can be found here.

Jude highlights the doom of people without Christ, and encourages believers to persevere in their faith.

We’ll go over some specific verses next time. In the mean time, be encouraged by verses 24-25:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

The next reading is Jude (again).