Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote to warn the church about false teachers who had crept in unnoticed. These were Jesus-denying, sexually immoral people destined for judgment, and they were leading astray and taking advantage of those within the church.
Jude said they were the immoral among the moral, the unbelievers among the believers, the weeds among the wheat who would be punished with eternal fire.
He returned to that theme of judgment in vv. 14-16, our passage tonight.
We will read it and discuss it like always...
v. 14, “It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied...”
[Exp] Jude again used an example from the Pseudepigrapha, a group of Jewish traditional writings outside the canon of Scripture. Here he used 1 Enoch as an example of judgment that would befall the false teachers that had infected the church. He almost certainly referenced 1 Enoch earlier in v. 6 when he wrote of the angels who did not stay in their position of authority, but left their proper dwelling and are now kept in chains of gloomy darkness until the great day of judgment. That event is recorded in the Bible at the beginning of , but Jude no doubt interprets that even through the lens of 1 Enoch. Now he interprets the judgment that will befall these false teachers through the same lens.
Q: We’ve talked about this before, but how should we view these writings that Jude references? Should they be included in the canon of Scripture? Should we be reading, studying, and applying their teachings to our lives?
[App] That Jude would use such writings doesn’t mean that they should be considered Scripture. It does, however, mean that on this particular point 1 Enoch 1:9 (the portion of 1 Enoch quoted here) contains truth.
It’s similar to when Paul quotes the non-Christian poet, Aratus, in . His point wasn’t that Aratus’s writings were on par with Scripture. His point was simply that Aratus had a point. His writings weren’t entirely true, but they were true in that one point.
That’s how we should view Jude’s use of extrabiblical Jewish writings as well.
They are not on par with Scripture.
They are not entirely true.
They do, however, contain truth on certain points that Jude referenced.
[Illus] When I was interviewing for the youth minister position back at the church in Mississippi, I was asked this question, “Does the Bible merely contain truth or is it all true?” I of course said that it was all true, and the Bible is the only book you can answer that way about.
Other writings may contain a spot of truth here or a morsel of truth there, but only the Bible—the closed canon of God—breathed Scripture, is all true.
v. 14, “…Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied...”
[Exp] Enoch is the seventh descendent of Adam listed in . He walked with God unlike the false teachers about whom Jude warned. He was taken into God’s benevolent presence because of his walk with God (). The false teachers would be taken by God’s wrath because of their rebellion against him.
To prophesy is to deliver the word of God and the word delivered in vv. 14-15 is quoted from 1 Enoch 1:9, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 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.”
Q: What are some characteristics you notice about this prophecy of judgment in vv. 14-15?
It’s sudden. - “Behold” (v. 14)
It’s overwhelming. - “…the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones...” (v. 14)
says that the angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 Assyrians in one night. The angel of the Lord is of course a very special angel, but if one could slay 185,000 in a night, how much damage do you think ten thousands will wreak upon the wicked when they come with the Lord at his return?
It’s final. - They come “to execute judgement… and to convict… the ungodly...” (v. 15)
There will be no more opportunity to repent. No pleading in that moment will stay the Lord’s hand or change his mind. They resisted the conviction of sin that would’ve led to repentance. When the Lord returns, they will be convicted of eternal sin and pay an eternal price.
It’s focused. - “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.” (v. 15)
The judgment will be on the ungodly because of their ungodliness.
On the other hand, those made godly by the imputation of godliness through faith in Jesus, have no need to fear judgment. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” ().
If we are ungodly, our only hope is to trust in Jesus.
It’s inclusive. - “to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly”
Not a single ungodly individual will escape.
It’s personal. - “and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
The false teachers denied our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (). They denied him with their ungodly deeds and their ungodly words. When he returns, they will face his wrath.
[App] This is surely a judgment that we all want to avoid, but only the godly will avoid it. So, which of these two words do you think describes you best: godly or ungodly?
v. 16, “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.”
Q: What does a grumbler sound like?
Like one who complains under his breath.
Like the wicked wilderness generation who accused God of wrong and longed for slavery in Egypt once again. In God asked...
“How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.
Moses often interceded for this wicked generation, which stopped God from killing them immediately when they grumbled.
On the great day of judgment, there will be no one to intercede for these false teachers; no one to stay God’s hand.
Q: What is the difference between and grumbler and a malcontent?
A grumbler may grumble for a moment. A malcontent grumbles in every moment. They are perpetually dissatisfied.
Q: The ESV translation of v. 8 says these false teachers relied on their dreams. How did they follow their own sinful desires if they were relying on their dreams?
As sinners, we often dress up our sinful desires in more spiritual wares. This is not just true of false teachers but sinners in general.
[Illus] A friend from church went to college a good many years before my friends and I. We went to his apartment one evening just to hang out.
As we did, someone noticed his large sketch pad behind a closet or pantry door. Thumbing through it, they found sketch of naked women. We teased him about it, and he responded by saying, “The difference is, when you guys look at it, you see a naked woman. When I look at it, I see art!”
To which we said, “No you don’t! You see a naked woman too!”
As sinners, we’ve all done that. We’ve dressed up lies as truth. We’ve dressed up lust as love. We’ve dressed up pornography as art. We’ve dressed up sinful desires as enlightened perspectives.
Unless we repent, we will meet judgment just as promised to these false teachers.
Q: What hypothetical situation in the church today can you imagine in which someone might show favoritism to gain advantage?
James call this the sin of partiality (). What James warned about, happens in churches today just the same. He writes in ...
For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
He goes in in ...
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
The Lord Jesus will return and execute his judgment on the ungodly.
While we await his return, we must examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith—to see if there are signs of godliness that only result from faith in Jesus.
We must then pursue godliness.
And we must also flee every form of ungodliness because on account of such things the wrath of God is coming.