Apostasy is the theme. Today we are going to look at now some Old Testament examples of this apostasy. In our minds we might be thinking, Jeremy why are you taking so much time in Jude covering apostasy? The reason why I want us not to fly through this letter is because I believe with all my heart that God is doing a work in our lives. Perhaps for some of us we have been on fire for the Lord and yet perhaps because of time, or circumstances or trials or tribulations we have been facing we have become apathetic and we are not on fire and perhaps we have fallen away. Yet I pray that we would not remain in this place. I pray that we would get up and get back on track and get back into loving our Lord with all our hearts. My heart is to look at the examples more slowly and deeply and allow for the Spirit to work and move in our hearts individually and corporately as a fellowship. So, Jude dealt with false teachers who were coming in stealthily and turning God’s grace into lewdness and actually denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude 5. I want to remind you. Though you once knew it, Jude wasn’t writing anything new to the reader but he was wanting to remind them of historical events that took place. Guys, this can happen in our lives where we once knew something and yet after time has passed we have also forgotten, and we need to be reminded. The hearers of this letter needed reminding and also needed to apply it to their situation they were in that moment. The same with us we can take these verses and be reminded along with the hearers of this letter and we as well can apply them to our lives and situation that we are facing right now.
I pray that whatever situation we are in right now and as we look at these examples that we would be reminded of all the things we once knew and that our hearts and lives would be exhorted and encouraged to live for the Lord. So we read the first example…
Land of Egypt. On Wednesdays we are studying Exodus and we haven’t gotten quite yet to their deliverance- Spoiler alert! Yet, it is good for us to be reminded that the children of Israel were saved out of the land of Egypt. In bondage for four hundred years, the Israelites cried out to the Lord. The Lord raised up Moses as a deliverer and worked powerfully through him. After He smote Egypt with ten plagues, the Israelites were finally released. They made it to the edge of the Red Sea, where God not only parted the water but also unleashed the very same water on their enemies. Then what happened? They came to the border of Kadesh Barnea and sent twelve spies to scope out the land. “Wow!” said the spies upon their return. “It’s beautiful. It’s productive, and perfect! There’s only one problem: Tens of thousands of giants occupy the land. We’re nothing but grasshoppers in their sight, and we’re sure to be squished.”
Yet Joshua and Caleb, two of the twelve spies, countered, saying, “Hey, we might be grasshoppers in their sight, but they’re grasshoppers in God’s sight. Therefore, they pose no problem. They’ll be bread for us. We can eat them up!” (see Numbers 14: 9) The NLT says that they are “helpless prey.” I love how Joshua and Caleb crept on pointing out that God was with them! But the people chose to listen to the other ten spies instead of to Joshua and Caleb—a choice that led God to say, “Okay, because you don’t believe what I intended to do for you, you’re going to have to wander in the wilderness until a new generation is raised up”-Numbers 14:22-23- Numbers 14:22-25 NLT-  not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice.  They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will ever see it.  But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.  Now turn around, and don’t go on toward the land where the Amalekites and Canaanites live. Tomorrow you must set out for the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.”
We might easily say: Oh, how could they not believe because God did such great things? Guys what about us? Raise your hand if God has done something great in your life? Yet we like the children of Israel don’t believe. It is sad to see that the children of Israel started off well and got all the way to Kadesh Barnea and then they refused to enter the promised land. I believe we see such an important lesson and application because we can start off so well! God in our lives can bring us through the Red Sea and yet we come to the next place and sorry Lord there are giants! Instead of continuing on in faith like Joshua and Caleb were willing to do- We say, “No way.” Like Israel we can start off well and not finish well!
I pray that we will remember what God has done in our lives and I pray that we wouldn’t stop at the edge but that we would continue on in faith and belief. It is also important to notice that this destruction being spoken of wasn’t just because they couldn’t enter the promised land, but we read something deeper in Psalm 95:10-11 For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, “It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know My ways. So, I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest”. Next, we read about the angels…
Jude 6. In the word of God, we are given insight into Lucifer before he had fallen- In Ezekiel 28 we read of Ezekiel through the Word of the Lord rebuke the Prince of Tyre- Now some believe that this is only a prophecy for the prince of Tyre, who proclaimed to be wiser than Daniel. Yet, I also believe with all my heart that this is also speaking of Lucifer. I encourage you to read all of Ezekiel 28 but in this chapter we see how wonderful and beautiful Lucifer was and because of his pride we read of his fall- We are also given insight in Isaiah 14:12-15 NLT- “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.  For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.  I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.'  Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.
So, we see that Lucifer had a huge case of the “I’s” 5x I will. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. We are told in Revelation 12:4.
Tells us that Satan drew a third of the stars of heaven or angels with him. What I find so interesting is there are many who try to prove that Satan never was prideful and that these stories are made up. Yet Jude didn’t think of this as a made-up story but he treated it as real and that the angels didn’t keep their proper domain but left their own abode. Here we see the end for them. We have seen the apostasy of Israel, and the angels and now we come to Sodom and Gomorrah…
Jude 7. Sodom and Gomorrah - others like it- These 2 Cities also faced great judgment. In Genesis 13 we read that Abraham and Lot had so much livestock that they needed to separate from one another. Lot chose all the plain of Jordan. We read that Lot pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinful against the Lord. The Lord in chapter 18 made it very clear that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was very grave. 2 angels were heading down to destroy the city- We know the story that Abraham negotiated with God- If there were 50 righteous will you destroy the righteous with the wicked? Abraham went all the way down to 10. God said he wouldn’t destroy it for the sake of 10! We know that God rescued Lot and his family, Lot’s wife turned back and was turned into salt.
The Lord rained down fire and brimstone, God overthrew those cities. We all know the story, yet we might wonder what kind of sin was there? Jude says they gave themselves to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh. indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire. ESV- committed sexual immorality and practiced perversion- HCSB- So Jude gives us insight to the sins that were committed in these cities- Yet those were not the only sins for we read in Ezekiel 16:49- Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Wow!
All these things that were in Sodom and Gomorrah can also cause us to fall away from the Lord. These things can cause us to become Apostates. Today I want to end here. Guys I know somehow today people try to make sexual immorality not just OK, but they try to make it cool. You are cool if you are along being a part of these things. Guys, that is not cool! You know what is cool? Treating your girlfriend with respect and desiring to wait till marriage. Is it hard? Of course, we have a whole world system that tries to make sex and homosexuality like a great and cool thing. Yet I tell you this- If you wait till marriage you won’t regret anything- and you have your whole life to enjoy. Pride- We saw what it did to Sodom and we saw what it did to Lucifer. May we be humble- Gluttony- Laziness- Not helping the poor and the needy. Even in these things guys we ought to be careful.
I pray for us that we would guard our hearts from these things we read this morning. I pray that we would desire do the opposite of what we read. I pray that we would be those that aren’t just about me and my needs and my comforts and my wealth. Yet I pray that we would have a heart for others.