What Happens to Apostate “Christians”?

Jude 4 – For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Christians should be known mainly for what we are for, but we must also be known for what we are against. The Bible in general, and the book of Jude in particular, tells us not just what God is for, but also what God is against. 

Jude uses very strong language to denounce apostate wolves with words of war saying, “certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” 

Like the evildoers of the Old Testament, they will be “destroyed” because “they “did not believe”. Their hellish fate is, “eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day – just as Sodom and Gomorrah”. 

Because of their “sexual immorality”, having “pursued unnatural desire”, their fate is “a punishment of eternal fire”. In demonic delusion, “these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones”. 

Because “these people blaspheme”, they will be “destroyed” for acting like, “unreasoning animals”. With a curse, Jude says, “Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain…These are blemishes…as they feast with you without fear, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.” 

Facing “judgment”, these “ungodly” people have “deeds of ungodliness” acting in an “ungodly way” as “ungodly sinners” having said and done “harsh things”. Pulling no punches Jude adds, “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters showing favoritism to gain advantage.” These “scoffers, following their ungodly passions…cause divisions, worldly people devoid of the Spirit”.

A Bible commentary explains, “He [Jude] wrote to ‘exhort’ them (Jude 3). In the Greek language, this word was used to describe a general giving orders to the army; hence the atmosphere of this letter is ‘military.’ Jude had started to write a quiet devotional letter about salvation, but the Spirit led him to put down his harp and sound the trumpet! The Epistle of Jude is a call to arms.” (1)

When Jude admonishes Christians to, “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints”, he is referring to a fixed teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ that is unchanging. The gospel of Jesus Christ is about repentance of sin and faith in his sinless life, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, rule over all our life as Lord, and coming again to judge the living and the dead with sentencing to Heaven or Hell forever. 

The gospel has the power of God, and to divert from the gospel, or to dilute the gospel, is to dishonor God and diminish good for people. No generation has the right to make any edits to the Word of God, and every generation will be judged by how faithful they were to hand off what has been handed to them as the body of teaching Christians with the Spirit have held to in every generation of the Church of Jesus Christ. 

Who can you be praying for that you know that used to attend church and act as a Christian but is now apostate? 

  1. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 548.

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