The Current Past

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Last week we saw the grave danger of the creepers as Jude compared them to hidden reefs and doubly dead autumn trees. They were clouds without water, wild waves of the sea and wandering stars. If you follow their teaching, it is sure to lead to destruction and that is what is awaiting them. This morning, Jude introduces a new character as he continues to combat the creepers.

Jude 14-15 says, “It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

We see Jude’s continuing theme in these verses. In this letter, it didn’t take Jude long to say what was going to happen to the men that snuck into the church, the people I have been calling creepers. He first mentioned judgment in v. 4 when he said, “They were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation.” Remember that does not mean they had no chance for redemption or were chosen to be separated from Christ. They were, “ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Lord and Master Jesus Christ.” That’s why they were marked out. There is no hope for being victorious over sin apart from Jesus Christ.

Now we come to a man named Enoch. Little is known about Enoch. Jude says, “In the seventh generation from Adam.” Gen. 5 confirms what Jude said about the 7th generation. We don’t have a biographical sketch of Enoch like we do for his great-grandson Noah. Gen 5:24 says, “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Nothing written in Scripture is attributed to Enoch. What is curious about this is not that Enoch had a prophecy; it’s that Jude refers to it. So where did Enoch’s prophecy come from? Jude is most likely quoting the prophecy as recorded in the book of 1 Enoch. Before you start thumbing through your Bible, it’s not in there. Why would Jude quote from a non-authoritative source? The same reason Paul quoted Epimenides in Tit. 1:12 that said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Paul also attributed another phrase to a man named Aratus in Acts 17:28. The extra biblical works that the writers of Scripture refer to does not make those writings on the same plane as Scripture. The reason Jude quoted Enoch is because what he said was consistent with the truth.

What’s the prophecy? Jude quoting Enoch says, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones.”  This looks like Jude is talking about something that has already occurred. Think about Christ’s appearance in the flesh from Lu. 2. Jesus was born in the company of His mother Mary and earthly father Joseph. They were quite alone. What Jude is talking about has yet to occur. He’s talking about the second coming when Christ will return with His angels and it will be quite spectacular. Jesus is coming again, “to execute judgment upon all.” Just who is the all Jude refers to? It refers to those who opposed Him, to those that acted in ways contrary to His teachings and principles; it refers to unbelievers. In this context, he’s talking about people that have not made a decision to follow Christ.

Jude says Jesus will execute judgment for two things. First, Jesus is coming, “to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way.” Here’s the disclaimer. If you are ungodly, do ungodly deeds, or have done ungodly deeds in an ungodly manner, watch out. Any and all ungodly deeds are documented and will be judged. The reason ungodly deeds are done is because people who do them are ungodly. You see the connection with v. 4 again because the people were ungodly. Why? Because they denied, “Our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.” How can we be sure? Because they turned the grace of God into a license to sin. You cannot do that and be godly. You cannot act in a manner that is inconsistent with Scripture as a habit of life and be a Christian. Sure you can claim it to be so, but that doesn’t make it true. The mark of a Christian is a desire to be like Christ, a desire to pursue Him and the things that bring Him glory.

Jesus will also execute judgment for, all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Judgment not only for things done in an ungodly manner, but also for things said. If you can say harsh things about God, it stems from an ungodly heart, an unrepentant heart, an unregenerated heart, a heart of stone. It matters what we do and it matters what we say. Christians can and should be godly because the Holy Spirit lives within us. We should be a beacon of hope that point the ungodly to the One that can establish the connection with God. We should point people the hope that is found in Christ. It must be intentional, it must be consistent, it must be authentic. If Jesus truly turned your world upside down, then share the excitement with the next person you come in contact with and don’t stop there.

Let’s do what we can, when we can, where we can.

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