How the Book of Jude Addresses the Last Days

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

The Book of Jude seems as if it’s almost written for today and it really is, because these are the last days leading up to the return of Jesus Christ.

The Last Days

The Book of Jude seems as if it’s almost written for today, and it really is, because these are the last days leading up to the return of Jesus Christ. To begin with, the “last days” have been the “last days” for the last 2,000 years. Since Jesus’ ascension, we have always been living in the last days. The phrase “last days” or “end times” is very prominent in the New Testament (Acts 2:17; 2 Tim 3:1; Heb 1:2; James 5:3; 2 Pet 3:3), even though two centuries later, Jesus has still not came back. Why? We are now and have been living in the last days since Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, meaning Jesus could come back at any moment. That is what all ages of the church have believed and had expectations of. The true church has always had an eager expectation of the soon return of Christ. The trouble they saw around them prompted them to believe it was the last days. And that’s as it should be. We should all be living as if Jesus were coming back this very minute, because, He could! The Book of Jude is not very long (only one chapter), but its twenty-five verses have much to say about the last days, and our day today. This book is strikingly similar to the way it was in Jude’s day too.

Jude

Jude is the half-brother of Jesus Christ, having the same mother but not the same father, and the range of the date of this book is incredibly wide, with conservative scholars placing it between the years 70 to 90 AD. The reason I think the date is much later is because Jude refers to the Apostle’s predictions for the last days (Jude 1:18) as having come true (Jude 1:17), but clearly, Jude’s epistle is just as relevant today as in the day it was written. Jude begins by telling us who he is, that being “a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James” (Jude 1:1), so Jude is a servant of Christ more than His half-brother. Jesus is not Jude’s brother anymore. He is his Lord and Savior. The Greek word for servant is actually slave (“doulos”), and there is a huge difference between being a slave and being a servant of Christ. A servant can quit their job, get fired, do a poor job, and go home after work, but a slave, particularly one of Christ’s, is owned by the Master, but the Master is good and He is merciful, and like a good master, He provides for all of our needs. Incidentally, in Jude’s day, slaves were more like family members than what we think of as slaves. They were sometimes adopted into the family. That was never so with a servant.

The Original Gospel

Best Place To Start Reading the BibleJude originally wanted to write this letter (book) about one thing and that was their salvation, but something came up and he had to change the content.  This book is very different from the rest of the New Testament books because it refers to a later time period than most of the other books do. And you can read a sense of urgency in Jude’s words, as he says he “was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Contending for something means fighting for something, and in this case, it was fighting for the original message (the gospel) that originally came from Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15). What we are fighting for is the preservation of the original faith that was once “delivered to the saints.” This means, it was “once and for all,” and that’s it.

The Canon is Closed

No more revelation is necessary today for God has already (past tense) spoken (Heb 1:1-2), no matter what people say. What God has said in His Word stands and it is settled in heaven. Please notice that this statement is in the past tense: “once for all delivered.” It’s enough for “all” and it’s sufficient for all. Nothing more is needed for us. I’ve heard it said, “If it’s new, it’s not from God; and if it’s from God, it’s not new,” so “new revelations” trouble me because we cannot ever be certain of the source. Of Scripture, we can always be sure! Just like what is happening today in the modern church, “certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4).

Satan’s Churches

What Does The Bible Say About Same Sex Marriage

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination“ (Lev 18:22).

There have been and still are satanic churches who have satanic ministers preaching another gospel (2 Cor 11:14-15), and today, they are even allowing homosexual marriage and even condoning it. They argue, “Since they love one another, what is wrong with that,” but remember, Eve loved the forbidden fruit. Bank robbers love money, so love cannot justify the means. Many swallow these lies because of those who brought them in came in under the cover of darkness and have “crept in unnoticed.” They are subtle and small changes to doctrines at first, but then they can grow, but if they are wrong on one point, why believe them on the other doctrines. If they had been noticed, someone would have said something, but that’s why Jude believes we must contend for the faith originally delivered by Christ and expounded by the Apostles.

The enemy is very clever, yearly adding elements to the gospel of Jesus Christ that were not in the original. They add baptism, works, the sacraments, tithing, Sabbath observance, or something else they must “do.” It is often, “Jesus + something.” That means it is not actually the gospel originally delivered (Gal 1:7-9). It can’t be added too because God has already spoken through His Apostles and Prophets, but most clearly through the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2), and His own hear Him speak clearly and plainly in the Gospels (John 10:27-28).

Satan’s Ministers

Since the date of this book’s writing may have come after most of the Apostles had died, it makes sense that the prophecies the Apostles gave had been fulfilled. Jude writes about “the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:17), and what “They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions” (Jude 1:18). We know it’s not those within the Body of Christ that Jude writes about, but “these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit” (Jude 1:20). It is those outside the church of Jesus who infiltrate and try to weaken the gospel of repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). Looking religious means nothing to God because it’s not about religion; it’s about a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. We are reminded that Satan’s own ministers can look like angels of light (2 Cor 11:4-5), but they only appear that way, because they bring a message of darkness.

… even the Devil can appear to be a preacher of righteousness …

Satan’s Gospel

A gospel look-alike that neglects matters of sin, repentance, confession, sanctification, living in holiness, coming out of this world, being Jesus’ disciple, and doing what Jesus’ disciples would naturally do (Matt 25:35-36). If the Apostles were here on earth today, they would be appalled at some of the “buffet-style” religions that claim to be Christian. There is only one way (John 6:44; Acts 4:12) and not a little of this and a little of that. Without the whole gospel of repentance and faith (Mark 1:14-15), you have half the truth, and a half-truth is a whole lie…straight from hell.

Conclusion

We can be students of prophecy but overlook Jesus. I believe it is still best to focus on Christ and to be ready for His appearing at any moment and to live that way. Is Jesus’ return soon? Are we living in the last days? I don’t know to the first one, but yes to the “last day.” I know a better question: “Have you put your trust in Christ? Are you ready for His appearing because He could come at any moment?” If not, there are other prophecies that will come true someday for you (Dan 12:2-3; Rev 1:7, 20:12-25), so it’s not too late to repent of your sins and place your trust in the Savior. Do that today, while it’s still called “today” (2 Cor 6:2). Eternity is a very long time to be wrong.

Here is some related reading for you: Book of Jude Commentary: Study and Summary

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.





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