17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
In verses 17–19. Jude tells his readers to remember what the apostles had foretold about false teachers and leaders. At Ephesus, Paul warned of the “savage wolves” that would come in to destroy the flock and distort the truth (Acts 20:29–30). In the letter to Timothy Paul sounded similar warnings of apostasy (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1–5; 4:3–4). Peter had addressed the same issue in 2 Peter 2:1–3; 3:3–4. The quotation in Jude 18 is a loose rendering of Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3:3, and at the same time it summarized Paul’s warnings.
As stated in Jude 18–19, these intruders (a) scoffed (vv. 10–15), (b) followed their own ungodly desires (v. 16) and mere natural instincts (vv. 10, 16), and (c) sought to divide believers. Such men obviously did not have the Holy Spirit and thus were not born again (Rom. 8:9).
The fact that Jude alluded to the apostles before his time, was to add credibility to his warnings about the false teachers and their conduct. It was to give them assurance and hope that what Jude is saying is in fact the Truth and that they can continue to trust in the Truth.
This is a great example to employ today to determine if a teaching we hear from someone is true or not. If it holds up to what the Bible and the apostles said, it is most likely true. But if it is not the same and or their daily conduct does not reflect godly character (as mentioned by Jude), we should heed caution to take such a teaching or conviction as the Truth.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Today, take a moment, wherever you are, to REJOICE in God’s goodness: Read a Bible passage or listen to a song that helps you to connect with God.