Sermon #16 Jude Sermons
Title: Lessons from Fallen Angels
Text: Jude 6
1. Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
2. Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.
3. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
When Satan fell from his lofty position as the anointed cherub that covereth, the dragon drew one third of the stars of heaven with him in his revolt (Rev. 12:3). Jude tells us that these fallen angels are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
(Jude 1:6) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Peter tells us the same thing.
(2 Peter 2:4) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.
Without entering into any speculation about that great apostasy that took place in heaven, and without making any effort to satisfy the vain curiosity of men about demons and the spirit world, I want us to look at our text and the fact that God the Holy Spirit twice holds before us the fallen angels, forever damned without mercy, as beacons to warn us and that we may learn from them. May God the Holy Spirit, whose words these are, now teach us the lessons he would have us learn from the fallen angels.
Our text takes us back to an ancient event, an event that took place before man was created upon the earth.
Proposition: Those angels who sinned against God are forever lost, with no hope of mercy, with no hope of redemption, with no Savior and no salvation; but God has not dealt with fallen men in such well-deserved severity.
I. First, I want to briefly show you from the Scriptures what it was that Satan and the angels that followed him rebelled against, what it was that caused their revolt against God and his throne.
What did the fallen angels do? Remember, Jude is warning us to guard against apostasy. He is urging us to continue in the faith.
A. He tells us three things about the fallen angels.
1. They fell individually. — He speaks of the “angels” plural. Though they were led in their rebellion by Lucifer, they did not fall in Lucifer. Their fall was not like the fall of the human race, in a representative. They fell from their lofty estate by individual revolt, all at once.
2. They “kept not their first estate.” — The word “kept” means “to guard or protect.” The angels were given an position, and estate, which they were responsible to keep. The word for “estate” refers to their original place and sphere, or their original domain. The angels refused to guard and cherish that lofty position for which they had been created. Instead of sticking with the dignity and rule that God had given them, and responsibilities of it, the angels revolted with Lucifer.
3. Instead, they “left their own habitation.”— The angels left the habitation God had given them in heaven. Like the Sodomites spoken of in verse 7, they deliberately turned away from that which was consistent with their nature and the purpose for which they were created. They became apostates and are forever damned, because they turned their backs on God.
B. The Holy Spirit tells us what their habitation, estate, and responsibility was in Hebrews 1:14. — The angels of God were created to be ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to God’s elect.
(Hebrews 1:14) Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Satan and the angels were created as holy, heavenly, spirit beings, indescribably superior to man in nature and power. But that were created for the purpose of serving the good of chosen men for the glory of God. Satan and those angels he drug into ruin with the tail of his influence said, “That is beneath us. We will not do it.”
(Isaiah 14:12-16) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (13) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (15) Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (16) They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?
But they did not succeed. Even Satan and the fallen angels have been put in subject to Christ the God-man our Savior and serve the purpose for which they were created.
(Isaiah 14:24) The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
(Hebrews 2:6-9) But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? (7) Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (8) Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour!
Yes, though Satan is a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, he is God’s roaring lion, under the absolute rule of Christ the Lord (Rev. 20:1-3). He and the angels held with him in chains of darkness yet serve King Jesus and serve his elect. — How often in the Gospel narratives we see poor, desperate, needy souls who were brought to Christ because they were tormented of the devil!
· The Canaanite Woman’s Daughter (Matt. 15:22)
· The Man Whose Son was A Lunatic (Matt. 17:15)
· The Man Whose Son the Devil Tormented (Mark 9:17-18)
· The Multitudes Vexed with Unclean Spirits (Luke 6:18)
The fallen angels are forever responsible for their own eternal ruin; and yet God’s purpose is unaltered. I stress this fact because I want you to understand that the ark of God is always safe, even when it appears to have been captured by the Philistines. All creatures obey and perform the purpose of God, some willingly and others unwillingly, but all obey — all angels good and bad, — all men, righteous and wicked.
Christ governs everywhere by right,
With wise, unerring skill:
His friends by grace, His foes by might,
Obey His sovereign will.
