II. The Return of Jesus
a. The ultimate fulfillment of Enoch’s prophecy
Ultimately this prophecy from Enoch was all about the return of Jesus. Jude writes, “Behold the Lord came with many thousands of holy ones.” This is a reference to the return of our King Jesus. Jesus has already come into this world once. He came and he lived the life that we were supposed to live. He did not sin, He lived a holy life, He glorified God. These were all things that we were created to do. But we chose to rebel against God rather than fulfill His intention for our lives. Because of this Jesus not only had to live the life that we were supposed to live He also had to pay the penalty for sin that we had incurred. It was to this end that Jesus died on the cross. Jesus is the saving substitute for our sins. By faith we can accept this substitute and be saved through his work. However, this is not the end of the story.
Jesus is coming back a second time. In Matthew 16:27 Jesus said:
“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.”
In Acts 1:9-11 we read of Jesus’ ascension back into heaven after his first coming,
And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.
Jesus is coming back in glory, just as he left in glory.
How often do you think about the return of Jesus? Is it something that you only think about when you are at church? Or, is it something that you think about so often that it changes your life? James 5:7 tells us that we are to “be patient until the coming of the Lord.” This means that foundation for our patience is the assurance that Jesus is coming back. Patience is not just “not caring,” or “being easy going.” Patience comes from the assurance that Jesus is coming back to vindicate the righteous, and “repay every man according to his deeds.” It is the assurance that no matter how bad our lives may seem we can always be confident that our King is coming back to save us. Jesus is coming back and we must live our lives with this assurance.
b. The Lord’s return with ten thousand holy ones
We have already seen that Jesus is coming back in the Father’s glory, and here in v. 14 we get a glimpse of that. Jude writes, “Behold the Lord came with many thousands of holy ones.” Jesus is not coming back alone. One the names that is used to describe God is “Lord of Sabaoth.” The word “Sabaoth” comes from a Hebrew word that means “hosts” or “armies.” So, the phrase “Lord of Sabaoth” is describing God as the Lord of the armies. Or, to put it in more vivid terms, God is the Commander and Chief of the armies of heaven. Jesus will be coming back with His armies. 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8 tells us that “His mighty angels” will be “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.” Jesus is coming back with his army of mighty angels to deal with the rebellion against Him. Revelation 19:11ff explains exactly what this will look like. There John writes,
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Jesus is coming back to this world and when he does he will destroy the rebellion against Him, and He will save His people.
III. The Judgment of Jesus
a. Execution of judgment
In verse 15 Jude further describes (with the prophecy of Enoch) what the return of Jesus will look like. Jude tells us that Jesus is coming back, “to execute judgment upon all…” This is what we saw back in Matthew 16 when Jesus said He would “repay every man according to his deeds.” Jesus is coming back and every person will have to give an account for how they lived their life. Jesus describes this account giving in Matthew 25:41-46,
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Jesus is coming back and he will judge all. The rebellious will be thrown away into eternal punishment, and the righteous will receive eternal life. The problem is that all of us have rebelled at one time or another and we all deserve to receive eternal punishment. Thankfully there is a solution to this problem. Do you remember what we learned about Enoch? God took Enoch into heaven without dying because he was “pleasing to God” (or righteous). He was righteous because he had faith. We too, if we put our faith in the work of Jesus, can be counted as righteous and avoid eternal punishment. If we do not put our faith in Jesus then we are destined to be convicted as sinners in the final judgment.
b. Conviction of the ungodly
Jude makes it very clear that ungodly sinners will be convicted for their rebellion. Jude tells us that Jesus is coming back “to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These certain persons would face judgment for living ungodly lives. Jude has spent the majority of this chapter, up to this point, describing what these ungodly deeds are. It is easy to see why these individuals would face judgment for what they did, but Jude also says that they would be judged for what they said as well. These individuals spoke against God, and verse 16 we see exactly how they did this.