14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. ~ Jude 14-16
Today, we continue our study of the book of Jude. In today's passage, Jude is writing about those who had embraced apostasy. There was a time when these false teachers had thought the gospel of the Lord Jesus was truth, but now, they no longer see it that way. They had, perhaps, grown up believing in their minds that Christianity was true, but now, they are all about themselves which is the way of the devil.
Jude refers to Enoch who was the seventh from Adam who wrote about the coming judgment of God through the flood which happened after Enoch was on the earth. And, in addition, there will be, in the end times, when the Lord Jesus returns, another judgment from God. This will be the final judgment of them all. This will be the time when the Lord Jesus will vanquish sin and death, once and for all. At that point, these false teachers and apostates will have to answer to God because God will always have the last word.
As I am sure you know, the Lord Jesus taught on hell more than any other subject. Hell is a reality. Hell really exists. And, we, now live in an America which has become well-insulated from the reality of hell. Most Americans think people are basically good, and life after death will be happy and full of pleasure, or they think the afterlife does not exist. And, the most who attend church in America have become so comfortable with the absence of hell from our teaching that our superficial gospel includes no warnings about hell.
In Jude 14-15 we read, "14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: 'See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.'"
God himself will judge the world. He will not delegate this to a judgment committee. He will not judge people who are condemned in their sin by proxy. After He returns and sets up His Millennial Kingdom, according to Revelation 20, there will be the great white throne judgment where all unbelievers will stand before God to receive their final sentence.
And, notice it says, "the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones." God's "holy ones" include all who are in His family, and, in the end, we will witness this event as the Lord Jesus applies His righteous standards to all of those who resisted God's free gift of forgiveness through His Son.
In Matthew 13, the Lord Jesus said, "Therefore, as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of the Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire."
In Jude 15 we read, "to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
A better translation for the word "convict" is convince. The Lord Jesus will come and convince those that He is talking about, to judge them with fairness. This court scene will not be like an earthly court. There will be no debating about guiltiness. The Lord will prosecute the lawlessness of the Christless. Theirs will be a punishment without any parole.
According to Revelation 20, God's books will be opened. The information in those books will have been recorded by God Himself who is omniscient and omnipresent. So, when it is all over, there will be no error in His verdict and the punishment of eternal damnation that each will be given will be righteous. There will be no question in His judgment for it will be equitable.
And, God's judgment of those who rejected His free gift of salvation will be eternal. If hell is not forever, then heaven is not forever. If hell is not eternal, then heaven is not eternal. If hell is not everlasting, then heaven is not everlasting, because the Lord Jesus, in Matthew 25, said hell will be eternal.
This is a great time to add, believers in the Lord Jesus will never carry out the judging of unbelievers. That's not our role. God will do the judging. Having said that, today, we do hold up and teach the standard of God's word and His word does the judging. This is what the believer in Christ is responsible to do. Not to judge, but to teach His word which does the judging.
In Ezekiel 33 God has told us, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." And then He says, "turn, turn, for why will you die?" When the Lord Jesus spoke about hell, He said, "It is everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Hell was not made for people, but God is a pro-choice God when it comes to eternal matters. GK Chesterton said, "Hell is God's great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice."
In Matthew 25:31 we read, "When the Son of Man comes and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the spirit separates the sheep from the goats.” This is the Lord Jesus' description of the day of judgment of all the ungodly. The design of His promise of judgment is always to turn man away from man's way and God's wrath.
In v.16 of today's passage we read, "These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage."
Apostates complain because they want things to go according to their will. They have elevated their will above God's. And, "they are faultfinders." The Greek word used here for faultfinders means "to blame." It’s a word used by the Greeks to describe a person who is perpetually discontent and unsatisfied. Apostates are such because they never submitted to God and His will in the first place. If they had, they would be in the practice of humbly bowing their will to the God of grace and mercy.
And, finally, "they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage."
Apostates are dominated by self, and they use praise and flattery, like bait to get what they want. Their trick is as old as the serpent who used it in the garden. He cast doubt on God's word and, in effect, told Eve that God was only trying to keep her from having the best. "God knows that in the day you eat from it," he said, "your eyes will be opened, and you'll be like God." Sadly, all who take the devil's advice get caught in his sticky web, and only the sovereign grace of God can set such a person free from it.
If you have not trusted in Christ's work on the cross, and you have not invited Him into your life, you are the object of God's wrath. The Lord Jesus said in John 3:17-18, "17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."
Let me encourage you to have that needed conversation with the Lord right now. Let me encourage you to admit to God that you have been at odds with Him and you want to receive His free offer of forgiveness through His Son, the Lord Jesus. Ask Him to come into your life right now. And, if you just did that, tell someone about what you just did before the day ends.