Part 14 – Don’t Be Like Them
Jude won’t let up on these false teachers, and considering the heresies that they are propagating (denying the full humanity and full divinity of Jesus Christ; using and abusing God’s transforming grace as a means to continue to live in blatant sin; and denying justification by grace), you can’t blame Jude for pounding hard on their false teaching.
In the first two verses for this week (Jude 1:14-15), Jude shares a very unusual prophecy from Enoch – the seventh from Adam – the Enoch who ‘walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away’, as it says in Genesis 5:24, and this prophecy is found in a non-biblical book called “The Book of Enoch” or “1 Enoch”. This raises the question as to why Jude would quote from a book that was not inspired by the Holy Spirit? The reason he did is for the same reason that Paul quoted from well-known pagan poets in Acts, and the reason both Jude and Paul do so is simply because their readers/listeners would be acquainted with these writers or writings and that would just help illustrate their point.
Jude isn’t saying that the Book of Enoch is inspired, but it was a book that was well-known among the Jews at that time. Furthermore, the prophecy that Jude shares from Enoch – regarding the Lord returning with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones to judge everyone is verified in other accepted biblical books, so in this case, what Jude is sharing is ‘true’.
The point being: God will judge the false teachers and all unbelievers who were causing trouble in the churches Jude was writing to, as well as the unbelievers in our day. In verse fifteen Jude uses the word ‘ungodly’ four times to emphasis the wicked hearts of the unbelievers and the wickedness of their behaviors. They are bad dudes!
In verse sixteen Jude describes specific characteristics of the false teachers, and it is at this point that we as believers – although we aren’t pagan and lying unbelievers – should examine our own hearts because each of US, and I emphasize US, can be guilty of walking in the flesh and grumble and complain, and find fault in people – even in brothers and sisters who are doing right – and we can listen to our flesh a little too often and follow its selfish desires; and we can easily find ourselves in the position where we are boasting about ourselves (because of our own insecurities) and flatter others for our own benefit.
Since each of us is not only capable, but we DO such things, we need to quit pointing a finger at others and look at ourselves, in order to repent, turn from these fleshy acts and desires, and learn what it means to grow in God’s grace and Spirit by living humble, selfless, and God glorifying lives. Yes, those false teachers are bad, bad, bad – bad to the bone. But we need to guard our own hearts – not because we might lose our salvation, but rather because it hurts and hinders our walk with Christ, slows down the advancement of the kingdom, and breaks God’s heart….but the good news is that our God is a forgiving God, and His mercies are new every morning!