We are continuing our verse-by-verse study of the book of Y'hudah. It is a very important book, warning the Church to battle for the truth in a world of apostasy and spiritual defection. The word "apostasy" is from the Greek word apostasia, which means: "defection from truth."
Are these apostates that Jude writes about believers who have fallen away, or are they unbelievers? It could be either; maybe some of them are believers and some of them are unbelievers:
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Christ. Jude 1:4 NASB
Maybe these "certain persons" arrived as itinerant preachers and then stayed. But they also could have been members of the Church's leadership who had apostatized.
The phrase "crept in unnoticed" is a single word in Greek. The Greek word here is, pareisduno; it is only used here in the New Testament. It's one of those words that doesn't appear anywhere else. Pareisduno means: "to settle in alongside quietly, without drawing attention." So these men have crept into the Church and were turning God's grace into licentiousness and denying the Lord Yeshua.
Licentiousness is the Greek word aselgeia, which originally referred to any excess or lack of restraint, but came to convey the idea of shameless excess and the absence of restraint, especially with sexual excess. Aselgeia was used almost exclusively of especially lewd sexual immorality.
Having said that, the Tanakh teaches that apostates will be judged; "were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation," Jude now illustrates the truth of divine judgment upon apostates. Verse four is actually an introductory verse on apostasy. The
next three verses give us illustrations of three different aspects of apostasy:
Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. Jude 1:5 NASB
Jude's 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.
The apostasy of Israel and the consequences of it are set forth by Jude to encourage his readers to "earnestly contend for the faith" and not allow the Church to go into apostasy because of the ungodly false teachers who threatened it.
Then Jude gives us the example of apostate angels:
And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, Jude 1:6 NASB
Here Jude refers to Genesis 6 and the judgment on angels that sinned. These angels are spirit beings who came to earth and mated with human women and produced a hybrid offspring, which Yahweh destroyed in the flood. Yahweh judged those angels and locked them up until the judgment of AD 70 where He destroyed them.
When you think about the fall of Israel and the great privilege they had with Yahweh leading them, and then they turned from Him and were destroyed in the wilderness—what a great fall! But consider the angels, fellow-shipping around the throne of Yahweh, serving Him and His children, and then to fall from that. What an incredible fall!
In verse five we had apostasy among believers in the Exodus generation. In verse six we had apostasy among the angels in Noah's generation. Now in verse seven we will see apostasy among Gentiles in Sodom and Gomorrah:
just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:7 NASB
Our verse starts out with, "just as"—this is hos in the Greek and denotes a close comparison with the angels in Jude 6. Like the angels before them, they gave themselves over to immorality. Like the angels before them, they too went after strange flesh. We'll see this more as we progress.
"Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them"—this refers to a total of five cities located in which once was one of the most beautiful spots in the world, the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley at that period of time was very extensive. The five cities involved were Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar.
The Bible also tells us about Sodom and Gomorrah before they were destroyed. In Genesis 13:
And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. Now the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land. So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. "Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left." Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. Genesis 13:7-10 NASB
Sodom and Gomorrah are here described in Edenic terms, they were once rich fertile lands; they were fruitful land with plenty of water. The people and cities once enjoyed the blessing of Yahweh. Then, the land that was well nourished and full of water became as a desolation once fire and brimstone were poured out upon it. The land became good for nothing. It became parched wilderness.
The biblical account of what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah is recorded in Genesis chapters 18-1:.
So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. Genesis 13:11 NASB
Genesis chapter 18 records the Lord and two angels coming to speak with Abraham:
And the LORD said, "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. Genesis 18:20 NASB
Verses 22-33 record Abraham pleading with the Lord to have mercy on Sodom and Gomorrah because Abraham's nephew, Lot, and his family lived in Sodom. Genesis chapter 19 records the two angels, who appear as men, visiting Sodom and Gomorrah:
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, "Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant's house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way." They said however, "No, but we shall spend the night in the square." Genesis 19:1-2 NASB
This gesture of bowing and the offer of taking them home and washing their feet are customs of ancient Near Eastern hospitality:
Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Genesis 19:3 NASB
Lot's urgency shows that he anticipates the threat against the two men; he wants them off the street:
Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; Genesis 19:4 NASB
Both the words translated "men" here are iysh, which means: "a man as an individual or a male person." It says, "all the people from every quarter." This does not mean every single man was there, but it shows the general corruption and depravity of the city; that it was so far from having ten righteous persons in it:
and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them." Genesis 19:5 NASB
The word "relations" is from the Hebrew yada and here refers to sexual intercourse. This is evident in verse 8, where Lot offers his virgin daughters in place of his two male guests. This is speaking of homosexual relations.
