The Book of JUDE
James J. Barker
- If it were not for this little book of Jude, we would know practically nothing about Bible prophecy before the flood.
- We do know from the book of Genesis that Enoch was a godly man (Gen. 5:21-24; cf. Heb. 11:5, 6).
- And we know from the book of Genesis that Enoch was in some measure a prophet. I say this because he named his son Methuselah, which means, “When he dies, it shall come” (Gen. 5:21).
- This name appears to be prophetic. It was a strong warning to the antediluvian world that God’s judgment was coming. As soon as Methuselah died, the flood came.
- Now from the little book of Jude we learn more about this prophet Enoch. He is designated as “the seventh from Adam” (Jude 14). This distinguishes him from another Enoch, who was a son of Cain and therefore the third from Adam (Gen. 4:17).
- Luke also tells us that Enoch was the seventh from Adam (Luke 3:37-39).
- In verse 14, Jude says Enoch “prophesied of these,” i.e., the wicked apostates described so vividly in the preceding verses (Jude 3—13).
- Enoch’s prophecy deals specifically with the second coming of Christ. This is quite incredible when you consider that he lived about 3,000 years before the first coming of Christ.
- THE LORD IS COMING TO FULFILL PROPHECY
- THE LORD IS COMING TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT
- THE LORD IS COMING TO CONVINCE ALL THAT ARE UNGODLY
THE LORD IS COMING TO FULFILL PROPHECY (JUDE 14).
- Though Enoch was thousands of years away from its fulfillment, he could say with all authority and assurance, “Behold, the Lord cometh” (Jude 14).
- This is the third time in the Bible that we find these words, “Behold, the Lord cometh” (Isa. 26:21; Micah 1:3).
- The Lord is coming back. There are many reasons why the Lord must come back, and one of them is to fulfill prophecy.
- Some think that Enoch’s prophecy is taken from a book in the Apocrypha called “The Book of Enoch,” but this is not true. In fact, the evidence indicates that the Book of Enoch may have been written after Jude’s epistle.
- In any event, the Holy Spirit gave Enoch this prophecy, and He gave Jude this prophecy as well – “Behold, the Lord cometh…” And not only is the Lord coming back, but we are coming back with Him – “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints” (Jude 14b).
- A preacher was talking to a lady and he asked her if she was prepared to meet God. She said, “Yes, sir. I have a one-way ticket to heaven and I’m not coming back.” He replied, “Then you are going to miss a lot. I have a return ticket, for I am not only going to meet the Lord in the air, but I am coming back with Him (cf. Rev. 19:11-16).
- “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints” (Jude 14b). The saints (literally “holy ones,” and probably includes angels as well as believers) will come marching in, but if you “want to be in that number” you must be born again.
- Instead of coming back with the Lord and His glorious army of saints, some will be the objects of His wrath (Jude 15; Rev. 19:14-19).
- There are many worldly people drinking and dancing and singing, “Lord how I want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in,” but they will be trembling in fear when our Lord returns in judgment (Jude 15).
- This brings us to our next point.
THE LORD IS COMING TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT (JUDE 15).
- It is a fact that many worldly people are taking an interest in prophecy. Take a walk around a bookstore and you will see many books supposedly dealing with the end of the world, the battle of Armageddon, and other prophetic themes.
- Back in the 1970’s, the publishing world was surprised when Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth sold over 15 million copies. I read a recent report on the Internet that said 28 million copies had sold by 1990.
- More recently, Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind books have sold over 65 million copies. After 9/11, books on Bible prophecy were selling like hotcakes.
- But despite all of this interest in Bible prophecy, two facts stand out: First of all, most people are not going to the Bible for the answers to their questions. Most people are going to fortune-tellers, false teachers, religious cults, new-age charlatans, etc.
- Secondly, despite all of this interest in prophecy, most people do not believe that Jesus is coming back “to execute judgment upon all” (Jude 15).
- You will not hear Joel Osteen or Rick Warren or any of the popular TV or radio preachers preach from this text.
- Note the word “all” (Jude 14). It doesn’t say our Lord is coming back to execute judgment upon the terrorists or murderers or dope dealers or prostitutes. “All” means all lost sinners.
- This is one of the great themes of the Bible. The apostle Paul wrote in II Thessalonians 1:7-10, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.”
- Second Timothy 4:1 says Christ “shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing.”
- God is longsuffering and God is merciful, but His longsuffering and mercy have a limit.
- We often quote II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
- But let us not forget the very next verse says, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…” (II Peter 3:10).
THE LORD IS COMING TO CONVINCE ALL THAT ARE UNGODLY (JUDE 15).
- Jude uses the word “ungodly” four times in verse 15, and again in verse 18. He also uses it in verse 4.
- Psalm 1:4 says, “The ungodly are…like the chaff which the wind driveth away.”
- Psalm 1:6 says, “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
- What better word to describe our generation? A generation that has rejected the Bible, promotes evolution, and hates God.
- A generation that has rejected all Biblical restraints and Biblical morality…that promotes “gay marriage” and abortion.
- A generation that despises the Lord Jesus Christ.
- There are millions of lost sinners (and many of them are church members) in this world who claim to love Jesus, but Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
- Intellectuals tell us we have entered a so-called “post-modern” age, and that old-fashioned notions of right and wrong are no longer necessary.
- “Post-modern” is a useless word. I think the word “ungodly” is more appropriate. And Biblical. We are in a wicked, ungodly day and age and the Bible has much to say about it.
- Titus 2:12 says that we must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.
- Romans 1:18 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness…”
- There is another important word here and that is the word “convince” (Jude 15). The Scofield margin says, “convict.” Webster’s Dictionary says the word means, “to prove or find guilty.”
- In fact, the original 1828 Webster’s Dictionary quotes Jude 15.
- Finally, let us look at the expression, “and of all their hard speeches…” (Jude 15). The ungodly make “hard speeches” against God.
- The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 94, “LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard things?” (Ps. 94:3, 4).
- Jude answers these questions in Jude 15.
- Many years ago, an old Scottish pastor walked into a glass factory. His eyes immediately noticed one of the large furnaces, with its door wide open.
- The old preacher gazed into the furnace and saw the white, blue, and purple mass of liquid flame. The fire roared and it was so hot it nearly burned his face.
- Thinking no one was around, the preacher said: “Oh, and what shall hell be like?” But there was a stoker, the man who tended the furnace, standing in the shadows who heard him.
- A few days later that stoker came to church and walked up to the pastor. He said, “Every time I look into that fire I keep hearing your words, ‘Oh, and what shall hell be like?’”
- The stoker then told the pastor, “I have come here now to find the way of salvation so that I will not have to find out what hell will be like.”