The often neglected book of Jude is very pertinent in the day in which we live.
Jude who opens his short book by clearly identifying who he is, and his position before Jesus Christ, i.e. he is the brother of James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, and the half-brother of the Lord Jesus. However, with regard to his standing, no ‘brothers rights’ are assumed as he clearly positions himself as a bondservant of Jesus Christ.
Jude then goes on to identify those he is writing to by three attributes which we as believers today should be able to identify with. We indeed are ‘called’, ‘beloved', and ‘kept’. What a blessed position to be in, and one which should bring praise to our lips. This position believers in the Lord Jesus find themselves to be blessed with is in contrast to the characteristics highlighted by Jude of the false teachers, or apostates Jude seeks to warn them of in most of the remainder of this short epistle.
He exposes the false teachers by firstly highlighting their Doom in verses 5-7; and their Denunciation in verses 8-10. Finally he gives a detailed Description of them in verses 11-16.
With regard to the false teachers’ Doom, Jude gives three historic examples to demonstrate God’s judgement to those who do not believe as the Egyptians; those who challenge God, as the Angels did; and those who live Godless lives as those in Sodom and Gomorrah. Their ending is all similar in that judgement and destruction is inevitable, and such will be the end for false teachers.
Jude then Denounces, or publicly condemns the false teachers, characterising them as dreamers, and unreasoning animals who are defiled. They ‘reject authority’, ‘revile angelic majesties’, and ‘revile the things that they do not understand’. Is interesting to note that ignorance does not appear to be excusable!
We need to be on or guard against false teachers who can ‘creep in unnoticed amongst us’.
Next month we can look at some of the characteristics Jude identifies by describing these false teachers