But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, "Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. "Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof." Genesis 19:6-8 NASB
We read this and it sounds crazy to us, especially if you are a daughter. Thanks dad! But to help us understand this let's look at what the Faith Life Study Bible says:
Hospitality toward strangers was considered a moral imperative in biblical times. This honor code meant that he could not turn the strangers over to the men of Sodom. In a patriarchal culture, daughters would have been viewed in lesser terms than Lot's male guests...Lot knew that offering his daughters was wrong, but he considered it a lesser evil. (Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Ge 19:8). Bellingham, WA: "Logos Bible Software.")
But they said, "Stand aside." Furthermore, they said, "This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them." So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. Genesis 19:9-11 NASB
How strong is their lust that even after they have been blinded by the angels, they still keep trying to find the door and get to the men? The angels then tell Lot:
for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it." Genesis 19:13 NASB
God's intention is to utterly destroy Sodom:.
Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. Genesis 19:24-25 NASB
The fiery judgment here is a literal one, but brimstone and fire also occur in metaphorical usage. Remember that when Lot was choosing Sodom as his place to live it was described as, "Like the garden of Yahweh." Go to it today, and you will see a living picture of divine judgment. It is totally barren and desolate; it looks like a moon scape. It's one of the most graphic examples of judgment in the Bible with overtones throughout the Word of God.
Unless the LORD of hosts Had left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah. Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah. Isaiah 1:9-10 NASB
Yahweh is saying that unless there was a very small remnant, they would have been as Sodom and Gomorrah, completely destroyed:
"Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah. Jeremiah 23:14 NASB
This verse is very clearly associating false prophets who are speaking lies and involved in adultery and strengthening the "hands of evildoers" with those of Sodom and Gomorrah.
There are some who take the view that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was not homosexuality. What is curious to me is that often these folks are homosexual, so they have an agenda. They can't have the Scriptures condemning homosexuality. One of these people is Justin Lee, who is the executive director of the Gay Christian Network.
Referring to Genesis 19 as an argument against homosexuality, Justin says, "This passage is most often referred to by people who haven't read it. Of all the proof texts, this one is the least relevant and the least helpful."
"According to popular belief, 'God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality.' If you read the passage for yourself, you'll see this isn't quite the way it happened. Sodom and Gomorrah were set to be destroyed by God for a number of reasons (Ezekiel tells us they were "arrogant, overfed and unconcerned" and "did not help the poor and needy," among other things [Ezekiel 16:49])."
Let's look at that passage in Ezekiel:
"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Ezekiel 16:49 NASB
So Sodom's sin was not just homosexuality, she was proud and did not help the poor. They use verse 49 in an attempt to prove that Sodom's sin was not homosexuality. But they fail to look at the next verse:
"Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it. Ezekiel 16:50 NASB
The word "haughty" is the Hebrew word "gabah," which means: "to be high, exalted," speaking of pride. Notice that it also says, "and committed abominations." This is from the Hebrew "toebah," which in the LXX is "anomema." It is in the plural, iniquities; lawless actions. Yahweh says, "Therefore I removed them when I saw it."
Toebah translated "abominations" refers to something that is morally disgusting and is also used in Lev 18:22 to describe homosexuality:
'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22 NASB
That should be clear enough! Justin goes on to say that the sin of Sodom was gang rape, "A threat of gang rape should be interpreted as an act of humiliating violence — a way of saying to a visitor, 'You are not welcome here; we're the big dogs.'"
