The Consequences of Unbelief and Rebellion

According to Charles Spurgeon, we ought to preach about God’s judgment with tears in our eyes.

There is a story attributed to Spurgeon about a minister who urged a condemned man to turn to Jesus before his execution. The minister spoke about the reality of hell to persuade the man to seek forgiveness from God.

The criminal responded by saying that if he believed as the minister did, he would crawl on hands and knees all over England to lead others to Christ.

The Bible teaches the certainty of judgment, and Spurgeon’s advice reminds Christians to approach this topic with great seriousness.

Jude’s Message of Judgment

Like Spurgeon, Jude used compelling examples to make his point about future judgment.

Now I desire to remind you, though you are fully informed, once and for all, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

And the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great day.

Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire (Jude 5-7).

Rudy Ross, along with other Bible scholars, believes that the appearances of God in the Old Testament were Jesus. Jude affirms this in verse 5 when he says that Jesus saved God’s people out of Egypt.

It is a sad but widespread observation that in our relationship with God, we tend to seek His aid only when we have reached our breaking point and have no other options.

However, as soon as our situation improves, we often disregard God and rely on our own abilities again.

The Israelites, whom God rescued from Egypt through remarkable displays of power, are an example of this pattern. Shortly after their deliverance, they crafted idols and engaged in practices that contradicted God’s nature and actions.

During the days of Abraham, God judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for destructive behavior.

Even angels are not exempt from God’s judgment.

Spurgeon’s counsel is correct. We should never speak of judgment without tears in our eyes. However, we can’t let the pain of judgment keep us from recognizing its reality.

Let’s strive to live a Jesus-kind-of-life, so we can count on hearing God’s “well done” on the day of judgment.

Let’s also do everything in our power to help others experience God’s abundant grace through Jesus Christ.

Behavior and Judgment

God’s justice is a critical component of his character.

Abraham intimately knew God’s holy character and connected it with justice. He asked, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18.25).

If God did not hold His creation accountable for their wrongdoings, it would undermine His justice. The cross serves as evidence that God regards our sins as a significant matter, given the extravagance of the solution required to address them.

Jude’s words are merely suggestive and not exhaustive when he writes about judgment.

Yet in the same way these dreamers also defile the flesh, reject authority, and slander the glorious ones (Jude 8).

Michael’s Example

The devil is the epitome of evil, yet even the powerful archangel Michael did not have the authority to pass judgment on him.

But when the archangel Michael disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a condemnation of slander against him but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 9).

Considering that Michael deferred the judgment of the most wicked being to the Lord, what does that say of our own tendencies to gossip and speak negatively about people in our lives such as acquaintances, politicians, athletes, and co-workers?

Jude’s evaluation of this behavior is compelling.

But these people slander whatever they do not understand, and they are destroyed by those things that, like irrational animals, they know by instinct (Jude 10).

Whose side do we want to be on? Do we want to follow the example of the archangel Michael, or the foolishness of the slanderers?

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.

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