(Vs. 14,15.) This was Enoch, the son of Jared, who walked with God and was translated body and soul to heaven. Enoch did not experience death (Gen. 5:18-24). He is said to be the seventh generation from Adam, in the line of Seth. Evidently this prophecy of Enoch was handed down from age to age and was in full credit with the Jews, so the apostle Jude refers to it (or else he had it by divine inspiration).
The Lord Jesus will come again! This is not his first coming, which was to seek and save, not to judge and condemn. This is his second coming (John 14:3; Acts 1:10,11; 1 Thess. 4:16-18). His second coming will show forth his glory and majesty, gather his elect together and mark the final judgement of the wicked. He will be accompanied by the redeemed and his holy angels.
To execute judgement upon all" (John 5:22). His righteous judgement shall fall upon men, not only for their ungodly deeds, but for their words against him. The special reference here is to those false teachers and men who spoke against his person and offices, his blood and righteousness, his ministers and people! (Matt. 25:31-33.)
(Vs. 16.) These trouble-makers, false teachers and self-willed hypocrites are usually "murmurers and complaints". They have no joy, rest, or peace in Christ; so they murmur against God, his sovereignty, his providence, his government and his gospel of free grace. They murmur against ministers of the gospel, against civil magistrates, against their lot in life and against everything that is not to their liking (Num. 14:26-29). They walk after their own desires, not caring for the welfare or feelings of others. But they speak flattering words and openly court men whom they hope to entrap and from whom they hope to gain either praise or possessions (James 2:1).
(Vs. 17,18.) The apostle addresses the true believers who might be disturbed and troubled by these murmurers and complainers. "The apostles of the Lord Jesus told you that in these last days scoffers, mockers and false preachers would arise, who seek not the glory of Christ but their own unholy desires" (2 Peter 3:2,3; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-4).
(Vs. 19.) These people are agitators, causing division and strife in the church. They are "sensual", or only natural men, who profess to know Christ but have never been regenerated or made partakers of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9,14-16).
(Vs.20,21.) Jude shows how believers can overcome the devices of Satan and avoid being influenced and deceived by false teachers and hypocrites in the church.
1. "Build yourselves up on your most holy faith." Christ is the object of our faith; the Word of God is the foundation of faith; but we should not be content with our present knowledge and condition. We desire faith to be increased and grow (Luke 17:5; 2 Thess. 1:3; 2 Peter 3:18). Faith is strengthened through the ministry of the Word and fellowship with other believers.
2. "Pray in the Holy Ghost." The way of persevering is by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:5). No man can keep himself, whatever his knowledge and faith. We must flee to God in prayer, and that not in a formal manner but in the Spirit! (Rom. 8: 26,27.)
3. "Keep yourselves in the love of God." There are two things which are applicable here. Firstly, the love of God for us in Christ is always to be set before us, kept in view and strength is to be drawn from it (Rom. 8:35-39). Secondly, we are to keep ourselves in love with God (John 21:15; Rev. 2:4). Mature, strong love casts out fear, motivates good works and is" satisfied to feed on Christ.
4. "Look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus." The mercy of Christ may be considered as past, which consists of his covenant mercies, his redemption of our souls, his holy calling and thousands more; as present in interceding for us, comforting our hearts, keeping us and meeting our every need; and as future, which will be shown at death, resurrection and in his eternal kingdom! This mercy is to be looked for by faith.
(Vs. 22,25.) There are some who have gone astray, being deceived and tempted because of ignorance, infirmities and the force of temptation. These are not to be avoided and cut off, as one would the false teachers, but are to be instructed in meekness, brotherly love and compassion, pulling them out of the fire of soul-destroying doctrines and sinful practices. Pray for them, help them and restore them; yet despise and condemn their behaviour and conduct as one would a filthy garment.
(Vs. 24,25.) The epistle is concluded with a doxology or an ascription of glory to our Lord Jesus Christ, who is able to keep his elect from finally falling and is able to present them faultless before his glorious presence!