Then Jude points them to a higher realm, to the angels who kept not their first estate.  They were created in glorious perfection by God, for the object of praising Him without ceasing, and serving Him at all times.  In spite of this honor, they left the habitation God had assigned to them.  Some have put it that Lucifer, along with his fallen companions, preferred to rule in hell rather than to serve in heaven.  This too, was according to the dreadful decree of God, who chose some angels to be maintained in blessed perfection throughout all ages, while others were permitted to fall from their first estate, into a pit of perdition from which they may never be extracted.  Herein lies a solemn mystery which the deepest human mind cannot unravel.  God the Creator determined that He would save an innumerable host of sinful men, who were creatures of far less power and usefulness than angels, but He would make no provision whatsoever for the fallen angels.  So far as we know, the only creatures in all creation without any hope of ever improving their condition are the fallen angels.  No remedy has been supplied for them, but they are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”  Surely, we must suppose, divine wisdom could have wrought out a means of redeeming even these wretched creatures, had He so chosen.  But it was God’s will that Satan and his followers should be shut up forever in the everlasting fire prepared for them, while the Son of God would depart the realms of glory to assume human nature, and die a bloody death to redeem a great host of sinners for His praise.

But Jude’s point is not to unravel this profound mystery, but rather to posit the fallen angels as a warning against apostasy.  He wants the believers to understand that, if God’s wrath against the fallen angels was so terrible that He placed them in everlasting chains until the judgment of the great day, His judgment against apostates in the church will be equally severe.  Those who reject God’s word, and willfully revel in uncleanness while professing themselves servants of heaven, will no more pass muster than did the angels who thought to subvert the eternal throne.

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