May 24, 2021 – Monday
Jude 1:5 NIV
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.
Jude is writing this letter to Christians, the you in verse five are the Christians then, the Christians through time, to the Christians alive today. But what is he referring to when he writes, Though you already know all this? To find out we only have to go back to verse four and read, For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Now I do not know about you, but I have to look at verse four in some detail after reading it. Certain individuals have secretly slipped in among us, into our churches. They have slipped in secretly, unnoticed, and dangerous. They likely do their best to appear very Biblical or even more Biblical than those around them in church. They will often join Bible studies or seek to lead Bible studies, but their goal is to bring false teaching to the body of believers. What false teachings? Perhaps the practices of the Nicolaitans, which Christ speaks of to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:6, But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Okay, that settles that, except what were the practices of the Nicolaitans? And did you notice Jesus said You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, not hate the Nicolaitans something we would do well to remember in our own trying times. While I found no definitive answer as to the hated practices of the Nicolaitans, I did find here and elsewhere they led a life of self-indulgence where they perverted the teaching of grace to replace liberty with license so as to introduce licentiousness.
The explanation given explains why they are called ungodly people who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. With all of this in mind (knowing all this) our verse of the day, 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. Who were those who did not believe? Two groups come to mind, first those who worshipped the golden calf and next those who refused to go into Canaan. For the former, about 3,000 people died. For the latter He made them wander in the desert until they died.
Guzik says this gives us two lessons. First, it assures us that the certain men causing trouble will certainly be judged, even though they may have started out well in their walk with God. Jude says, “The certain men might have started out well. But so did the children of Israel, and God afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” Secondly, it warns us that we also must follow Jesus to the end, and never be among those who did not believe. The final test of our Christianity is endurance. Some start the race but never finish it. I really like the concept that the final test of our belief, our faith, our Christianity is endurance. Thus, Paul would write to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Then in Hebrews 12:1c, And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Those of us who believe want to finish well and not be destroyed – sent to hell – knowing we can look forward to going to heaven.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Be with me as I endeavor to finish the race You have for me so that at the end I might hear, Well done good and faithful servant. I cannot do this on my own, but leaning on You and Your Word, it is possible. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.