The ungodly

The author of the book of Jude was likely a brother of Jesus. Jude identified himself as the brother of James (Jude 1:1) who was a leader in the church at Jerusalem. There is evidence that suggests James was related to Jesus because in Matthew 15:33 he is mentioned among the list of Jesus’ brothers. Jude’s message centered on a particular group of people he labeled ungodly. The Greek term translated ungodly, asebes (as-eb-ace’) has to do with a person that has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and rejected its message (G765). Jude’s close association with Jesus and likely conversion to Christianity after he was resurrected from the dead made him a good candidate to talk about the ungodly Jews that had rejected their Messiah because he himself had not believed what Jesus told him. John noted in his gospel “even His brothers did not believe in Him” (John 7:5, NKJV).

Jude warned his audience, “certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4, NKJV). Jude’s harsh language suggested that he was disgusted by what appeared to be an intentional effort to hinder the preaching of the gospel. The phrase he used “crept in unnoticed” indicated the ungodly men he was referring to had disguised themselves as Christians in order to not draw attention to themselves, all the while stirring up trouble and planting seeds of doubt in the minds of those that were considering committing their lives to Christ. The Greek word he used, pareisduno (par-ice-doo’-no) means “to settle in alongside, i.e. lodge stealthily” (G3921). In other words, the ungodly were making themselves at home by becoming members of the church.

Jude’s condemnation of the ungodly went so far as to say that they were no better than the fallen angels that rebelled against God before the world was created (Jude 1:6). Jude indicated God was aware of the ungodly’s activities and had planned their demise from the beginning. He said, “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him'” (Jude 1:14-15, NKJV). Jude’s lack of compassion for the ungodly was rooted in his belief that they had consciously chosen to do the devil’s dirty work. It’s possible that Jude felt his disbelief of his brother’s message was due to Satan’s influence and that he had always known the truth about Jesus, but had initially chosen to reject it.

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