(Today’s post by Adam Cooper)
I know there is a running habit to begin singing the Beatles’ song “Hey Jude” whenever you hear the title of this book. After looking over the lyrics for this song it is clear that there is absolutely no connection between the two. But then, when you think about it, that lack of connection is what establishes a connection in the first place. Okay, maybe the latitude required for that statement is a bit broad but bear with me a moment. In the book of Jude the author is speaking of false teachers who are preaching a word that is in no way related to the original (much like the book of Jude and the song are in no way alike either). Stretch. Indeed.
Jude is a small book but it is full of theological nuggets that could be discussed rather spiritedly. Some would argue (Calvinists) that verse 2 hints at predestination, “To those who are called”. In verse 4 the same argument could be made from the comments about the false teachers, “those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation.” In verse 6 the author discusses the angels who fell with Satan from Heaven, “angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode.” Of course this hints at the always interesting discussion of the Nephalim and the Antedeluvians (those who lived before the flood). But the bulk of what the author wishes to portray through these verses are for those who are saved (we know this because he refers to their shared or “common salvation”) to keep a watchful eye and a loud voice against those who are preaching false gospels among believers. People who are preaching immorality, among other thinks, which are inconsistent with the Gospel of Christ.
The author of Jude ushers a stern warning about preaching or teaching anything outside of the Gospel and calling it as such. He refers to those killed in the flood, the angels which are kept in darkness after falling with Satan to await judgement, and even the people of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. One thing that is interesting about those lumped together in these is the fact that the author compares those who are what we would call “fleshly” sinful with those who have fallen from the angelic realm. This opens another theological tidbit: is all sin punished equally? While this forum is too short and limited to hash THAT subject out, it can be said that MANY people would argue on both sides of this subject.
To the people this book was intended for it is a stern tongue lashing against false teachers and the fate of false teaching. It is even a warning for those who would follow those same false teachers because they should know better from the Gospel that was originally taught them. For today, I think the warning should be considered just as important. In days where the Gospel is being watered down, modified for political correctness, adjusted for those who think they should have the ability to do things that are not Biblical, it is more important now for us to be aware of the warnings in Jude. We have the Bible in our hands. We have no excuse for being led astray by those attempting to twist the Gospel simply to fit their perverted or twisted ideas of truth. If we are truly indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God then we should fall under conviction when things are taught that do not agree with the Gospel.
I pray for everyone reading this today to agree to take a stand for what they believe. Like I asked last week, “are you prepared to be counter-cultural for what you believe?” It is time for Christians to understand that since the first days in which it was preached the Gospel has been under attack by those who long to see it fail. These attacks have led to tremendous perversion and immorality and sickness within our current society and we must finally decide to NOT let it continue. As we enter the last 20+ days to the celebration of Christ’s birth, let us remember what HE did for us and what we are asked to do while we are here on this Earth.