The revolt of those fallen angels was a failed warfare against God from its inception. And if you rebel against him, your revolt is a futile warfare. You will not prevent the Almighty from ruling over you. You will not keep him from doing with you exactly what he has purposed. You will never hinder him, hurt him, or keep him from showing forth his glory.
Two Sobering Lessons
II. Second, Let me call your attention to two very sobering lessons to be learned from these fallen angels. — “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell.” — He has reserved them “in everlasting chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
The fall of the angels described in this Book seems almost impossible. Doesn’t it? It seems inconceivable. It is hard to believe that they could experience heaven in the presence of God and yet fall with Lucifer into a state of irretrievable darkness, bondage and damnation. These things are written for our learning and admonition. May God the Holy Spirit cause us to learn from them and be admonished by them.
A. No position, be it ever so high and lofty, is a position of security, except the position of grace in Christ (Rom. 4:25-5:2).
There is no security in—
· Your Family
· Your Knowledge
· Your Experience
· Your Power
· Your Circumstances
· Your Personal holiness.
In all these things the angels that fell excel us immeasurably! The only position of security for our souls is the position of grace in Christ
(Romans 4:25) Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
(Romans 5:1-2) Therefore being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:30-31) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
The angels who sinned were angels in heaven. Yet, they were ruined forever, because “they kept not their first estate.”
High in the bright and happy throng,
Satan, a mighty angel sat;
Amongst the morning stars he sung,
Till sin destroy’d his heavenly state.
‘Twas sin that hurled him from his throne.
Groveling in fire the rebel lies:
How art thou sunk in darkness down,
Son of the morning, from the skies!
(Galatians 5:1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
(Hebrews 3:14) For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.
(Hebrews 10:23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.)
(1 Corinthians 15:58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
B. There is another very sobering lesson here. The chains by which those angels are bound over to everlasting destruction are chains of darkness.
They were once angels of light. They are now groping about in chains of darkness. I assume that means that they still entertain hopes of success in their rebellion!
· They are chained by God’s decree.
· They are chained by God’s providence.
· They are chained by God’s power.
· “Now is the prince of this world cast out!” See Revelation 20:1-3.
(Revelation 20:1-3) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
They are like criminals already sentenced to death, sitting on death row, with all appeals exhausted, with no possibility of escape.
So it is with those who abandon Christ and the gospel of his grace. God sends the darkness of utter delusion into their hearts; and they are forever bound in those chains of darkness.
(Hebrews 6:4-6) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
(Hebrews 10:26-29) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (28) He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: (29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
(2 Peter 2:21-22) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Wonders of Grace
III. Third, I want you to see that these fallen angels are also held before us in the Word of God to remind us of and cause us to admire the wisdom, goodness, and wonders of God’s sovereign, free grace in Christ.
A. Let us admire the wisdom of God’s great goodness in the redemption of our souls (Rom. 5:12-21).
The angels, I remind you, did not fall by a representative, but one by one. No grace was given to them. No hope of mercy was set before them, only darkness, wrath, and judgment. But things are different with man. Man fell by a representative man. That very fact inspires hope of redemption, grace, and salvation. All our race fell by the sin of one representative man. And all God’s elect are saved by the obedience of one Representative Man, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:12-21).
(Romans 5:12-21) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17) For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
B. How we ought to admire and rejoice in the blessed sovereignty of our God in the exercise of his grace (Heb. 2:16).
(Hebrews 2:16) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
When our Lord Jesus Christ came to save fallen creatures, he passed by the fallen angels and laid hold upon the seed of Abraham. He did not take hold of the seed of Adam, but he took hold of the seed of Abraham, God’s elect, and delivered them from the bondage of death by the irresistible power of his grace.
We were lost, rushing headlong to destruction, until Christ reached down the hand of his sovereign power and delivered us. Every saved sinner is “a brand plucked from the burning” (Zech. 3:2), snatched out of the jaws of hell, snatched out from among perishing men by sovereign mercy and irresistible grace. He passed by the fallen angels, passed by the sons of Adam, and took hold upon the seed of Abraham.
