By Nathan Jones
Will God really destroy those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.
Jude, Reminding of Judgment on the Unfaithful (Verse 5)
Vic Batista: We are continuing on with our study of the prophetic book of Jude as we talk about contending for the faith and divine warnings. So far this study has led us on a wonderful journey through the book "chapter-by-chapter," verse-by-verse, even though it's only one chapter long!
Nathan, in a previous segment you took us through verses 1-4 about contending for the faith. Jude warns us that there will be individuals who are going to be creeping into our churches and ministries unnoticed for the purpose of introducing apostasy. Long ago they were marked out by God to face condemnation. These would be ungodly men who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Church bears witness right now to this very happening, as false prophets and false teachers are coming into our congregations bringing in all sorts of heresies.
Nathan Jones: Jesus foretold in Luke 21 and Matthew 24 that false prophets, false teachers, and false christs would multiply the closer we came to Jesus' return. They are trying to water down the Gospel Message to confuse people so they don't really know about the biblical Jesus and that He's coming back soon.
To recap, Jude was the brother of James, a child of Mary and Joseph, and half-brother to Jesus. He came to accept the fact that his half-brother, Jesus, was actually the Son of God only after Jesus' resurrection.
As one of the leaders of the Early Church, Jude started warning his people that false teachers were going to come into their churches and they were going to deny Jesus Christ. These wolves in sheep's clothing would tell the people to just live however they wanted. God's moral law shouldn't matter to them. Their purpose in doing this was to get the people to not follow Jesus Christ, but in truth to follow Satan away from God. Satan knows that his time on this earth is short, so he's going to take as many people down to Hell with him as he can before his time finally runs out. Satan achieves this often by infiltrating the Church with false teachers who try to redirect seekers from the biblical Jesus and pull Christians away from their faith in God.
Vic Batista: Jude will now relay some divine warnings from God in verses 5-8. Nathan, continue to take us through this journey through the book of Jude.
Nathan Jones: Just a reminder that the book of Jude is only one chapter long. The whole book is pretty much a letter written by Jude to Christians, specifically for his own congregation.
"Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling — these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings."
Vic Batista: That's an amazing number of biblical references from the Old Testament.
Nathan Jones: Jude in this section gives us a number of real life examples concerning those he just warned us about in verse 4. He's talking about the lewd men trying to infiltrate the churches in order to destroy them. These ungodly people pervert the grace of God and they deny Jesus Christ. They've been around with true believers since the beginning of time like tares among the wheat.
The first "lewd man" is Satan himself. He was there in the Garden of Eden tempting Adam and Eve. Ever since Satan there have been different people and groups of people trying to destroy people's faith in God.
The first example Jude gives us is from Exodus when God sent Moses to bring His people out of slavery in Egypt. Even though God delivered all the Jews out of Egypt, there were quite a number of them who continue to be rebellious against God, such as Korah who lead a rebellion. He was one of the many who continued to rebel against God, and so God destroyed many of them. As a matter of fact, by the time the entire race of Jews reached the Promise Land some 40 years later, an entire generation had died out due to their rebellion. God knows how to weed out the tares from the wheat, so to speak.
Vic Batista: All the way throughout the Old Testament to the New Testament, there are divine warnings from the Lord. God gives His people reminders. Like verse 5 says, "I want to remind you." We humans easily forget what happened in the past, right?
Nathan Jones: That's true. We have to be reminded quite a lot.
It's of interest that Jude points out in verse 5, "afterwards destroys those who do not believe." Belief is always the key factor. Faith in God is the key factor for deliverance, for being saved, and for being rescued from the wrath of God. The wrath of God fell upon the Jews for their unbelief in the desert on their journey to the Promise Land. A whole generation, other than Joshua and Caleb, died.
In the fifth segment of our study of the book of Jude, he'll remind us in verse 6 that fallen angels will inevitably be judged.