Series on Jude, The Estimation of the Enemy, Jude 10-16. Title: A Culture of Death


We have seen Jude's exposure of the enemy. Falsehood creeps into the Church. False teachers and false messiahs are always a threat. There are always those who are inclined to pollute the gospel with the world's bad dreams. He has given us examples from history of what they are like, the malcontents, the ungrateful, the licentious, and now he asks us to estimate the enemy. Can they be recognized? Some people underestimate the deceptiveness and the results are disastrous. In this passage Jude talks about the character and condemnation of these godless men who change the grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. As to their character he speaks of three things, their mocking, their masquerade and their murmuring.The chief thing to notice here is that they aren't what they seem to be.

I Their Character

A Mocking v.10,11

We read in verses 10 and 11,yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! they have taken the way of cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. The bottom line here is that they scoff or mock Christian beliefs. A number of years ago Harold Lindsell wrote a book entitled "The Battle for the Bible." This is not a new battle nor is it a battle which is over. The undermining of Scripture by higher critics and evolutionists within the nominally Christian community is going on right now! A recent poll recorded in the book “Post-modern Times” declared that 66% of Americans believe there are no absolutes, which is not surprising. However,the same poll indicated that 53% of those calling themselves evangelical Christians believed the same thing. It seems that the scoffing is working. So-called “Biblical scholars,” past and present, seek some new way to show their brilliance among their peers by restructuring the Bible.They have succeeded in turning away whole churches and denominations from the authority of God's word. Peter speaks of this in his II Peter 3:3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desiresThey will say, “where is this ‘coming’ he promised? ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. It seems like nothing is ever going to prove to these people that the Bible is true except the end of the world. And so they keep accommodating the Bible to our culture. Their mockery is especially evident in the debate over creation versus evolution. I have followed this debate in the pages of various magazines over several years and invariably the evolutionists, instead of arguing the facts, attempt to discredit the creationists’ credentials and sanity. They insist that evolution is a scientific fact, which it is not, and they claim that no intelligent person could believe otherwise. Therefore no matter what the creationist says he must be wrong because only ignorant people would believe in creation. Recently in "Zygon," a journal about the relationship between science and religion, Michael Ruse a Canadian professor was quoted as saying, ”Either humankind is in a state of original sin or it is not. If it is then there was reason for Jesus to die on the cross. If it is not Calvary has as much relevance as a gladiator's death in the Colosseum.”  People who say such things are hypocrites, posing as Christians but espousing worldly philosophy. The examples Jude gives Cain, Balaam and Korah are three notorious hypocrites. They are like the people in Jesus’ parable of the sower, The seed of the Word of God falls upon them and either takes no root, or takes root and is choked out by weeds, or it has such shallow roots so that it cannot survive.

B Masquerade v.12,13

And so, in a series, of metaphors Jude illustrates this hypocrisy. What striking and withering descriptions of the emptiness of these scoffers in verses  12 and 13 These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. they are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.  They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. Jesus compares Himself as the good shepherd with such people in John 10:11-13 “I am the good shepherd. the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep, so when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.   The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. No preacher could improve on the colorful and powerful references of Jude. but let me remind you that a hypocrite is a blight on the supper of the Lord because he is not what he pretends to be. He says one thing and does another. Most of you know that every major, or mainline denomination, in this country is being confronted by a strident element claiming that homosexuality is legitimate and homosexuals should be ordained to the ministry. The surgeon general of the United States advocates not just sex education, but sex education curricula in which the homosexual lifestyle is approved. There's a connection here. The Bible is being mocked. You might expect it in the society at large,but in the church? The majority of these people knew when they joined their churches that neither their conduct nor their beliefs were approved, and were viewed as sinful, but they hid it. Now they want to change the churches so that their conduct will be approved. That, my friends, is hypocrisy. It’s what Jude is talking about.

C Murmuring v.v.16

Jude points out again the sinful lifestyle of such people, walking after their own lusts ,but he tells us they are murmurers and complainers in verse 16, These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. Not only do these people mock and scoff and have a hypocritical lifestyle, but they murmur and complain. This is a phenomenon in our society and in churches which is also related. A justice of the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas recently speaking at Hillsdale College said, "The penchant today for claiming victim status of one sort or another is a poor substitute for real education. Learning to grow beyond one's present condition has been replaced by simply shoveling the responsibility on others. This leads to the chain reaction of more anger on the part of the victims; resentment on the part of the alleged oppressor, suspicion on the part of both; and horror and incredulity on the part of those who watch this spectacle."

II Their Condemnation

The condemnation is found in verses 14 and 15,Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones  to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” The word “ungodly” here means irreverent. It means lightly, carelessly, foolishly handling holy things. Now Jude quotes a book or tradition not in our Old Testament, but that's acceptable because there are true statements in many other books. By quoting it in the inspired New Testament Jude tells us that it is a fact. Enoch prophesied before the flood of Noah's day. he was the seventh from Adam. He speaks of the final judgment. Now that judgment involves all of us, but it’s interesting that even in Enoch's day there were mockers and murmurers masquerading. He refers to them not just as sinners but as irreverent or ungodly sinners. It was the judgment of these to which he particularly referred. So  brother, sister, as Peter says in his second epistle give diligence to make your calling and election sure. Peter is the man who says we have not followed cunningly devised fables when we told you about the power and the coming of the Lord, we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. We will only make our calling and election sure if we increase in godliness, and we will only increase if we go back to the gospel, and to Christ crucified which is the heart of the gospel. All the other things men deny and mock come down to one: did Jesus the Son of God die in my place on Calvary? Every departure from Scripture has one goal that is to discredit Jesus and his atoning sacrifice. No matter what the disguise, there is only one hope that the devil needs to discard.