Jude was intending to write an epistle regarding our “common salvation” when the Spirit detoured him, impressing on him to write concerning apostasy. Certain men had infiltrated their midst who were perverting the grace of God. These false teachers were attempting to indoctrinate believers in antinomianism, the erroneous teaching that since they are saved by grace they can sin without consequences, since their sins would no longer be held against them. Paul spoke to this erroneous teaching in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” And Jude thought it imperative that his readers be on guard against such men and be prepared to oppose their perverted teaching with the truth about God’s saving grace.
That brings us to verses 5 through 7, and three examples of apostasy: 1] Israel’s disobedience (Verse 5); 2] the angels that sinned are were cast out (Verse 7); and 3] Sodom and Gomorrah’s immorality (Verse 7).
These verses shatter the belief in a God who acts only in love without judgment. He is a perfect God who acts out of His righteousness. God is love (1 John 4:8) but God is also holy (1 Peter 1:16). And being holy He cannot tolerate sin. “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1:13).
Verse 5: “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”
Jude is saying here: “I’m using things you already know to prove to you that God will punish those who purposely continue to sin as a habit.” They already knew about the apostasy, he only needs to remind them.
Jude uses several examples of God's actions in past history as a reminder that God is a just God and will judge sin and disobedience.
The apostasy of Israel:
This first lesson is taken from the history of Israel, it is taught by those unbelievers who died in the wilderness. When God delivered the Children of Israel from Egypt, He did so with many miracles. Israel was crying out in their bondage and asking God for deliverance from Pharaoh. Though miraculously delivered out of bondage in Egypt, they were destroyed in the wilderness because they apostatized from the living God.
They started out well. “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:2-4). But they responded with unbelief, defecting from the faith, even to the worship of an idol of their own making.
Numbers 14:29, “You will all die here in this wilderness! Not a single one of you twenty years old and older, who has complained against me.”
Hebrews 3:18,19, “And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.”
Numbers 14:11,12, “Then the Lord said to Moses: ‘How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.’”
In Deuteronomy 1, the Israelites murmured against God instead of loving Him and being thankful for His deliverance. When they came to Kadesh-Barnea they refused to enter the Promised Land. Why? They didn't believe God! You “rebelled against the command of the Lord your God” (1:26). “You did not believe the Lord your God…”(1:32). During their forty years of wandering, it is estimated that more than one million Israelites died in the wilderness.
Numbers 14,22,23, “Because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.”
The apostasy of Angels:
Verse 6: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day…”
“And angels who did not carefully guard their original position of preeminent dignity, but abandoned once for all their own private dwelling-place, with a view to the judgment of the great day, in everlasting bonds under darkness, He has put under careful guard.”
2 Peter 2:4, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.
A group of angels also did not remain in their privileged position near God but left that sphere and so incurred God's wrath. These rebellious angels are now in bondage and await God's judgment. These are different fallen angels from Satan's agents (demons) who are at work in the world today.
2 Peter 2:4, “ For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”
“Jude's point in this illustration was that the apostates in his day had also abandoned a position of great privilege and blessing, namely, the opportunity to serve and glorify God. God would also judge them severely because of their departure. The angels who fell were not elect. Perhaps the apostates in view here were unsaved, though God intended them, as well as the Israelites referred to previously, to be a group for His own possession.” –Dr. Thomas Constable
“If the highest beings known in creation were subject to judgment, how much more sinful men?” –Ronald A. Ward
Some teachers believe these angels are the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6:1-4:
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’ There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”
Scofield and others identify the “daughters of men” as being the godless line of Cain, and “the sons of God” the descendants of Adam’s son Seth. Other Bible scholars believe these “sons of God” to be angels.
I will try to be brief in explaining my position which is Dr. Scofield’s position.
First it says that they took the “daughters of men,” and children were born to them, who became “mighty men…men of renown.” The King James version describes them as “Giants.” Angels in the Bible are always referred to in the masculine gender, ie: “Michael, Gabriel.” Matthew 22:30, “ For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.” If indeed, angels and women did cohabitate and children were born to them, I have a couple of questions:
1] Since “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). And our blood comes from our father. M.R. DeHaan, M.D. writes, “Since there is no life in the egg until the male sperm unites with it, and the life is in the blood, it follows that the male sperm is the source of the blood, the seed of life.”