So the sin of Sodom was not homosexuality, but violence. Well that is not what Jude teaches us:
just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:7 NASB
"Since they in the same way as these"—in the same way is the Greek word homoios, which means: "like, resembling, similarly, likewise, of equal degree or manner and denoting perfect agreement." In most of the New Testament uses homoios conveys the sense of "to do likewise."
Who is "these"? Does "these" refer to the cities Sodom and Gomorrah or does it refer to the angels? If it goes back to the angels, he is linking their sin to a sexual sin, and that is Genesis 6. Grammar tells us that it is the angels, due to gender and number agreement. Pronouns need to agree with gender number and case with their antecedent. The word "these" is from the Greek toutois, which is masculine plural, and "angels" is masculine plural, but "cities" is feminine and does not agree grammatically. So it is saying that these angels indulged in gross immorality.
S. Lewis Johnson, who was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, where he taught Greek, Hebrew, and systematic theology for 31 years, writes, "The 'these' of verse 7 is a reference to the angels. We know that from the grammar of the original text, you might not catch it in the English text, but it's plain in the original Greek text."
So the people of Sodom and Gomorrah did essentially the same thing the angels did. They left their normal place. They "indulged in gross immorality"—"gross immorality" is from the Greek word ekporneuo; from ek, which means: "out or from" and "porneuo," which means: "to commit fornication or lewdness. It indicates a heightened form of sexual immorality." So Jude is not saying that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality or violence, he says it was "gross immorality," which is homosexuality.
He also says that they "went after strange flesh"—the word "went" is from the Greek aperchomai, which is from apó, meaning: "separation" and "érchomai," meaning: "come or go." It literally means to go away or to depart, but it is used in a metaphorical sense. Vincent says, "The force of apo' is away; turning away from purity, and going after strange flesh." Aperchomai is an aorist participle indicating "having gone." Aperchomai is followed by the word opiso, which means: "after, a position behind, back." In Mark 1:20 it is used of James and John leaving their father and going after Yeshua. And in John 12:19 it is used in the phrase, "The world is gone after him." The compound expression "went after" (apechomai opiso) indicates a departure from the established order in nature to follow a practice contrary to nature. Deserting the established male-female relationship, they deliberately pursued a relationship with "strange flesh."
What is interesting here is that "strange flesh," which is "sarkos heteras"cannot be a reference to homosexuality for several reasons. First, homosexuality is not the pursuit of "hetero" or different gender, it is the pursuit of "homo" or same gender. Secondly, homosexual behavior involves the same human male flesh, not different flesh as it would with angels. Thirdly, when the New Testament refers to the unnaturalness of homosexual acts, it uses the Greek phrase, "para physin," which means: "contrary to nature"(Romans 1:26).
So Jude is telling us that those in Sodom and Gomorrah "indulged in gross immorality," which was homosexuality, and they "went after strange flesh," which was interspecies sexuality between angels and humans. From what Jude says here, it would seem that the men of Sodom knew that the two men visiting Lot weren't just ordinary men, but heavenly messengers.
Jude goes on to say that Sodom and Gomorrah, "are exhibited as an example"—the words "are exhibited" are from prokeimai, which is made up of pros, which means: "in front of" and keimai, which means: "lie outstretched." The word means: "to be set before one or in front of. To be placed before the eyes so as to expose." Here in Jude prokeimai refers to destroyed cities exhibited as an example for all to see. Prokeimai was used of meats on the table ready for the guests; of a corpse laid out for burial; of a question under discussion. Thus the corruption and punishment of the cities of the plain are laid out in plain sight.
Jude says the entire episode of Sodom and Gomorrah took place so the world would have a vivid picture of what the Lord has planned for apostates. This destruction was in view of their apostasy, since it occurred about 450 years after the Flood, when at least one of Noah's sons, Shem (Ge 11:10,11), was still living. Since this was only 100 years after Noah's death (Ge 9:28), people would have known about the message of righteousness and judgment from Yahweh, which Noah preached, and which they rejected.
