5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. ~ Jude 5-7
With each passing day the American culture has been moving further and further away from the God revealed in the Bible. In today's text, Jude highlights three specific sins which build upon one another. These three sins are: unbelief, rebellion and immorality.
With these three sins advancing the kingdom of darkness, the believer in Christ finds himself engaged in a battle for the truth and the souls of people. And, this battle requires great wisdom and great diligence in walking with the Lord, or else we will not achieve the goal.
In v.5 of today's text we read, "Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe."
This verse is predicated upon that which Jude said in the previous verse that the apostate is the one who has perverted the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
With this first illustration of the unbelievers in Egypt, Jude illustrates people are destroyed due to their unbelief in the God of the Bible. If anyone justifies a lifestyle that is contrary to God's definitions, and they are unwilling to budge, they are at odds with God.
God saw the plight of His chosen people and He rescued them out of Egypt. He sent plagues on Egypt, parted the Red Sea, destroyed Pharoah’s army, provided manna, quail and water for the children of Israel. He was Israel's glory cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. All they had was to believe in God, be defined by God through His word, and follow Him.
In v.6 of today's text we read, "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day."
With this second illustration, Jude uses the angels who followed the Devil in his rebellion. These angels were not satisfied with God’s plan for their lives. They were convinced there was something better and God’s way was not the best way. They wanted something more, a different position of prominence, a better place of activity.
Through self-deception people, like these angels, rationalize their lust for position, power, prestige and possessions. With an inflated sense of self-worth and importance, they cannot trust in the providence of God and rest in His plan for their lives. And, as a result, they end up on the opposite side of God.
In v.7 of today's text we read, "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire."
With this third illustration, Jude reminds us of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which were reduced to ashes because they gave themselves to sexual immorality and perversion.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is referenced one way or another more than twenty times in the Bible. The devastation of these cities, along with Admah and Zeboiim was horrific. In fact, these cities are a perpetual reminder of the just judgment of God on immorality and perversion.
Sodom and Gomorrah were known for their pride, injustice, and bigotry. But it was their sexual perversion that did them in. In Genesis 19, we learn of their judgment as "the Lord rained brimstone and fire on them." He did this because Sodom and Gomorrah acted in a manner similar to the fallen angels of v.6. They committed sexual immorality and went after other men. Their sin was immoral homosexuality.
Now, I know believers who struggle with temptation toward homosexuality. They fight the urges to be defined by it. And, I might add, that the one sin that sends people to Hell is rejection of God's free gift offer through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. But, one of the signs that one is right with God is He is obviously at work in their lives. No one can practice certain sins of sexual immorality and be right with God. In fact, if they resist God's authority in their lives, He has been known to take them home sooner than perhaps planned (see 1 John 5:16).
Having said that, according to v.4 of Jude, "They turned the grace of God into lewdness." If someone refuses to listen to God and they practice lewdness, they are at odds with God. The Bible is clear in God's denunciation of homosexuality as sin. This is made plain in text like Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
The Bible is equally clear that any sexual activity, heterosexual or homosexual, outside the marriage covenant between a man and a woman is sin. Jesus Himself said a man and woman in marriage become one flesh.
We all must be careful not to use the Scripture to promote a belief system that is contrary to God's definition of things. Every generation faces this unwillingness to be defined by God. Charles Spurgeon once said, "the new views are not the old truth in better dress, but deadly errors with which we can have no fellowship."
Those in slavery to sexual sin need to be loved, including homosexuals, and any heterosexual that is living in sin. The believer in Christ must not hatefully bash anyone, rather, we must graciously speak the truth in love and reach out to anyone living in sin with grace, mercy and kindness. And, rampant sexual sin is not the worst sin, but it is the clearest evidence of a society that has rejected God’s truth and has been given over to His judgment (see Romans 1:24,26,28).
So, we engage in this battle, literally snatching souls out of the fire, as it were. The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves whether you are in the faith." Walking an aisle, praying a prayer, signing a card, going into water; these are not the avenues of assurance. It is only through the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ that anyone is saved. We must be careful not to contribute to the way of the apostate by embracing definitions that are contrary to God's.