Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
I read a statistic that noted that most New Years resolutions are abandoned by February. I hope no one reading these devotionals wastes their time on New Years resolutions. We do not need to wait for a certain day to choose to make some change in our lives. If we try to make that change in the flesh it is bound to fail. Real change begins with turning to God in repentance and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. God is the One who enables His child to make real change.
As we begin a new calendar year, we need to be reminded of what is truly important. Jude was directed to write to those who were sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ.
In today’s text he is contrasting them with those who crept in unawares. It is important to note that truth does not creep in. Truth is the established order. God is truth. Truth existed before sin. Truth existed before false teaching. Truth is eternal.
We can see that if we fail to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints, there will be certain men that will creep in unawares. Those who are born again and are reading their Bibles faithfully will note that things have been creeping into a lot of churches over time. There are some very influential men who have won the hearts and minds of many religious people and their philosophies are creeping into many churches.
God’s people cannot put their guard down. The last days will be marked by a falling away. The apostle Paul warned the Ephesian elders that in their time, from among themselves, there would be those who would be wolves in sheep’s clothing. This is not a scary thing that should keep God’s people from serving Him. We do not need to be fearful. We need to be watchful. We need to be contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints. There is no room for compromise in God’s family.
There is a danger of being careless in our reading and understanding of God’s Word. The Calvinist would like to take a verse like verse 4 and claim that this is proof that some people are destined to hell before they are even born. That is not what this passage is talking about. It is talking about prophets in the Old Testament who warned of people in their time who were apostate. They were people who were actively involved in leading the people of their time astray and God raised up prophets to warn of them.
Cain was a deceiver who wanted to develop his own religion. His brother Abel was a righteous man who chose to serve the true God. Cain killed his brother and then accused God of dealing with him in an unjust manner. Cain was the first of many who love to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. We do not use that word “lasciviousness” in our common language today. The Greek word there means “unbridled lust”. These people are undisciplined and they live life after the lusts of the flesh. The majority of religion today is conducted in lasciviousness. Most people would reject that fact because their flesh likes what they are involved in. God calls them ungodly men. We have talked of the grace of God before. It is God’s grace in the life of the saint that provides for the joy we can have as we serve the Lord.
These ungodly men make God’s grace into a license to sin. That is still a very common false teaching today. ‘Just name the name of Jesus and forget about holy living.’ ‘God will understand.’ ‘He is easy going and as long as you know the name of His Son, nothing else matters.’ That is a lie of New Evangelicalism and it is well received by them.
Those who live by that philosophy deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. There is only one true God. He is the Lord God. The word “Lord” there means: “master, absolute ruler”. It is wise to reject these ungodly people and trust in the true God.
The word “Lord” in the Lord Jesus Christ, speaks of supremacy. Jesus Christ is the One Who has been given all power and authority by His Father. He IS the standard of righteousness, not man. He sets the parameters of salvation, not man. He is the One Who suffered and died on the cross of Calvary. He shed His blood on that cross. He did not give His life a ransom for many so that we could indulge in sin. He made it possible for man to receive a new nature that hates sin.
In verse 5 Jude is directed to remind the saints of things they once knew but seem to have forgotten. One thing we know is that repetition is important. We learn things by repetition.
I listened to a sales person telling a customer how to check a certain automotive relay. He told the person how to set up the volt meter to test the relay. He then said that the key is to actually do the test and repeat it often so as not to forget what to do. That is true in many things.
I know there are things I do not do often enough on my computer and then I forget what to do. I am not that computer savvy and do not get too fancy with it. When I do need to do something that is unusual for me, I forget how to do it.
That is alright with computers and automotive things if it is just for ourselves, but it is certainly not acceptable when it comes to the things of God. We need to pay attention to the warnings given so that we do not fall into the same sins others have fallen into. We have probably all heard the phrase: ‘history repeats itself’. In out text, God is telling us that He does not want His children to repeat the history of others who failed to follow Him.
Jude wrote here of God’s hand of deliverance in the nation of Israel. He delivered them from the bondage of Egypt, but then an entire generation had to die out in the wilderness. Why did that happen? We know they were destroyed because they refused to believe in God. God refused to bring a bunch of rebels into the promised land of Canaan. They lost the privilege of entering that land because they continued to fight against Him. They even longed to go back to Egypt, the place where they were treated as slaves and beaten if they did not produce the required amount of bricks. Yet they would rather endure that than to enjoy the blessings of following God and resting in Him. Their children watched their parents die off over a period of forty years. Those children were given a warning not to follow the unbelief of their parents. We know for many, that warning did not stick.
There was a danger of the people of Jude’s day forgetting the importance of godly living. They were becoming careless and needed to be reminded of the importance of contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints. The blessings of God are for those who know Him and submit to His will. The people that were delivered out of Egyptian bondage witnessed God’s powerful hand in the plagues. They saw the Egyptian army drowned at the Red Sea. They witnessed God giving them water from a rock and providing manna for them six days out of seven. All they needed to do was trust Him, but they were too stubborn to do that.
Jude needed to remind his readers not to be like that. We need to be reminded of that today as well. As we begin this new year, let us be sure to listen to what God says. Don’t be careless. That is easy to do. It is important to know the only Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are one that has an imaginary God that accepts unholy living, today would be the right day to turn to the true God in repentance and put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. If you do that, your life will be changed. You will not be content to harbour sin in your life. You will want to glorify the true God in all things. You will want to grow to know Him better and better every day.
This first day of the new year is a good day to go to a good, Bible-believing local church, if you do not have one now. Start attending a good church and listen to what the only Lord God has to say through His Word and through His faithful servant. Don’t waste your time on entertainment and false doctrine. Follow after that which is right and good.