As you study the Tanakh you see that Sodom and Gomorrah and their destruction are brought up again and again and again in Deuteronomy, in Amos, in Isaiah, in Jeremiah, in Zephaniah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and it's brought up again in Matthew and in Luke and in Romans and in Peter and Jude and in Revelation. It has stood down through the centuries as an illustration of the ultimate judgment of Yahweh. As someone has written, "The glare of Sodom and Gomorrah is flung down the whole length of Scripture history." Remember that in Genesis 13:10 Sodom is said to be, "like the garden of Yahweh." But it was judged by Yahweh for it's sin and has become a bleak and blasted area. The very character of the region is a timeless warning that Yahweh judges apostasy.
Notice how Jude 7 ends; Sodom is an example "in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire"—the word "undergoing" is from the word hupecho, which is only used here in the New Testament. It literally means: "to hold under," and so metaphorically, "to undergo, endure, or experience something." The word punishment is from the Greek word dike, which speaks of punishment on the basis of what is rightly deserved. The participle is present tense, indicating that the punishment continues to this day.
Notice that the punishment is "eternal fire"—is this a reference to hell? Well John MacArthur thinks so, he writes, "Jude, we know where they were going. They were undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. This is hell."
S.L Johnson writes, "Our text as we have it in the version that I have read to you is a text that supports the idea of eternal punishment, conscious eternal punishment as the ultimate judgment for the rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ." Speaking of annihilationism he goes on to say, "Although the doctrine has been known for centuries, the orthodox Christian church has never espoused that and in all the creedal statements, the different creedal statements of the Lutherans, the Calvinists, and others, in not a single one of them is there any denial of the doctrine of eternal punishment."
S.L Johnson goes on, "We even have evangelicals who are suggesting that there really isn't such a thing as eternal torment. And that we have the option of believing in Jesus Christ or ultimate annihilation. And such outstanding men as Dr. Philip Hughes, John Stott, John Wyndham and still others among evangelicals, long years of evangelical preaching, acknowledging they have questions about eternal punishment. And when the words are examined that they have been uttering, they ultimately come down to this. I just cannot bring myself to believe that God would punish an individual with eternal punishment forever."
What you or I believe about what God would or would not do is not the issue. At issue is what does the Bible teach about eternal conscience torment? Who or what is it that "are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire"? Isn't this a reference to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? It is interesting to note that although individuals sinned that the judgments were against groups of people, a nation and cities. It is the cities that are an example of the punishment of eternal fire.
Eternal is from the Greek aionios from aion, which means: "existing at all times, perpetual, pertaining to an unlimited duration of time." The fire is said to be eternal because its destruction is eternal, permanent, never ending.
It is my opinion that the church's doctrine of hell comes more from Dante's Inferno than from the Bible. It is an invention of the Catholic Church to keep people in fear and bondage. Now you may be thinking, Didn't Yeshua talk about hell?:
"If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, Mark 9:43 NASB
The word translated "hell" in this verse is the Greek word Gehanna. This word never occurs in the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint. Gehanna, translated "hell," is found just twelve times in the NASB New Testament (Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6). When we read the word "hell," all kinds of ideas come to our minds. We may think of the abode of condemned souls and the devil, or a place of eternal fiery punishment for the wicked after death. We may think of a place of fire and brimstone, where the damned undergo physical torment eternally. It is doubtful that any of these ideas came to the minds of Yeshua's listeners; for them gehenna was the garbage dump for Jerusalem.
Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, said:
Gehanna, the name of a valley on the S. and E. of Jerusalem . . . which was so called from the cries of the little children who were thrown into the fiery arms of Moloch, i.e., of an idol having the form of a bull. The Jews so abhorred the place after these horrible sacrifices had been abolished by King Josiah (2 Kings xxiii.10), that they cast into it not only all manner of refuse, but even the dead bodies of animals and of unburied criminals who had been executed. And since fires were always needed to consume the dead bodies, that the air might not become tainted by the putrefaction, it came to pass that the place was called Gehanna.