God our Savior reserves the right of absolute sovereignty in the exercise of his saving grace and in the application of his mercy. As he is sovereign in creation and in providence, our God is absolutely sovereign in the salvation of sinners.
You cannot read through the Bible without being confronted with the fact of divine sovereignty on almost every page. Today we hear much talk about the “fundamentals of the faith.” Yet, those who boast of being “uncompromising fundamentalists” seldom ever mention the gospel doctrine of divine sovereignty. When they do mention it, it is only to denounce it and poke fun at those who believe it.
Let men, if they dare, deny it, ridicule it, and rebel against it as they will. God’s indisputable sovereignty is a fundamental doctrine of Holy Scripture, a vital point of Christian theology.
If you doubt the prevalence and importance of this doctrine of God’s sovereignty in grace, I challenge you to read the Book of God through one more time. Begin at the Book of Genesis and go right through the Book of Revelation. You will find the gospel doctrine of divine sovereignty repeatedly declared, explained, and illustrated throughout the Sacred Volume. It is set forth, not in a few isolated verses, but upon every page of Inspiration. God has mercy on whom he will have very, and whom he will he hardeneth. “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:15-16).
The illustrations of God’s sovereignty in the exercise of his grace are as numerous as the characters mentioned in the Bible.
Satan led a revolt in heaven against the throne of God. One third of the heavenly angels fell from their holy habitation. As a result of their sin, they were forever doomed to suffer the wrath of God. No mercy was extended to them. No grace was offered to them. No savior was sent to deliver them. The fallen angels were forever damned without the least measure of grace.
Then Adam did the same thing. He sinned against the throne of God. He challenged God’s right to be God. What happened? God was gracious. God promised the fallen sons of Adam a Savior, a Redeemer, a Way of mercy (Gen. 3:15). The angels who sinned were passed by, reprobate, without mercy. Yet, when Adam did the same thing, God extended mercy to man. That is divine sovereignty! Why did God pass by the angels that fell? Why did God extend mercy to fallen men? Only one answer can be given, “He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Rom. 9:18).
You can either rebel against this message of divine sovereignty and perish in your rebellion, or you can bow to the sovereign God and say with Christ, “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight” (Matt. 11:26). Whether you bow to God’s throne or rebel against it, the fact remains the same. The God of the Bible is an absolute sovereign. He can save you, or he can damn you. That is his right as God. It is entirely up to him.
As God chose some angels who lost their first estate, and passed by others; even so, among the fallen sons of Adam there are some who are chosen of God, to whom he will be gracious, and there are some whom God has passed by, to whom no grace is given.
· Adam had two sons, Cain and Abel. God passed by Cain, the older, and saved Abel.
· Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. God passed by Ishmael and saved Isaac.
· Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. God passed by Esau because he hated Esau, and saved Jacob because he loved Jacob.
· In the days of Noah, God destroyed the entire human race, except for one man and his family. Why did God save Noah? Because “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8).
· Pharaoh — Throughout the Old Testament we are given example after example of God’s sovereignty in salvation. One glaring example of God’s sovereignty is Pharaoh. Like Satan himself and the angels that fell, Pharaoh hated the Israelites. Yet, God made him the very instrument by whose mouth and power they were thrust out of Egypt into his almighty arms! God raised him up for no other purpose but to harden his heart and dump him and the entire Egyptian army in the Red Sea, so that his sovereign power might be declared throughout the world (Rom. 9:17).
Perhaps you think, “All that was in the Old Testament. God is different now.” Do not be so foolish. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament, too. He never changes (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). His glorious sovereignty is just as clearly exemplified and even more fully revealed in the New Testament.
· When our Lord passed by gathering his disciples, he called Simon and Andrew, but not their father.
· He chose James and John, but not Zebedee.
· He healed some, and left others to die.
· He called some, and passed others by.
