Jude has to change his direction in writing his letter. He wants to cuddle up with his brothers and sisters who share a common salvation through faith in Jesus and revel in all the goodness they have in Christ. But, because of certain false teachers, he felt it more urgent to call for his fellow believers to “contend” for the truth of the faith. In Jude 1:4, he describes these false teachers, “For 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.” He describes them as being people who have crept in “long ago.” They were unnoticed. They were designated for this condemnation. They were “ungodly” people who perverted grace into a license for sensuality. They deny the lordship of Jesus.

These false teachers just surfaced from within the group. It appears that these people were part of the community and recognized as such, but then they showed their true nature by turning the message of salvation by grace through faith alone into a complete license to sin. I can’t help but think of the liberal trend in our country. You cannot watch a movie or TV show without there being sexual perversions of one kind or another. But the really disturbing thing to me is that there is a larger-than-life current movement to make homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle not only in the community but also in the Church of Jesus Christ. One website, gaychurch.org, has a plethora of articles explaining that salvation by grace alone makes the lifestyle acceptable. One article closes with this statement. “Is something lacking in Christ that you still must do? Of course not! Can you save yourself by becoming a heterosexual or by being celibate? If you can, then you have made the Cross of Christ of no effect.”[1] While I agree completely that salvation is by grace through faith and that no one can win eternal life by what they do or don’t do, I cannot dismiss the reality that homosexuality is one of many sins that Jesus delivers people from. It’s one of many different kinds of sin. Murderers don’t come to faith in Christ so they may be excused to live out their lusts. Thieves and liars don’t come to faith in Christ to continue living by stealing and lying. Those who come to Christ because of the wonderful grace and forgiveness offered come with repentant hearts looking for help to overcome those sins. But homosexuality is not a “sin” in our current economy. It’s an optional and acceptable lifestyle. The gay community tries to indoctrinate children with this view as early as they can and have found great inroads in every social structure of our country. Anyone like me who considers homosexuality a sin to be forgiven and overcome is the bad guy.

Our current culture looks at the values and morals of the past, something that should be put aside because they are archaic and do not apply to our modern cultures. Jude looks back at “long ago” in his reasoning and says that in his current day, things have not changed. By referring to the teachings against sexual impurity in the Old Testament and possibly the references to it in the New Testament, he asserts that there are limits to our sexual expressions as created by God. “Male and Female,” he made them and called the marriage bed “undefiled.” All sexual expression outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin and cannot be accepted as the norm in any godly society. Salvation is still by grace alone and not of works of any kind, but we must not succumb to the modern notion that any lifestyle is acceptable. In his commentary on Jude, Green says, “Libertinism was to be found both in Pauline and Petrine churches (Rom. 13:13; 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 4:19; 1 Pet. 4:3; 2 Pet. 2:2, 7, 18) and also in John’s circle in Asia (Rev. 2:20–24). It is hardly surprising that men accepted the indicative of pardon and forgot the imperative of holiness. It was an inherent risk in the proclamation of the gospel of free grace, and it has always been so since then. The conclusion many preachers have drawn is to stop preaching free grace; the apostolic conclusion was to attack lasciviousness, but to continue to preach the grace of God who accepts the unacceptable.”[2]

[1] https://www.gaychurch.org/homosexuality-and-the-bible/justified-through-christ/

[2] Green, Michael. 1987. 2 Peter and Jude: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 18. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.