2] Since Christ died for all of those who are in Adam. Romans 5:12, says, “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” The doctrine of “Federal headship” declares Adam to be the progenitor of the human race, and Christ died for the children of Adam, and since angels are not born of Adam’s race, but are individual creations of God, I conclude that if these fallen angels were to be redeemed they would each require a personal savior. That would mean that a race of people spawned by these angels and human women were once on earth that were unredeemable, and that is not scriptural!
The apostasy in Sodom and Gomorrah:
Verse 7: “As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
2 Peter 2:6, “Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly.”
Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned more than twenty times in Scripture as an illustration of God’s judgment. Their sexual immorality as mentioned in Jude 7 was homosexuality. They were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion.
The biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah is recorded in Genesis 18-19.
Genesis 19:1-5 NLT, “That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground. ‘My lords,’ he said, ‘come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again.’ ‘Oh no,’ they replied. ‘We’ll just spend the night out here in the city square’ But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate. But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!’”
Look at our world! Are we any less guilty than Sodom? Homosexuality is now looked upon as the norm in our society. Same-sex marriage is now legal. Unisex public restrooms are available in some areas. Pornography is being transmitted right into our homes by means of television.
According to a recent survey by the Barna Group, 21% of Christian men say they have thought they were “addicted” to porn or said they weren’t sure. This is more than two times what non-Christian men said (10%). Interestingly, 64% of Christian men say they view porn at least once a month, but a higher percentage (71%) of non-Christians report doing this.
Romans 1:18;26-32 describes our times, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[c] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[d] unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
And their sin was more than just sexual sin:
Ezekiel 16:49,50, “The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them.”
How can we combat sexual sin? Sex is everywhere. It permeates the movies and the television programs we watch, the music we hear, the magazines and books we read, and the talk shows to which we listen. Society, it seems, is obsessed with sex. We are bombarded with advertising, television, and social issues that simply did not exist a few generations ago. Each year, the standard of what is considered acceptable entertainment drastically degrades. Hollywood pushes immoral concepts through movies. And the fashion industry and magazines take up the baton in offering clothing to suit these roles.
“Sexual immorality runs amok in our culture today. Temptations to depart from God’s sure path of blessing in the realm of sexuality are epidemic. The anonymity of the Internet and wireless technology has allowed people to pursue sexual immorality more than ever before. Today, pornographic images and movies can be viewed with ease, sexually explicit music is common, and extramarital sexual activity is seen by many as normal. Perhaps more than at any other time, promiscuity both in thought and deed is accepted and condoned.”–John MacArthur
Approximately one-third of the entire population of the United States (110 million people) currently has a sexually transmitted disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Bible is very clear about Sexual sin!
Exodus 20:14, “You shall not commit adultery.”
Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
Leviticus 20:13, ”If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.”
1 Corinthians 5:1-5, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! (probably his stepmother) And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 5:9-11, “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.”
Ephesians 5:3, “Let there be no sex sin, impurity or greed among you. Let no one be able to accuse you of any such things.”
1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”
1 Timothy 1:9-11, “Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
So as you can see God is very adamant about sexual sin. And it is a sign of the last days.
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).
“In recent years I have seen some frightening changes in attitude in the body of Christ, particularly in the area of sexuality. With the advent of the Internet, I have seen droves of young people captured by pornography and the attitudes that accompany it. The falling away has begun first in an attitude that is opposed to clear teaching in God's Word. Many young people I have counseled with don't see anything wrong with sleeping around or homosexuality. They believe their views on sexuality have nothing to do with faith in Christ. They believe love includes accepting everyone regardless of their sexual preference. The truth is that this type of love and acceptance is naive and is easily taken advantage of by evil. The hidden destruction in such attitudes is not often seen until it is too late. The falling away has already begun” –Bruce S. Campbell, Charisma News
2 Timothy 3:1-5 MSG, “Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.”
Luke 21:28, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV) and The Living Bible (TLB).