Sermon #35                                                    Jude Sermons


     Title:           Preserved for God’s Glory

     Text:           Jude 1:24-24

     Subject:      The Security of God’s Elect

     Date:          Tuesday Evening — July 12, 2005

     Tape #        Jude #35

     Readings:   Lindsay Campbell and Rex Bartley



“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,” speaks to us in the tone of an ancient prophet. His voice is like that of Elijah or John the Baptist. It is “the voice of one crying in the wilderness


He speaks to us about those false prophets who creep into the churches and, with great subtlety and craftiness, turn many away from Christ. Jude specifically addresses the evils of false religion and apostasy arising from within the church. What a vivid, dark picture he draws of error, licentiousness, worldliness, spiritual decay, apostasy, and prevailing iniquity! He shows the professed church as being utterly absorbed by the world and the professed church as being content to have it so!


It is a picture of the way things were even in that early time. And it is a picture of the way things are today. How easily the world is absorbed into the church and the church into the world! How rapidly and heedlessly men and women fall for the snares of “the god of this world,” and glory in their fall, calling it “progress,” “enlightenment,” and “spiritual growth!”


(Jude 1:11-13)  "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. (12) These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; (13) Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."


The Cause of Apostasy


How could this happen? How could men and women who were “once enlightened” be persuaded to turn back to darkness? How could people who had once embraced the gospel of Christ be turned again to fables? Jude tells us in verse 4.


(Jude 1:4)  "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."


Professing to be dressed in the “white raiment” of grace and washed in the blood of the Lamb, they are clothed in the “filthy rags” of self-righteousness, in the gaudy attire of the great harlot, and defiled with the sin and vileness of “another gospel, which is not another,” all the while naming the name of Christ and numbered among his disciples!


O the darkness of the human heart! O the subtlety of the flesh! O the deceitfulness of sin! What is there that a man will not profess when it suits his purpose? What contradictions of life, creed, and conscience will he embrace, when ambitious for the praise of men and seeking position of honor, motivated by nothing but his own base lusts for recognition, fame, and power?


There are multitudes who are in Israel who are not of Israel! Wolves in sheep’s clothing are found everywhere! They wear the name of Christ, but hate Christ, his doctrine, and his people! These are the things that made it necessary for Jude to write this epistle, urging us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”


“In this day of half-discipleship,” wrote Horatius Bonar, “of double service, of religious worldliness, and worldly religiousness, how needful it is that the awful words of the apostle be studied by the Church of God


Enoch’s Prophecy


Yet, we must never imagine that these evils are new, that they are peculiar to our day. The seeds of apostasy were seen before the flood. In that day every imagination of the hearts of men was only evil continually, just as we find today. It was in that day that Enoch prophesied of the coming of our Lord in judgment (verse 14-15). Just as those men against whom Enoch prophesied were swept off by the avenging flood of water, so shall these be.


(Jude 1:14-15)  "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."


Apostates in the last days more numerous than ever, shall soon be consumed by the flood of the devouring fire, with which the Lord when he comes is to purge this polluted earth, that he may bring out of it the new earth “wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Greater, indeed, and more hateful, must be the wickedness of the last days; for, while it is written of antediluvian days, “It repented the Lord that he had made man upon the earth, and it grieved him in his heart,” it is written of the last times, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure” (Psalm 2:4-5).


An Elect Remnant


But, blessed be God, there is yet a remnant according to the election of grace (Rom. 11:1-8). There is always an elect remnant who shall not be deceived and cast off.


(Romans 11:1-8)  "I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (2) God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, (3) Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. (4) But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. (5) Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (6) And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (7) What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (8) (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day."


There are some who, in this evil day have not defiled their garments. In verse 20 Jude begins to speak to you and I who are in the faith, urging us to remain steadfast, “earnestly contending for the faith.” — “But ye; beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God


Jude is not suggesting that we are our own keepers, or that we can create faith in our hearts whenever she please. All of Scripture teaches, and every child of God knows by experience, that we are kept by the power of God unto eternal life, being preserved in our Lord Jesus Christ. His word concerning his vineyard is, — “I the Lord do keep it. I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day” (Isa. 27:2-3; 1 Pet. 1:5). When Jude urges us to build up ourselves up in our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, he is telling us that we must continually seek and wait for the grace of God and the blessed influence of the Holy Spirit, addicting ourselves to the ministry of the gospel, the worship of God, and the fellowship of the saints, strengthening each other’s hands and hearts in the faith. Knowing our constant need of Christ, we are to be constantly looking to him, “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life,” constantly and confidently expecting his mercy, mercy that ends in eternal life! For those who are truly born of God, truly justified, and truly sanctified in Christ, there is nothing doubtful regarding their everlasting end (2 Pet. 1:3, 4; 1 Cor. 6:11; 1 Cor. 1:30; Isa. 45:24, 25). Heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ have every reason to confidently expect nothing but “mercy unto eternal life” (Tit. 2:13; 2 Pet. 3:12).


