O Heavy Lightness. 

The idea behind this oxymoron is that when it comes to the “heavy” things of life, we tend to take them too lightly. Vanity and pride twist reality in our minds bringing chaos to good-intentioned things. Believers are guilty of this same heavy lightness when forming their own ideas of God in their minds, and Jude 1:11-16 is quick to ground us in the true character of the person of God. 

Jude continues in his warnings to the early church against the destructive nature of false believers. He explicitly outlines their sinful nature, referring to them as hidden reefs, waterless clouds, fruitless trees, wild waves, and wandering stars. He explains, when Judgment Day comes, they will face the wrath of God.

This passage can be seen as jarring and scary. When it comes to this heavy topic of eternity, we can be quick to bring lightness to the situation and only focus on God’s loving, gentle, and grace-giving nature. To do so not only deprives us of the wholistic, beautiful understanding of the gospel, but it gives disrespect to the character of God. 

God is equally loving, and He is equally just. Jude doesn’t share the realities of false believers’ fates to discourage us, but rather to show us the loving nature of God! To show us His true nature, to warn us against these things, and to provide us a way out of the arrow of His wrath, how could He not be loving?

Not only should this passage compel us to know the character of our holy God better, but, through our understanding of it, a sense of urgency should rise within our hearts for those who the arrow is still drawn toward. What is unloving is to know the way to escape judgment, but not tell anyone about it.

“What’s not loving is to know how to escape judgment and not tell anybody about it.” – Dave Owen



  1. God compels us to look back and remember devastating decisions from the past. (Jude 1:11)

    • Way of Cain — self-made religion. (Proverbs 14:12)

      • So dangerous. It creates bitterness, and it leads not to heaven, but to hell.

    • Error of Balaam — greed. (Numbers 22-24)

      • Prophecy and promise came out of the mouth of Balaam, whose god was money and gold, even though he was far from God.

      • Matthew 6:24; Psalm 50:9-12 — We cannot come to God expecting to manipulate Him to do something for us. No, we obey Him because of what He has already done for us.

    • Rebellion of Korah — identity. (Numbers 16)

      • Korah made an idol out of a title. Only Christ will satisfy you by affirming your worth through dying for you.

  2. God compels us to learn about deception from the realm of nature. (Jude 1:12-13)

    • Hidden reefs — Reefs are underneath the water. If you sail in your boat without considering what’s under the surface of the water, you will sink. This is what false teaching does.

    • Waterless Clouds — Heavy dark clouds promise rain. False teachers seem to promise rain, but they never provide; they never produce rain.

    • Fruitless Trees — You cultivate, farm, and care for your trees, yet there is absolutely no fruit; and when you uproot them, they’re dead. This is what false teaching does.

    • Wild Waves — There is no anchor for false teachers. They crash onto people, and they sway to and fro from the influences of culture. They are seas of confusion. This is why we run to Jesus Christ, the strong tower.

    • Wandering Stars — Shooting stars flash across the sky, seemingly out of control, into utter darkness. False teaching is flashy, but it’s false. They are flying from one event to another event.

  3. God compels us to listen to His word. (Jude 1:14-16)

    • The Book of Enoch (Chapter 1) — The Lord is returning, and judgment is coming. http://scriptural-truth.com/images/BookOfEnoch.pdf

    • Luke 12:4-7 — Jesus states the Judgment of God is serious. How do we escape the coming judgment of God?

    • 2 Peter 3:9 — Let’s repent and trust Christ.



  1. How can we be a people who look back in hopes of avoiding devastating decisions?

  2. Are we a people who are learning to discern deception?

  3. Have you repented and trusted Christ? Are you reading His word?

  4. Are we running to those who haven’t trusted Christ? 

  5. How can we continue to contend for the faith?



Because of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, the target is removed from our back, and God’s arrow of wrath is pointed away from us. This free grace shouldn’t move us to apathy, but rather action. Out of obedience, we are called to share the gospel in the hopes that God would use us to remove that same target off other’s backs and to help multiply His Kingdom. 


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