Tuesday, 4 August 2020
…how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. Jude -18
Jude finishes the thought that he introduced in the previous verse. Taken together, they read –
“But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.”
Jude had been describing these vile people (the “dreamers” of verse 8) for many verses, and then introduced words that called to memory what the apostles had previously warned them. With that stated, he continues the thought now, saying, “how they told you.”
First, Jude excludes himself from this, saying, “told you.” Thus, it indicates a possibility that Jude was considered as an apostle. Or, it simply could be that Jude is warning those who had been told. Either way, it speaks of whatever way this message was conveyed to them. It could be in writing as in some of the epistles, or it could be spoken directly to them during an apostolic visit. Whichever way they heard, they had been told the same consistent message.
A spoken example of this, from Paul to those in the Ephesian church, is recorded in Acts 20:29 –
“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.”’
A written example is 2 Peter 3:3, if that epistle was written before Jude. What is clear is that the message was conveyed, and Jude is stirring up their memories concerning the truth “that there would be mockers.”
Here is a word that is only found in this verse and in 2 Peter 3:3. It signifies a mocker or a scoffer. Thus, by implication, it speaks of false teachers. The warning was that they were coming. Jude now, unfortunately, says they have come. That was seen in verse 4, where he said, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed.” Jude says the warning of the apostles was that these people would come “in the last time.”
Jude is using this term in the same manner as Paul does in 2 Timothy 3 when he said, “in the last days.” It speaks of the entire church age, right up until the new age is ushered in at Christ’s return. This is certain because Jude says these people have already crept in. This isn’t merely speaking of a time just before Christ’s return, but the entire time before Christ’s return – because Christ’s return could come at any time. Thus, the church was being warned to be on guard at all times. However, the guard had been let down, and Jude was providing his warning in this epistle that it was so.
Understanding this, Jude then reminds them – yet again – what these people are like, saying, “who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.” Here, the Greek uses two nouns, saying, “lusts of ungodliness.” The people Jude is referring to conducted their lives not according to the apostolic word that had been conveyed, but in a manner completely contrary to it.
The word of the apostles was inspired by God. The conduct of these people was from their own twisted thinking and lusts. In this perverse mindset, they followed their lusts of ungodliness. Jude will next continue to describe these people.
Life application: As noted earlier, the “last time” is the time before Christ’s return. Because Christ could come at any time after His ascension, it covers the entire Church Age, including Jude’s time. What Jude has been saying clearly shows that these mockers were already at work with their despicable life and behavior.
The term which is used for “mockers” refers to those who laugh at and deride God’s word. At the time of Jude, it was the Old Testament, any writings of the New Testament which had been compiled, and the authoritative teachings of the apostles. People were mocking what was revealed to them and also surely mocking those who followed the Christian lifestyle. Today nothing has changed.
The Presbyterian Church, USA, the Episcopal Church, and many other denominations now ordain homosexual ministers. Other denominations are considering following this same unholy path. This is in direct defiance to the words of the Bible. Those who conduct the ordinations and those who are ordained are clearly “mocking” the word of God.
This is just one example of the unholy practices that are filling churches around the world. By their actions, they are also mocking those who adhere to the word of God, claiming they have a new way which is better. But the word of God will be vindicated in the end. What God has prescribed for His church stands despite the mocking and belligerence of these wicked, self-serving people.
Well Lord, despite the way of the world and the high-handed attitude of the disbelievers, we shall stand with You – on Your side and on Your truth. May our lives be examples of those who are willing to suffer mocking, derision, prison, torture, and death, if necessary, to bring You the honor You are rightly due. May we never compromise the truth of Your word. Amen.