Continuing our look at Jude.
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”7 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. (ESV)
Jude reminds that he is drawing imagery from the book of Enoch. This judgement is in its own category and is apocalyptic in nature. Judgement that requires a pulling back of the realm of the physical so the spiritual realm can be witnessed. God is upset. Again these ones have warnings and prophecies about what happens to them from the Bible. They should know better and they are without excuse.
Judgement is coming for these men who not only pervert the truth of the faith but act in ways worthy of Judgment. God will bring conviction on these because of their anti Godly deeds. Not only are their deeds anti God but their methods are anti God. And not only this but they speak harshly against God himself. This is probably both by undermining his character in their teachings and outright blasphemy as they have already been shown to do against the glorious ones. These men undermine God’s character when they teach that God allows and encourages things that he outright forbids. This undermines the character of God. It misrepresents God. It challenges his authority and it attempts to steal God’s glory making him out to be something lesser than he is. Did I mention God is upset with these men?
Jude calls them grumblers and malcontents. This may be what fuels their misdeeds. They refuse to be content with what God has done, they continually grumble against the one who would have saved their souls. Perhaps they grumble against what they consider his restrictions on their behavior so they drum up teaching that allows them to continue down their dark path? Instead of listening they follow after their own sinful desires, and worse for the wear they use the grace of God to justify their own sins. They are loud mouthed boasters and they show favoritism for their own gain. They work for money and prestige and somehow their message of cheap grace leading to sexual sinful pleasure has a landing place in some hearers.
The testimony of Jude about these men is damning indeed. What is worse is that they are teaching others to follow suit. God will absolutely judge false teachers. God will defend his honor and character and woe to the man that attempts to poison the image of God. God will not excuse those who lead others astray, nor will he excuse those who attack his very nature. This is both for Jude’s time and in ours. Grace does not excuse perverting the character of God. I do want to comment for application on how they show favoritism to gain advantage. This is precisely what is happening in our culture, they show favoritism to those with the sinful proclivities of our culture and in return receive praise and acceptance. They get to both live in the world and be of the world. They manufacture a different gospel that sinners love because it does not call them to repentance. So they rightfully gain a following and point to this “gain” as God’s blessing but do not see that their judgment was long written down. We should not lose heart that many follow after them and the rest that hold the line get socially condemned, because it is before God that any man stands or falls. Take heart the day is coming when everything done in the darkness will be revealed.
I know this is challenging. I feel discouraged sometimes when our own Christian theology is hijacked. When grace and love are the handles that they hang their new teachings and perversion on we are made to look like bigots and backwater fundamentalist without hearts or care for the the world. But take heart, God is well aware of the score.