The Fallen


In verses 22 and 23 he tells us how to treat those erring ones around us.


(Jude 1:22-23)  "And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."


These are tender words of brotherly love and affectionate care. While firmly denouncing false prophets, we are to always be gracious toward those who are swayed by them, the tempted and fallen, those who are ignorant and out of the way. Being propelled by grace, we are to stretch out the helping hand, in any way, and every way, to raise up the fallen.


Let us ever remember our ignorance about the spiritual state of others. None of us has any way of knowing who is and who is not among the Lord’s people. There are no outward signs by which we can determine whether a person is or is not born of God. We cannot distinguish between wheat and tares. We cannot, by looking, distinguish sheep from goats. That discernment belongs only to God who “looketh on the heart.” Let us, therefore, seek to save, as from the fire, those who appear to be in extreme danger. Though we loath their garment spotted by the flesh (their corrupt doctrine), yet we love our brethren who have been defiled.


Blessed Security


Then lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jude closes this epistle with the magnificent doxology of assurance and praise that we find in verses 24-25.


(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."


It is as though Jude is saying to you who trust Christ, “Though I have spoken so plainly about the apostasy by which multitudes have been and are being turned away from Christ, there is no danger of you falling away and perishing, there is no danger of you being lost, who look to the Lord Jesus Christ as your only Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, because he is able to keep you from falling; and he will do it!”


Proposition: Jude closes this epistle by assuring every believing sinner that all who trust Christ are absolutely secure in grace and safe, because we are preserved by the grace of God for the glory of God.


Divisions: Let me show you three things from these two verses, as I wrap this message up, and I will send you home “rejoicing in hope” of the glory of God.

1.    The Preservation,

2.    The Presentation,

3.    And The Praise.


The Preservation


First, Jude here assures us of the absolute preservation of God’s elect in Christ and by Christ. — “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling.”


·       The word “keep” (fulassw — phulasso) refers to watching and guarding; indicating keeping with vigilance, protecting and delivering, in spite of dangers and enemies.

·       The word “falling” (aptaistov — aptaistos) means “stumbling.”

·       He who is God our Savior is able to make us exempt from falling, or even stumbling.


We need to be kept from falling. — We are not yet in heaven, where no foot shall stumble, no enemy will assail, no snare can be laid for us, and no weakness will ever overtake us. We are still in this wilderness of woe, in the land of danger, darkness, hostility, and rugged paths.


We need perpetual keeping. We are ever falling, yet ever kept; cast down, but not destroyed; troubled, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken.


And we cannot keep ourselves. — Self-help and self-reliance are just self-delusion! We have no strength, no skill, and no wisdom. Yet, it is to them that have no might that God “increaseth strength


(Isaiah 40:28-31)  "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (29) He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (30) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (31) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."


It takes divine strength to keep us. — It is by “the power of God” that we are kept (1 Peter 1:5). Nothing short of omnipotent mercy and grace can keep us! And nothing short of omnipotent mercy and grace we have! And this will do!

·       Though Satan is mighty!

·       Though we are weak!

·       Though sin strong.

·       Though our enemies are many!

Only the arm of omnipotence can hold us up and protect us. No man, no angel, no church, can keep us. Friends, preachers, and teachers, can do much for us; but they cannot “keep us from falling.” He who is God our Savior, and he alone can keep us!


Not only can he keep us, our blessed God and Savior is willing, as well as able, to keep us. — “The only wise God our Saviour.” We are “preserved in Jesus Christ” (v. 1). His wisdom, his love, his power, his salvation, are all engaged in our behalf. He who saved us keeps us, — keeps us wisely, keeps us powerfully, keeps us every moment, keeps us to the end.


(Psalms 121)  "A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (3) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (4) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (6) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (8) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore."


“He that keepeth Israel” neither slumbers nor sleeps. — He kills, yet he makes alive. — He brings down to the grave, yet brings up. — He makes poor, and then makes rich. — He brings low, and then lifts up. — He keeps the feet of sis saints (1 Samuel 2:6-9; Psalm 41:2). We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” That’s the story of our lives. The glory for which we are kept is to be revealed when he who is our life shall appear.


