Jude is not yet through with the false teachers, but delivers one terrible, final salvo before coming to a gentle exhortation for the people of God.  He denounces these wicked men who have insinuated themselves into the churches as murmurers and complainers.  This is something I fear we do not think of nearly enough.  It is almost an American rite of passage to learn how to complain; complain about our boss, our job, our parents, our teachers, our government, our circumstances, and everything else under the sun.  It is so common that we do not even think a thing of it; but we should.  Thousands of Israelites were destroyed in the wilderness for this very sin.  To complain about problems in our lives is to complain, not against men, but against God.  It reveals a lack of faith in Him, a lack of faith in His sufficiency.  This is unacceptable for a child of God.  These men were following in the sins of those ancient Israelites, and Jude would have us to know that they are headed for the same destruction.

While they complained about events and persons (probably about other church leaders, such as the apostles), the false teachers lived in bondage to their own lusts.  Again, this is something which is positively prohibited throughout the gospels and all the epistles.  Christ constantly exhorted us to deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow Him, which command is utterly inconsistent with a life of walking after our own lusts.  Self-denial is one of the great, fundamental Christian virtues, but it was something to which these hypocrites and scoundrels were utter strangers.  They would tolerate no doctrine that would put a rein on their lusts.  Many such deceivers there are today, and we do well to beware of them, lest we follow their pernicious errors.

Pride is the chief motivation of these men.  They are like Diotrephes, who desired to have the preeminence, and were willing to do anything to gain it.  They would speak “great swelling words,” as Jude calls them, lofty and proud utterances, in order to attract the attention and admiration of others.  They were also greatly at fault in playing favorites among the people of God.  If they could make use of another individual who had influence to exalt themselves, they had no inhibitions about doing so.  They were religious apple polishers, complaining and being harsh when they could, but admiring the persons of men when it turned to their advantage.  Such damnable hypocrisy is intolerable in a church of Christ, and Jude would have all of the Lord’s assemblies to steer clear of such characters.

Jude has consumed a considerable amount of space describing the reprobate character of the false teachers, and with good reason: it is necessary for God’s people to be on guard against the attacks of these ravening wolves who come to us in sheep’s clothing in every generation.  The apostles, mindful of the warnings of their Lord, were also faithful to warn the early churches that deceivers would worm their way into the church, who would seek to lead them away from the sound doctrine of Christ.  Paul reminded Timothy that the Holy Spirit declared expressly that in the last days perilous times would come.  2nd Peter is a book much akin to Jude, dealing much with the false doctrines and evil characters of false teachers.  I do not doubt that part of the consistent teaching method of the apostles was to warn the early churches against these false teachers, who would bring in damnable heresies, and spread their cancerous antinomian doctrines.  Every church in every age needs to be fully aware of these warnings, and to shun the mockers who arise among us, walking after their own lusts.  While in some ways these heretics may be subtle, the very fact that they walk after their own lusts ought to reveal them to us quite clearly.  Whenever we see men of this description attempting to assume teaching positions among the people of God, we should recognize that here is a man to be stopped before he goes another inch.  These men separate themselves from the true doctrine and the faithful people of Christ, live for sensual pleasures, and do not have the Spirit of God.  May God protect us in this evil generation from these ravenous wolves!

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