Jude 1:5 Though you already know all this,
I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later
destroyed those who did not believe.
Jude makes clear that what he writes is not some new innovation but truths that the people have already heard and know but are not applying in their everyday life decisions.
Jude gives three warnings using the example of the Israelites, Fallen Angels and Sodom and Gomorrah. To understand the first two warnings we should appreciate that these men were not enemies of Christianity or the Church but believed them selves to be the advanced thinkers of the generation, a spiritual elite that were above everyone else. Men who had no use for words such as submission, accountability and responsibility
Edwin A. Blum [ j ] writes "The first example is that of Israel, who experienced the great display of God's grace in the Exodus, saw and heard his revelation at Sinai, and received his care in the wilderness; yet a number of them disbelieved and rebelled. Obviously this is not an instance of people being saved and then losing their salvation. Jude describes the rebels as "those who did not believe" (taus me pisteusantas ). The Israelites were physically delivered from bondage, not by their faith as a nation, but by God's covenant love and mercy. The warning in this judgment is against unbelief and rebellion."
Jude clearly sets a dividing line between the saved and the unsaved and the ultimate destiny of the latter.
As to the fallen Angels, William Barclay gives this insight "The Jews had a very highly developed doctrine of angels, the servants of God. In particular the Jews believed that every nation had its presiding angel. In the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, Deuteronomy 32: 8 reads, "When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God."
That is to say, to each nation there was an angel. The Jews believed in a fall of the angels and much is said about this in the Book of Enoch, which is so often behind the thought of Jude. In regard to this there were two lines of tradition.
(i) The first saw the fall of the angels as due to pride and rebelliousness. That legend gathered especially round the name of Lucifer, the light-bringer, the son of the morning. As the Authorized Version has it, Isaiah writes, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" (Isaiah 14: 12). When the seventy returned from their mission and told Jesus of their successes, he warned them against pride, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10: 18). The idea was that there was civil war in heaven. The angels rose against God and were cast out; and Lucifer was the leader of the rebellion.
(ii) The second stream of tradition finds its scriptural echo in Genesis 6: 1-4. In this line of thought the angels, attracted by the beauty of mortal women, left heaven to seduce them and so sinned."[k]
In this warning the Judgement against Pride and Lust. These Fallen Angels who left their post and position disregarding their responsibility are either; "kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day." Or were cast out of heaven and were to roam the earth as demonic spirits.
Finally Sodom and Gomorrah, it would be good to remind ourselves of the story about the two cities from Genesis 19
(Genesis 19:1-13) The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. "My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square." But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
Jude says that the men of these cities were guilty of sexual immorality and perversion (literally; lust after different flesh) in the same way as the Angels did.
This final warning is a judgement against sexual immorality, perversion, lust, greed and rebellion against God's order. The consequence of these sins is eternal fire.
Jude is very clear in his warnings but to the readers of his letter who were being reminded of such things the judgements of history must have been compelling.
Let us list the again what the warnings were against: Unbelief; pride; lust; greed; sexual immorality; perversions; rebellion.
I wonder if you looked at your town or city, would you find unbelief or pride or lust or greed or sexual immorality or perversions or rebellion against God's order. I guess you would, so why doesn't God destroy your town or my town. I think Jesus gives us the answer when he said, "You are the salt of the earth." You are a preservative of your community.
Introduction / Salutation verses
1 -2 / The Letter's purpose v.3-4 /
Historical warning v. 5-7