Salvation Conditional

in the Epistle of JUDE


From the book


 By Guy Duty

THE APOSTLE JUDE used three warnings to teach that salvation is conditional. He showed that in the eternal universe of God’s moral laws is a condition of acceptance with Him. This truth extends to all time and space. It includes the human and angelic order of moral beings. Jude presented three cases from the history of Israel, angels, and Sodom and Gomorrha.


Jude 1:5-7

    I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. [6] And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. [7] Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.


    2 Peter 2:4

    For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;


Jude first used the oft-repeated “example” of Israel. God, with miracles of deliverance, “saved” Israel from Egyptian slavery. This word save/saved is used 94 times in the New Testament. It is the same word used when Jesus “saved” sinners. To a sinner, Jesus said: “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:50).

 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). “…whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).

 “…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, ….. thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

These and many other references show the New Testament meaning of saved.


Not only was Israel miraculously save from Egypt but they were sustained by a miraculous salvation in the desert for 40 years. God said Israel “saw my works forty years” (Heb. 3:9). They all ate “…the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:3-4). They saw and experienced a miraculous salvation for 40 years and died in unbelief. They fell from their high position of covenant privilege, never to enter the Promised Land; and God swore they would never enter “My rest”. Lost forever!


Paul and Jude said the Israelites were our examples, and their saved/lost history was written for our admonition. There is a contrast in Jude’s text: “The Lord having saved the people…afterward destroyed them that believed not”.  This is the opposite of “once saved, always saved”. Jude taught: Once saved, afterward destroyed. The once-saved always-saved teaching denies the facts of Biblical language.


Jude’s second illustration was about the angels. They violated the moral conditions under which God placed them. They “kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation”. This indicates that their existence in the “first estate” was subject to conditions. With their own power of decision they left this habitation. They did not continue in it, and are reserved in everlasting chains unto the judgment of the great day. There is no redemption for them. “God spared not the angels that sinned”. And, “God spared not the natural branches; take heed lest he also spare not thee” (Rom. 11:21).


The angels could and did forfeit their state of eternal life. And some claim that eternal life is “un-forfeitable!” Sin is sin, and sinners are sinners, whether they be human sinners or angelic sinners.

If the angels had obeyed the conditions and continued in their estate, they would still be in a state of eternal life instead of everlasting chains. All violators of God’s holy laws, whether Israelites, angels, or sodomites, will be punished with the same “vengeance of eternal fire”.  


Concerning the sin of angels, the Expositors Greek Testament 1 says:

 This of course supplies an even more striking instance of the possibility of falling from Grace.


Perhaps no Bible commentary holds a position of higher esteem than does the Pulpit Commentary, and in its exposition of these judgments on Israel and angels, says:

The second instance of Divine judgment is taken from the angelic world. The copula (and) connects it closely with the former and gives it some emphasis, “angels too”, i.e. angels not lea than people selected by God for himself have been examples of the terrible Divine retribution.


   These Israelic sinners, angelic sinners, and sodomic sinners are all classed together in the above scriptures. These and all who have likewise sinned will go to the same place of eternal punishment. Jesus, in the judgment, will say to all sinners before Him:

“…Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41


Jude said the three judgments are “set forth as an example”. This word “example” (Gr. deigma) means: “primarily a thing shown, a specimen… denotes an example given as a warning”.” “Something, therefore, which is held up to view as a warning”.


Jude’s warning examples were for those who were for those who were “turning the grace of God into lasciviousness,” and who disowned the Lord (v.4). These perverters were abusing God’s grace and committing lawless acts of lust and immorality. Like the Jews examples they continued in these sins.


How can those, who profess salvation, be finally saved when they continue in the same sins of the Jewish examples?

And there are large numbers today who make such a profession who habitually live in the same sins that excluded the Jews from the Promised Land and God’s rest.


Salvation is of the Jews. Jude reminded us that multitudes of the Jews and angels, who were once saved, are now bound in eternal chains. It is a dangerous deception for anyone to think that Jude’s saved/lost Jewish warning does not apply to him. He should remember that even with the angels there was no such security as “once in heaven, always in heaven”.





1966 Bethany House Publishers

Reproduced with permission





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