Today's scripture focus passage: Jude 1:14 - Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones...
Accompanying MacArthur sermon: The Coming Judgment on Apostates, Part 1
Accompanying Legge sermon: The Apostates' Final Fall
(it also happens to be the other Friday poster's birthday ~ who happens to be my sister-in-law ~ so it's an especially good Good Friday! Happy birthday, Roxie! :)
Okay, so today's passage is a little tricky because it isn't even a complete sentence! But since it isn't and because Jude is beginning to quote someone we're familiar with, I'm going to focus on WHOM he's quoting.
Now, we don't know Enoch was necessarily a prophet, but the account of him in the Old Testament clearly indicates he was a very godly man, and while not generally recognized as a prophet, it's clear he did prophesy at least once. Jude's tone throughout his little letter is one that presumes previous knowledge of his subject matter by his audience, so it seems safe to assume here that his readers must be familiar with this prophecy from Enoch. And like MacArthur says in his sermon, "If Jude under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said that Enoch said that, then guess what? Enoch said that. He said it. Even though it's not recorded in the Old Testament, he said it. And the Holy Spirit inspires Jude to say he said it because he said it...Enoch prophesied." So? Anyone wanna argue with him?? ;)
Legge points out the parallels between Enoch's day, Jude's day, and our day. Certainly, we can see the need for Jude's reminder in our day. And obviously, the environment and/or circumstances that necessitated Jude's letter (when he'd been planning to write something else ~ see v. 3) were very similar to the environment and/or circumstances that necessitated Enoch's prophesy. Which, as you recall, preceded the flood in Noah's day by only one generation. Enoch named his son Methuselah to bear testimony to the prophecy which would be fulfilled right after the end of Methuselah's life. All this to say, nothing much has changed in human nature since God saw fit to wipe out virtually the entire human race back in Old Testament times. They desperately needed warnings then and got them through prophecies; we desperately need them now and get them from God's Word.
One thing Legge mentions that I find kind of disturbing (but that makes perfect sense) is that the apostates, false teachers, etc. come from the Church. I mean, it makes sense ~ how else could you preach and live a false Gospel if you didn't know the real one enough to be able to alter it? But still, it's a little unsettling to be faced with the reality that when we're in our churches is when we're most likely to be surrounded by apostates.
Jude's letter, I believe, is not only a plea to greater discernment and a guide to recognizing apostasy, but also a reminder that if false teachers come from within the Church, we need to CONSTANTLY make sure what WE say and how WE live lines up with Scripture. We may not be pastors or authors or Sunday school teachers or conference speakers or Bible study leaders, but our lives speak to our beliefs and interpretations of the Word nonetheless.
Not just so we can recognize apostasy in our churches, but so we can recognize the beginnings of apostasy in ourselves and make the necessary course corrections.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year reading: Deuteronomy 23-24
Monday's scripture focus passage: Jude 1:15-16