Gehenna began to be used as a place of human sacrifice in the days of King Ahaz. Gehenna is referred to in Jeremiah 7 as the Valley of Hinnom. In this passage, people are burning their own sons and daughters as human sacrifices. That is how dedicated and committed they are to the worship of the fire god, Molech:
"For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight," declares the LORD, "they have set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. 31 "And they have built the high places of Topheth (place of fire), which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind. 32 "Therefore, behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place. 33 "And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky, and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. Jeremiah 7:30-33 NASB
Later in Israel's history, a godly king, Josiah, came to the throne in Jerusalem and wanted to do away with the system of human sacrifices that had been practiced in the valley of Hinnom:
He also defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire for Molech. 2 Kings 23:10 NASB
Josiah wanted to do away with this practice, so he defiled the place by making it the garbage dump of Jerusalem. All of the trash, refuse, and dung from the city was dumped out there for centuries until the time of Christ. Characteristic of this place were the fires which were kept burning all the time—night and day. This fact is referred to by Christ in the Gospels as the place where the fires are not quenched and the worms have not died. That means the fires burn there constantly. The Valley of Hinnom was a place that had become identified in people's minds as a filthy and accursed place where useless and evil things were destroyed. Christ used it to describe a place of suffering and torment. That is the background of Gehenna.
Notice that Yeshua says in Mark 9:43, "to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire." The word "unquenchable" is from the Greek word asbestos. This word is only used three time in the NASB, once here and in Matthew 3:12 and Luke 3:17, where John the Baptist said Yeshua would baptize with "unquenchable fire." Unquenchable fire is unstoppable fire! It's fiery destruction brought about by God. God promised such a national judgment on Judah:
and say to the forest of the Negev, 'Hear the word of the LORD: thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am about to kindle a fire in you, and it shall consume every green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not be quenched, and the whole surface from south to north will be burned by it. 48 "And all flesh will see that I, the LORD, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched."'" Ezekiel 20:47-48 NASB
Babylon fulfilled these words in the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The fire was not quenched—the destruction was unstoppable, but Jerusalem didn't burn unendingly from 586 B.C. on.
So when Yeshua spoke of "unquenchable fire," He used language that His Jewish listeners would associate with the national judgments God had brought on nations in the Old Covenant. In fact, unlike us, they had never heard such language used any other way!
Notice what Yeshua says about hell:
where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED. Mark 9:48 NASB
What is this language referring to? Where would we go to find out? The Tanakh:
"Then they shall go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, And their fire shall not be quenched; And they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind." Isaiah 66:24 NASB
This verse is talking about God's destruction of Jerusalem in the generation when Yeshua was crucified. When Yeshua spoke about "their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched," the disciples would have been familiar with these words as referring to a national judgment.
So Gehenna was a place that had become identified in people's minds as a filthy and accursed place where useless and evil things were destroyed. This is not talking about eternal damnation. It was a defiled place, and it became the garbage dump of Jerusalem. Fires smoldered there continuously; repulsive and ugly worms ate at the garbage. That becomes the symbol of judgment, the waste of life.
I believe that man was created mortal, subject to death. But it seems that most Christians believe that all men are born immortal, everyone will live forever somewhere. Do the Scriptures teach this?:
but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Yeshua, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10 NASB
Did Christ abolish death for everyone? Is this teaching Universalism? No, He abolished death and brought immortality to believers only. Only believers have eternal life. So what happens to those who don't trust Christ? They perish:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 NASB
Yeshua didn't say that those who believe in Him will not go to hell, to eternal conscience torment, but that they won't perish. I don't see Jude 7as talking about hell.
The parallel text to Jude 7 is:
and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 2 Peter 2:6 NASB
Our text in Jude is a warning. It is a warning to any who are on the edge of turning away from the Gospel, turning away from Christ. But it is also a reminder to us of how important it is to fight for the faith, to contend for the truth because God will punish those who defect from His truth. He destroyed the very people He took out of Egypt. He destroyed the very angels who once were around His throne. He destroyed the people in Sodom and Gomorrah who were exposed to Him and perverted themselves.
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