· He saved some who sought him (The woman with an issue of blood), and he did not save others who sought him (The rich young ruler).
· Christ died for some, but did not die for others (John 10:11, 26).
· He was gracious to some, but not to others. This is a fact — God does not deal with all people alike.
The New Testament plainly and forcibly teaches the gospel doctrine of God’s absolute sovereignty in the exercise of his grace (Matt. 11:20-27; John 12:36-41; Rom. 11:5-11, 32-36).
This one thing we must see — The God of glory is absolutely sovereign in salvation. He wounds; and he heals. He kills; and he makes alive. It is his sovereign right to either save me or damn me, to either be gracious to me, or to pass me by.
Rebels would be wise to fall down before his sovereign throne, and beg for mercy. Like the Leper, fall down at his feet and say, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean” (Mark 1:40). Will you perish in your proud rebellion; or will you take your place in the dust and beg for mercy?
Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry:
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not, do not pass me by!
I tell you without hesitation that this gospel doctrine of divine sovereignty is vital. You will either bow to God’s righteous sovereignty, or you will perish in your rebellion.
I am here to lift high the glorious banner of God’s absolute sovereignty. I am calling for proud worms to bow down before God’s sovereign throne. I am, in the name of God, calling for you to lay down your weapons of rebellion and surrender to God our Savior in his total sovereignty.
You have two choices: Either surrender to Christ’s sovereign dominion, or be crushed into hell for your rebellion. Men rail at me for preaching the sovereignty of God’s grace as I do. They angrily denounce me as a Hardshell, an Antinomian, and a Hyper-Calvinist. I care nothing for it, I am happy to make them angry. If a man hates the truth, I will never be bashful about stirring up his wrath. If a man is offended by the character of God, I shall be delighted to offend him (Isa. 45:5-10, 20-25; 43:1-13). That which is good food for sheep is a hard rock for goats. I’m always delighted to feed the sheep with good food; and it never bothers me to give goats sore gums.
(Hebrews 2:16) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
As it was never the desire or intention of our Lord to save fallen angels, so too, it was never the intention, desire, or purpose of the Son of God to save all men. Thank God! He does save some of Adam’s fallen race! — “He delighteth in mercy!” He forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin! But to say that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to save all men, tries to save all men, or provides salvation for all men is both absurd and blasphemous. Notice the wording of Hebrews 2:16. It does not say, “He took on him the seed of Adam.” It says, “He took on him the seed of Abraham!” He took hold of all his elect, covenant seed, took hold of them to save them. And blessed be his name, they shall be saved.
C. Let us pause a moment longer and adore and worship of God, because of this great fact revealed in Holy Scripture. —Though angels fell the saints of God are made to stand.
What a wonder of grace this is is! I tell you, when the tales of God’s people shall be written, and the records of the saints shall be read by the light of glory, we shall be miracles of grace to ourselves and to one another.
· God never made a covenant with the angels. But he made a covenant with us in Christ, ordered in all things and sure. Read the covenant promise and rejoice (Jer. 32:38-40).
(Jeremiah 32:38-40) And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: (39) And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: (40) And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
· The angels that fell were never redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. But we have been redeemed!
· The angels that fell are “reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.” But we are sealed by his Spirit unto the resurrection (Eph. 1:12-14; 4:30).
(Ephesians 1:12-14) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
(Ephesians 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
From heaven the sinning angels fell,
And wrath and darkness chained them down;
But man, vile man, forsook his bliss,
And mercy lifts him to a crown.
Amazing work of sovereign grace
That could distinguish rebels so!
Our guilty treasons called aloud
For everlasting fetters too.
1. What a great argument this is for you to trust my Savior. — The Son of God says, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out!” He declares, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish!”
2. What an argument this is for you and me who believe to holdfast the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.
(2 Peter 3:11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.
(Jude 1:24-25) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.
 Date: Danville — Tuesday Evening—January 25, 2005
Rescue, CA — Saturday Evening — January 29, 2005
Tape # Jude #16
Readings: Larry Brown and Larry Criss