One of the most surprising and unknown references to the Lord’s return comes from the time of Genesis. The book of Jude tells us that Enoch predicted the second coming of Christ. Who was Jude and what else did he say about the End Times?
Jude was the brother of James and the half-brother of Jesus. He viewed himself as a servant of Jesus and wrote the book of Jude “to those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ” (v. 1). Although he says he was eager to write about salvation, he “found it necessary to write, appealing to you to contend for the faith…” (v. 3). Verse 4 tells us that people had snuck into the church who were distorting grace and denying Jesus. The same can be said today. If the devil cannot stop the church, he will join it! The church does not fail from attacks from without but from apostacy within. The greatest threat to the church in the last days is not the culture but compromise. It is bending the Bible to say what you want it to say or to not say what you don’t want it to say. We know we are living in the last days when we see the falling away that has been predicted. There are plenty claiming to have faith who deny the Jesus of the Bible. They both can’t be right. You are not free to believe what you want to believe or behave as you want to behave. You either bring your morality in line with the Bible or you bring the Bible in line with your immorality.
“Contend” does not mean to be contentious or to pick a fight. We speak the truth in love. Jesus was full of grace and truth. It means to love the Word, listen to the Word, and live the Word.
In verses 5-11, Jude gives us examples from the Old Testament. Israel was delivered from the bondage of Egypt only to rebel and die in the chains of unbelief (v. 5). The angels rebelled against their appointed positions and seeking to find freedom ended up in eternal chains (v. 6). The people of Sodom and Gomorrah rebelled against God’s natural order and ended up in the chains of eternal fire (v. 7). Verse 8 describes what we see today. People are defiling themselves, rejecting authority, and slandering God’s people, the same as those who have gone before. “These people blaspheme anything they do not understand” and are destroyed (v. 10). Jude elaborates in verse 11 that they have gone the way of Cain (murder, hate, jealousy, anger), Balaam (who could be bought), and Korah (rebellious, troublemaker, complainer). As we see these same things happening today, we know the consequences that are coming. As we contend for the truth, verse 9 reminds us that the battle is the Lord’s. We are no match for the devil, but he is no match for the Lord. The power is not us but greater is He that is in us!
The early church had weekly love feasts. Their group got together and ate. But instead of sharing with those in need, they fed themselves. Their fellowship and relationships hit the rocks! (v. 12-13). These people may have looked promising on the outside but on the inside, they were empty and disappointing. Sooner or later their deeds were exposed like washed up “trash” on the shoreline. They were like falling stars. They burned bright for a while but then fell and went out. As you see this today, maybe with leaders you looked up to or friends you thought would never stray, remember that for every falling star there are millions who stay in their place and shine brightly for the glory of God! Don’t focus on the falling stars.
In verses 14-15, Jude gives us a prophetic declaration of what is going to happen. This is when he says that Enoch prophesied, “Look! The Lord comes with tens of thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly concerning all the ungodly acts that they have done in an ungodly way, and concerning all the harsh things ungodly sinners have said against him.” Jude describes these people who are distorting the truth as ungodly. God does not need our giftedness, He wants our godliness. The world does not need our giftedness, but it desperately needs our godliness. Remember what Peter said about the End Times, “Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Pet. 3:11).
Jude gets really practical in verses 20-21. In light of all the falling away and bending of the truth around us, he says, “But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.” Build yourselves up, pray, and look for His coming. “Have mercy on those who waver; save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (v. 22-23). You may feel like you are not able to do these things, like it’s too hard or there is too much wrong around you. Look at how Jude closes. “Now to him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen” (v. 24-25). He is able! We can live in these last days, contend for the faith, pursue godliness, pray, and wait expectantly not through our strength, but through His.
C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, vol. 1,1834–1854(London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1899), 113.
James S. Stewart, A Faith to Proclaim (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1953), 16.
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