Jude 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Our memories are amazing things. We know that it is much easier to remember foolish things than it is to remember good things. The devil likes to encourage us to spend our time on things that don’t matter and things that are sin.
We noted earlier in this chapter that God wanted the saints to remember some important lessons that God had recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures. God gave us three important illustrations to help us to see the importance of knowing Him and following Him obediently. Here in verse 17 we are reminded to remember important words. This time it is the words of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. There were false apostles in Jude’s day. There are still false apostles today. The saints need to remember the words of God’s apostles.
In verse 18 we are told what it is we need to remember in the context of the book of Jude. We need to remember that there will be mockers in the last time. A “mocker” is “one who derides”. It is someone who tries to discredit another person by taking what they have said and twisting it to make it sound ridiculous or use it for their wicked ways.
The Jews tried to mock Jesus at His trial. They rightly stated that He said He would rebuild the temple in three days. Jesus was referring to His body, not the stone structure that Herod had been working on for 46 years. The Jews were not interested in truth and they were just looking for a way to discredit Jesus. They never found that because there was no way to discredit Him.
Peter wrote about scoffers in II Peter 3. He stated that they were willfully ignorant of the facts. Jude tells us that these mockers were walking after their own lusts. They had a plan and they were going to follow that plan. They were not interested in truth and they would do all they could to shut down the truth.
There are mockers today as well. There are those who mock at the truth regarding the King James Version. They want to teach that we do not have a preserved Word from God. They want to say that the originals were preserved but that over time the Scriptures have been corrupted. They argue that we do the best we can with what we have but we do not know for sure what God said. That is what the religious promoters of sodomy do. That is what those who want to support divorce and remarriage do. That is what those who want to drink alcohol do. These are just a few examples of the many ways that people mock God.
These people are not governed by God’s truth but rather by their own ungodly lusts. God is very clear in His Word. Man tries to make grey areas where God is black and white. It is not wise to promote confusion. Jude was warning the saints about this here. He was not accusing them of causing confusion. He was warning them of those who were mockers.
In verse 19 Jude warned that these mockers separate themselves from the rest. They insulate themselves against the people. Jude described them as sensual. They were operating on a level of immorality and base desires. As we have already seen, they lacked the control that the child of God would have in their life. These people are not saved. They do not have the Spirit. They are ungodly to the core and they have pushed their way into the forefront.
These are the religious elite who have set themselves up as spiritual leaders while in reality they are wicked people who do not know the Lord. The danger in Jude’s day was of the saints falling for the deception of these ungodly people. Again we need to remember that the solution to this is not through self help programs. The solution is for the saints to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.
Hebrews 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
There is no substitute for a true local church. We are commanded to come together and to assemble around God’s Word. That is where we get our instruction from. We need to come together for prayer and the study of God’s Word.
In Jude’s day there was already a falling away taking place. That has increased over the centuries. Churches that once held a Biblical position are apostate today. Others are becoming weak and are in danger of turning away from the faith once delivered unto the saints. It does not need to be that way, but if the Lord does not lead, it will be that way.
As Joshua was preparing the nation of Israel to begin the conquest of the promised land God appeared to him:
Joshua 5:14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
Joshua needed to be reminded that he was not fighting an earthly battle. He needed to remember this was more than just driving out some people and taking over their land. This was a spiritual battle and the only way to win that battle is when we submit to the Lord’s authority.
Any true local church must constantly be reminded that we cannot stand against the wiles of the devil if we are not armed with that spiritual armour of God. We will succumb to the deceptive ways of the devil. We have seen too much of that over the past two years. We need to walk humbly before the Lord and wait on Him to direct us. We do not need to be in a hurry when the ungodly make their threats. We need to follow the Lord and glorify Him.