If ever we need a rerun of a lesson in this age it’s this one: Jesus absolutely, definitely, most certainly will punish. Too many times we who “once fully knew it” fall into the false security of the world, calling Jesus the gentle, the loving, the merciful, which is all true, but it is meant to imply that he would never punish anyone for a sin. Maybe God would, especially that mean, angry Old Testament God, but certainly not Jesus. The people Jude wrote to must have forgotten as well. Jesus, the same one who saved the people out of Egypt, turned right around and destroyed a whole lot of them not long afterward.
Then Jude gives us three things to watch out for specifically. First, in his allusion to the Israelites, he mentions unbelief. How could they not believe in a God who spoke to them, who caused Sinai to shake, who had previously demonstrated His power in the plagues and at the Red Sea? The Hebrew writer tells us, And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief, Heb 3:18-19. He equates disobedience with unbelief, and it only makes sense. If I really believe what God says, that He will do what he says He will do if I disobey Him, then I will not disobey. Disobedience means I think I can get away with it, so it means I do not believe God, and Jesus, will punish.
Then Jude mentions the angels “who left their proper dwelling.” This cannot be talking about being cast out of Heaven because it says “they left,” which seems voluntary. The understanding I get from scholars is they went beyond the bounds God set for them. If a man walks into work and begins ordering people around like he was the boss, firing, hiring, and changing orders, he has “left his proper dwelling.” Who are you supposed to submit to in your life? Your husband? Your elders? Your boss? Your government? How about your fellow Christians (Eph 5:21)? Have you left your proper place in life? Jesus will punish.
And then there is the issue of the day—sexual immorality and unnatural desire as exemplified by the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus will punish.
Remember, Jude tells them. You used to know this. What happened? Maybe the same thing that has happened to us—listening to the culture we live in turn Jesus into a weak, instead of meek, pushover. You can make him angry (Mark 3:5). He will punish. Don’t give him a reason to.
…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus, 2Thess 1:7-8.