Saved and Destroyed
5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. (NKJ)
In the passage before us today we have some difficult things to understand. We often think of God as loving and never running out of mercy. Although this is true, yet God has set limits on His longsuffering. We see it as early in history as when God destroyed the world with a flood. In a message from God in that passage we find the following; And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." Gen 6:3 (NKJ)
In that passage we find that God was longsuffering but His longsuffering was limited by Himself. Peter in 1 Pet 3:20 describes this longsuffering of God. when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
The Bible repeatedly tells us that His mercy endures forever. But those passages do not change the meaning of the letter of Jude. Jude is a book of warning. He warns the Christian community that there are some who have crept in unawares who are to be watched. He wants us to know that these are not going to escape God's judgment. Even though God is merciful and longsuffering yet judgment does and will come. He then gives us three examples of God's judgment on groups who rebelled against Him.
The three groups are those delivered from Egyptian bondage, the angels that sinned, and the people of Sodom. He also will give us three examples of individuals; Cain, Balaam and Korah.
The first of these we want to consider this morning. The children of Jacob, who were delivered by a great and mighty hand, were later destroyed rather than entering the promised land.
- But I want to remind you, though you once knew this Jude was not telling them anything they did not already know.
- The purpose of the message is not always to reveal some new information.
- Many times we already know something but we need to be reminded.
- Some times we know certain truths but we need the preacher to bring them once again to our attention.
- Other times we are trying not to remember what it is that God has said and He sends someone our way to remind us.
- Other times people have been taught a truth and accepted that truth but were not reinforced in that truth and later forgot it and needed to be reminded of what it was they once knew.
- And there are those times when people who have heard and accepted the truth have later been taught that what the had first heard was not right. They too need a messenger from God to remind them of what it is they once knew.
- But we do need to be reminded of what we know.
- It is good that God does not leave us to wander away from Him but sends others to remind us of the error of our ways.
- I think that this tells us that we have a responsibility to remind people even though they may know what they ought to do, they need to be reminded.
- Now some people think that we should mind our own business.
- But the Bible clearly states that we are to interfere.
- Gal 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. NKJV
- James 5:19-20 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. NKJV
- It is not that we are better than them for Gal 6:2 says we are considering our self lest you also be tempted.
- It is a sign of love to seek the best for others, even if they do not want it.
- Now we try to do that for our children, but with limited success, but we still continue.
- So let us continue to remind one another, of the thing we already know.
- The people we are discussing have experienced the blessing of God, the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt,
- Who were the people who were saved?
- For the most part these were first of all decendants of Jacob.
- These were the decedents of each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
- There was also a mixed multitude among the Israelites.
- This mixed multitude were probably slaves that had been captured by the Egyptians in their conquests and made slaves along with the Israelites.
- They would no doubt have jumped at the prospect of fleeing Egypt along with the Israelites.
- The problem was that they were not the same as Israel.
- They were not part of the covenant that God made with the children of Israel.
- From what were they saved?
- There were most evidently saved from the slavery of the Egyptians.
- Secondly they were saved from the death angel on the Passover night by the slain lamb and the applied blood and parting of the Passover Lamb.
- Some were even saved from their sins.
- Moses, Aaron, and Miriam were saved even though they later sinned and were punished because of it.
- Joshua and Caleb were the only two over twenty to come up out of Egypt who actually made it to beyond Jordan.
- Salvation is by grace and there were no doubt many of the people who were saved who did not make it to Canaan because of their rebellion against God.
- The thing we must remember is that even God's people can rebel against God.
- Jonah went the other way when told to go to Nineveh.
- David committed adultery and had a man murdered in his rebellion against God.
- How were they saved?
- They were saved by grace.
- Even the deliverance from Egypt was by grace.
- They had done nothing to deserve what God was about to do for them.
- They were still involved in the idolatry that would take with them as the left Egypt.
- Their rebellion against Moses was only a sign of their real rebellion against God.
- They only had to leave the land once God made a way for them.
- They had only to follow God's leading to get out of Egypt.
- They would not need to fight for their freedom.
- They would not need to pay for it or work for it, God would make the way, all they needed to do was to follow in it.
- They were privledged to be saved in more than one way.
- There were saved out of Egyptian slavery.
- Some were saved from the bondage of Egypt but still had not faith in God.
- These are those of whom it is said, they believed not.
- Wouldn't it be a shame to come so close and yet be so far from heaven.
- To simply miss heaven because they did not believe, because they could not trust God.
- Their faith was seen in what they did.
- They continually rebelled and complained against God and His provision for them.
- Some were saved in the New Testament sense of understanding.
- Without a doubt Joshua and Caleb were saved in this manner, as were Moses, Aaron and many others who are named in the text.
- We would also assume that there were many others unnamed in the text who also were partakers of this grace, since it is of grace and not of works.
- Even though they were saved from Egypt, they were later destroyed, afterward destroyed those
- We must remember that the destruction spoken of here was a temporal one, that is they died in the wilderness.
- There were of course some who died very spectacular and violent deaths in individual rebellions against God.
- But for the most part it was that they grew old and died in the wilderness.
- This was a temporal destruction and not necessarily an eternal one.
- These people were saved out of Egypt totally by grace, for none of them had deserved it or earned it. but some were also saved from eternal destruction had been set free from the power of sin in their lives.
- How is it then that they might end up destroyed, and that by God's hand.
- I can hear some people say, preacher I don't think that God would do something like that.
- Well you need to read the Old Testament.
- But others will say, preacher, that was in the Old Testament, God would never do anything of that nature today.
- Then why does Jude bring it up.
- It seems that the warning has no effect if God would not so judge people today.
- This idea that of all the things we might think about God, fear should never be one of them is false.
- Now in the New Testament we are continually cautioned about a believer who is saved or a professed believer who is still lost who lives a life that is in rebellion against God is in grave danger of God's either judgement or chastisement.
- Believers are chastened when they sin.
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
"My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives."
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. NKJV
- Unbelievers only have judgment to look forward to unless they repent and put their trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ.
- Jude 13-15 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." NKJV
- 2 Thess 1:7-10 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, NKJV
- Heb 10:26-28 26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. NKJV
- Rev 6:12-17 12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" NKJV
- There is a simple law of sowing and reaping, Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. NKJV
- The reason given for their destruction is their unbelief. who did not believe.
- God had said I will lead you into the promised land.
- He had told them that He would fight for them and give them the victory.
- But when the evil report of the spies came back, the people rebelled and threatened to kill Moses.
- Their actions spoke loudly about their faith.
- What some people do speaks so loudly that you can't hear what they are saying.
- Many people profess to know Jesus but in works and teaching they deny Him
- Many talk about advancing the kingdom and building churches and yet their lives are filled to overflowing with sin and rebellion against God.
Jude 5 I must remind you--and you know it well--that even though the Lord rescued the whole nation of Israel from Egypt, he later destroyed every one of those who did not remain faithful. NLT
Now our God is a God of unfathomable love, of unsearchable mercy, of unending grace, and yet He destroyed an entire generation who refused to listen, who refused to obey, who refused to believe, who refused to trust. They did not remain faithful. Should that cause us to reverence and fear God? Yes!
God always calls His people to faithfulness. We believe what we do. The question then is what are we doing.This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com