The presentation


Second, Jude assures us of a glorious presentation. — “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


The word “present” means “set,” or “place,” as when one, having finished some great work or piece of art, sets it in some conspicuous place to be seen of all. That is what Christ will do with us (Eph. 2:7; Ps. 91:14).


(Psalms 91:14)  "Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name."


(Ephesians 2:7)  "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."


Of whom are these words spoken? Who will he present? Let Jude answer. Those who are…

·       “Sanctified by God the Father” (v. 1).

·       “Preserved in Jesus Christ” (v. 1).

·       “and called” (v. 1).

·       “Beloved” (v. 3).

·       Partakers of “the common salvation” (v. 4).

·       “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (v. 21).

·       Kept “from falling” (v. 24).


Who is he that will present us? We shall be presented by him who kept us, by “the only wise God and our Saviour.” It is Christ who redeemed us, Christ who keeps us, and Christ who shall present us! He leads us into at the strait gate. He leads us along the narrow way. He leads us into the paradise of God. He leads us up to the throne. And there he will exhibit us as the trophies of his wisdom, and power, and love, and grace.


Where will he present us? — “Before the presence of his glory.” The glory dwelt in the innermost shrine; and into the presence of that glory the Redeemer carries those whom He has kept. No outer court will do for such a presentation. Jewels such as these, thus “made up” (Malachi 3:17), are fit for the royal palace. No lesser place will do; no place less holy, less heavenly, will suffice. Their sparkling luster must be laid beside the gold of the mercy seat, above which the glory dwells,—the gems, and the gold, and the glory, helping each to bring out the other's splendor. It is his glory before which we are to be set,—the glory of the Only-begotten of the Father; the glory of the holy of holies,—a glory which shall shed down its eternal radiance upon those who are thus kept and thus presented, changing them into the same image from glory to glory, in that realm where all is glory, and from which every trace of imperfection shall have vanished, leaving nothing behind but what is divinely fair and “perfect.” Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

·       The “tree of life” and the “crown of life” are theirs (Revelation 2:7,10).

·       The “hidden manna,” the “white stone,” the “new name,” and the new song, are theirs (Revelation 2:17).

·       The “morning star” is theirs (Revelation 2:28).

·       The “white raiment” is theirs. A home in the heavenly temple is theirs..

·       Christ's throne is theirs (Revelation 3:5, 12:21).

·       The holy city, with its jasper wall, and golden pavement, and jeweled foundations, and crystal river, and unsetting sun, is theirs (Revelation 21:18, 22:1-5).


Nothing less than this is implied in this presentation before the presence of His glory. They behold His face in righteousness, and are satisfied when they awake with His likeness (Psalm 17:15).


How will he present us?—In two respects: 'faultless,' and 'with exceeding joy.' And are not these the two perfections of eternity?


“Faultless!” — Internally pure and unblemished; not simply unchallengeable in law (1 Corinthians 1:8), but faultless! — “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee” (Song 4:7 Ephesians 5:27).

·       Legally and judicially faultless!

·       Internally and morally faultless!

·       Personally faultless!


“With exceeding joy!” —The word is a strong one, like those of the Old Testament, “leaping for joy.” This is the fullness of the “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” This is what David sang of. — “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:2). This shall be the day of the Lamb's marriage, and the Bridegroom's coronation, and therefore they are glad. Then that shall come to pass which is written, “The King's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions shall be brought unto thee. with gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter the King's palace” (Psalm 95:12-15). They “shall return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10).


But Jude is telling us about more than our joy. He is telling us that our ultimate presentation before the presence of his glory shall be the exceeding joy of Christ, of “God our Savior!”


(Zephaniah 3:14-17)  "Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. (15) The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. (16) In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. (17) The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."


The Praise


In verse 25 Jude tells us that our everlasting presentation before the presence of his glory in faultless perfection shall be to the everlasting praise of our great God!


(Jude 1:25)  "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen."


All excellency, personal and official, regal and priestly, is here ascribed to “the only wise God our Saviour;” for He whose name is Savior is “the God only wise” (Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17).


(Romans 16:27)  "To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen."


(1 Timothy 1:17)  "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen."


On these words of praise, which make up this divine anthem, I cannot now speak. Each of them contains something special. I send you home to roll them over in your soul, with rapturous joy, thanksgiving, and praise, with confident hope and expectation. The Lord willing, we will come back to them again next Tuesday. For now, just roll them over in your soul and worship your God.


(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."