Angels, Part 5 by Allan McGuirl
In our study of angels, we have seen them as guardian angels, angels with words of wisdom, good news, comfort and judgment. Judgment is the area we are going to talk about today, found in the small book of Jude. Jude was a disciple of Jesus, a brother of James the Just, and a half-brother to Jesus. He is also known as Thaddeus, or Judas; although his name was shortened to Jude to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. Jude wrote a very short epistle, only one chapter in length, but it has some interesting mentions of angels. He addresses his letter to “those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.”(v1) This in itself is a truth of great value, for we are “kept by Jesus.”
Jude reminds us in verse 4 that, unfortunately, there were godless men who were seeking to change the grace of God into a license for immorality and denying Jesus Christ, our only Sovereign and Lord. There are people who are walking in that same ungodly pathway today; people who, for the sake of their own lusts, have tried to make God’s word condone their evil practices. In fact, Jude goes on to say that there were “angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling” (which of course was in the presence of God in heaven). And what happened to them? We come to one of the most solemn passages in the Bible. Listen carefully to what these angels, who turned their backs on God, faced. The Bible says, “These He has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.” They are kept, even now, in total darkness, and I believe this means spiritual darkness and the inability to grasp truth. They are separated from God’s presence for all eternity. Notice, also, that they are bound hand-and-foot with chains until the judgment on that great Day. We also see that they are compared to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah with their sexual immorality and perversion. And throughout this chapter the fate of the fallen angels is linked hand-in-hand with the fate of those people who refuse to turn to God in repentance and accept the forgiveness graciously provided for all mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They will suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In verse 13 we are told that those who reject Jesus are like wandering stars for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
Let me digress for a moment here. I have heard a good number of people joke about hell and boast about joining their friends there and playing cards and having a great time. The Bible makes it very clear that there will be no friends there, only the restriction of chains on hands and feet, total darkness with nothing to see, and complete silence with nothing to hear, like wandering stars light-years from any other influence. In that place of torment, only the memory will play over and over again – the foolish pride, boasting, stubbornness, and selfishness of one who has rejected the truth and refused the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the Son of God, humbled Himself to become a human to live in this wicked and perverse world for the purpose of taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all mankind. He knew our sins already had us condemned before a holy God and His amazing love came to redeem us and make a way of escape – not only to escape the judgment of sin but to also receive adoption into God’s family and become joint heirs with His Son Jesus Christ. The God of this universe did not do this lightly, and if we choose to treat His generous and gracious offer frivolously, we need to be warned that we will stand before Him in judgment. Let me urge you to turn to Him and receive His amazing grace now without hesitating a moment longer. Read the Bible and discover for yourself what God really has to say to you.
Jude goes on to talk about Michael the archangel. While ungodly people may reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings, Jude says, “Even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’”(v9) And in referring to Enoch, he says, “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”(v14) Jude finishes his epistle with these well-known words, “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”(v24,25)
Have you placed yourself in His keeping? Are you ready to be presented before God’s presence without sin? I John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Have you trusted Him for forgiveness? If not, why not pray this prayer today? Admit to Jesus that you are a sinner and that you believe He as the Son of God died in your place to take the punishment for your sin. Ask for His forgiveness and cleansing. Then find others who believe in Him and meet together with them so that you can grow in your knowledge of Jesus. May the Lord richly bless you.