Jude 1:17-19, “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”
Jude now turns his focus on the believer’s role in these situations and the first thing he does is to press them to remember what the Apostles themselves have written about the last days. Believers everywhere have been forewarned of what was coming then as well as any future time.
I want to make a side-note here as to what even the early writers of the Bible, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit considered the last times or days. They believed that even as they were writing to the churches, they were in the last days and they recognized that time as the time between the Lord’s first appearance, when He walked with them, and His second coming which they knew and believed would be at some future time that only our Heavenly Father knew.
They had no idea that it wouldn’t be a week away or even a millennium away, but all they were concerned about is being watchful AND prepared for whatever that time and day might be. This is the hope and faith they walked in and encouraged others in.
Today, as believers we have the benefit of hind sight and the knowledge that as things progress, we can see the events described starting to unfold in an ever-increasing more blatant and wicked way. Today, even though we firmly believe the time is greatly shortened and the coming of our Lord is ever more closer, we STILL must remain watchful and vigilant, encouraging one another to stay focused and centered on the goal of winning souls and make disciples of those in the world until the Father tells the Son to go and get His children!
We need to remember that until He comes, whether it be within the year or a century (Lord help us), we are to occupy and continue following His leading until He does call us home. Our hope and promise is in the eternal and whether it be by natural death, or spiritual rapture, we WILL be with our Lord when He calls if we remain focused and vigilant!
The different Apostles left us clues under the Holy Spirit’s anointing so that we could spiritually SEE the season (the age) even if we could not know the day of Christ’s return. Paul gave very clear warnings to the church and his warnings will get ever more apparent and blatant as time goes by and those false teachers and apostates believe there will be no judgment approaching.
“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” – Acts 20:29-30.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” – 1 Timothy 4:1-3.
As to Paul’s teaching, see also 2 Timothy 3:1-9 for a very well known section on what to look forward too in the times we are living; and then there was also the Apostle Peter’s teaching. You can find his explicit warnings in the whole second chapter of his second epistle, (2 Peter 2:1-22). Peter then continues on with his warnings to remember in the third chapter:
“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” – 2 Peter 3:1-4.
Then of course, there is also the Apostle John in his first epistle or letter to the church;
“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” – 1 John 2:18-19.
And finally, do not forget the passages in the Gospels that were recorded as to the statements that Jesus Himself made concerning what to look for in the latter days. All four Gospels record His warnings!
Now I know these are a lot of Scriptures used to make a point, but the truth of the matter is, they were written to give life, to warn of what was to come and to remind God’s children to remain aware and vigilant. There is life in these warnings to those who heed them and take them to heart, to those who are willing to discern the times in the Spirit and to those willing to hold one another up as brothers and sisters to remind one another of the truth that was/is presented.
I want to remind you again in Jude’s purpose in writing. He was so burdened with the things taking place and the things that would take place in the future that he changed what he was going to write about so that he could give this strong reminder. How much more should we read his letter and truly take it to heart seriously?!
Now to boil down their message into something more cohesive, let me tell you that the Apostle’s message was “that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.”
Jude then breaks down into three categories or characteristics of their “ungodly” nature. First, they are “sensual persons,” which means their thoughts and actions are always based on the natural senses and especially those senses that give them pleasures. Second, they are those “who cause divisions,” meaning oftentimes they are drawing disciples to themselves for their own motives, they are like what we call proselytes today. Drawing away people from one church or denomination through enticing words into another but without the concern for their spiritual well-being, but rather for just their following. This is very prevalent today and there are churches that are split because of this very thing!
When someone in a congregation starts causing dissension and division and especially using worldly wisdom to justify their actions, without going through Biblical procedures, a red flag should most definitely go up. The problem today is that so few truly dive into their Bibles to see what those principles of avoiding and turning from conflict are!
We, my wife and I, have experienced this type of situation where the Lord through the Holy Spirit led us to a church that was started this way; unbeknown to us in the beginning. When we found out, we went to the Lord in prayer asking for direction and wisdom. This was a part of our training and teaching in the “real world” as it were and we did all we could with teaching, prayer and study in the hopes that the “Pastor” would admit before the Lord the problem, but it never came and I’m here to tell you in all honesty, they never had an anointing to their teaching or a manifestation of the Holy Spirit amongst them. I can tell you many, many stories we learned from that situation and I’m sure it would truly surprise people. Eventually the Lord released us and we moved on to our next work, but oh what a couple years plus that was!
Third and finally, Jude points out that these are people “not having the Spirit.” From the experience I just relayed to you, I can truly attest and confirm the truth of this Word. IF, and I say a big IF, they were ever born from above in their earlier years, they definitely took the path of an apostate and if not, they followed the path of a false teacher to be sure! This is what Jude is warning of, for these people have no comprehension OR understanding of the deeper things of God and that includes God’s character, nature and attributes.
Now you can get after me for relaying these examples as judging others, but I’m here to tell you that the Lord in His written Word and by His Holy Spirit gives and makes available to every true child of His, the ability to discern good fruit and bad fruit so that we are aware of who we are being taught by and what we are being taught. You have to remember this, the devil most likely knows the Word of God better than any of us living today; but he has no wisdom and in his deception and manipulation is willing to twist it to make a child of God doubt and question. If he can do that and go to those lengths, then I guarantee you there are servants of his, whether they believe they are or not, who will also give you half truths and partial truths. I’m here to warn you and exhort to you that a half or partial truth, no matter how many Scriptures are given, is still a WHOLE lie.
People, this is why it is so very, very important that even if you don’t study the Word of God, and I’m here to say you should even if it’s a bit, you should at the very least be reading it regularly! I just read a quote from the preacher, Alistair Begg where he says, “The whole Bible is needed to be a whole Christian.” To be honest, I can’t think of a truer statement than that. The Bible is Life, it is nourishment, it quenches our thirst, it centers our emotions and mental health. In truth it supplies everything we need to walk a successful spiritual life. If you have a Bible, I encourage you, I admonish you, read it. If you don’t have one, get one, for they are not expensive and yet it is the greatest treasure that you could possess in the natural!
God Bless until next time.