14It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15to 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.” 16These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
The Story: I daresay that if some visiting preacher came to our church and preached words like this, even if he were referring to someone in another church, he would not be invited back again. By some queer twist of logic we have come to believe that such “harsh” and “condemning” words are out of place in this age of grace. We need to be more tolerant, less judgmental, and more willing to let others have space. That kind of attitude would have landed you in the Jude’s cross-hairs – and in those of all the other apostles as well. Do you catch a troubling thread in Jude’s words? “Ungodly” – apart from God, in defiance of God, unlike God, against God, as though one were his own god. This is what is at stake in false teaching and the licentious lives of those who believe that grace is sufficient to bear with them no matter how far they choose to roam from the way of righteousness. It comes down to this: we can follow God and His Word, or we can follow our own “sinful desires.” Black and white? You bet.
The Structure: Jude relies on the intertestamental work 1 Enoch for his quote about that early prophet. This should not be taken to mean that he regarded 1 Enoch as Scripture, any more than Paul regarded the Greek poets to be inspired (Acts 17:28). There are plenty of reliable sources which are not inspired, and we need to learn how to use these within the framework of revealed truth. His reference to Enoch being the “seventh from Adam” suggests, I think, something about his view of Genesis 1-11 and whether or not we should regard these chapters as containing accurate historical information. We might want to ask why Jude sounds so angry. We should rather ask why we don’t get as angry as he is about false teaching.
What are some of the primary false teachings threatening to lead churches astray in our own day? Ask some of your church’s leaders about this matter.
For more insight to 1 Peter, get the study guide, 1 & 2 Peter and Jude, by Carolyn Nystrom, from our online store.
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.