Sunday, 07 November 1999 00:00

Warning! Warning! Warning!

Jude 5-7 (KJV)

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 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Last week we saw how there are people who sneak into the church turning the grace of God into a license to sin. Jude says that these people are "ordained to this condemnation," meaning that God will judge them. The idea of God condemning sinners is foreign to the modern man-oriented gospel that has no room for the Biblical truth that God will judge the unrighteous. However, in our text this morning, Jude gives three examples from Scripture of God's wrath: (1) The children of Israel, (2) The angels of heaven, (3) The people of Sodom. From these three examples we can learn about God's wrath poured out on sinners and glean some principles about His judgment.

  1. Blessed people are condemned by God... "afterward, (He) destroyed them (the children of Israel)" (v.5).
    God had chosen the children of Israel as His peculiar people. He delivered them out of the land of Egypt, showing Himself strong in defeating the Pharaoh and his armies. It seemed God was on Israel's side and against the world!
    1. Never mistake earthly blessings for spiritual ones...
      Just because God has been providentially kind, does not mean you have a relationship of love with Him. Just because you are blessed does not necessarily mean you are saved. "Riches are but sugared lies..." (Watson).
    2. Never look for spiritual blessings in earthly ones...
      There are some people who find it easy to believe in God when things are going well, but true, saving faith is found in saying, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him." Many of the children of Israel had not this faith. "If we would judge rightly of any man we must see how he bears good and bad fortune." Calvin
  2. Good people are condemned by God..."and the angels, he hath reserved... unto the judgment" (v.6).
    Have you ever had anyone say unto you, "Listen, I'm really a good person!" People spend their entire lives with a desire to convince themselves and others that they are really good people. :Maybe, they think, God will be convinced! However, God condemns what men would call "good people." Look at the example of the angels.
    1. Angels are direct creations of God... you are procreated.
      God makes no mistakes in that which He creates. Gill says of the angels, "They are a superior rank of creatures to men, and behold the face of God."
    2. These angels sinned but once... "they left their own habitation."
      This means they ceased being willing to be subjects of God. They, with their prince, sought to rise higher in station in order "to be God. . ."
    3. These angels are reserved in chains for the judgment... there is no Savior for them.
      There is no hope for them. These holy, perfect angels sinned but once and are condemned for eternity because of their sin. How much more sinful is man. How dare any man think that God will simply wink at a multitude of sins!
      1. Reserved in chains... means that every devil and fallen angel is controlled by a Sovereign God.
      2. Under darkness... seems to imply that you can't see and aren't even aware of their activities.
  3. Blind people are condemned by God..."even as Sodom... suffers the vengeance of eternal fire" (v.7)
    The people of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities near the southern end of the dead Sea were people who went "after strange flesh." They were adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, etc. . . However, don't misunderstand: (1) They were bright (they built cities), (2) Busy (Lot sat at the gate, i.e. "a city elder), and (3) They lived life (in their minds) to the fullest. They followed their own desires and knew nothing of God.
    1. Blind people can't see the truth... it's not that they won't, they can't. But the reason they can't is because their sin has blinded them. They hate the things of God and if ever presented with them, would mock them.
    2. God is under no obligation to open their eyes... He can, but He is not bound to do so. If a man loves not the Lord Jesus Christ he is accursed. There is no excuse for that person who says, "Sure, I've lived a life of sin, but I can't help it! That's my nature!" That's what Sodom said, and they were wiped out by God.

How, then can I escape the condemnation of God? It's not by trying to be a better person! It's not by doing my best to live a comfortable life and helping those around me! It's not by just excusing my sin as a pattern of behavior hoping and praying that God will grant me a license to sin (lasciviousness)! How can I escape the wrath of God?

The answer is clear: The children of Israel who were condemned ("believed not"). The angels who left their first estate "trusted not." The people of Sodom burned with an eternal fire "received not." In other words, my only hope of escape from the wrath of God is to trust and believe in the word of Jesus Christ for the salvation of my soul. This trust is a work of God's saving grace that empowers me to bow my knee to His Lordship and obey His revealed will.

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