"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6).
Jude, an earthly brother of our Lord, had become a leader in the early church by the time he wrote his epistle. He had intended "to write unto you of the common salvation," but instead was compelled by God's Spirit to write and "exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith" (v.3) against the onslaught of false teachers. He writes "to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (v.15).
Few categories of people are so summarily denounced in Scripture as false teachers, those who teach error from within. Nearly every Biblical writer echoes God's hatred of them and their work. Here, Jude refers to Enoch's ancient teaching to demonstrate the fact that God has always hated false teachers and has warned them of their doom. Unfortunately, many of today's pulpits and "Christian" airwaves are filled with false teachers and their teaching, leading many astray.
But this is also a lesson to be learned by any who would teach, even born-again, God-gifted teachers. Error is a serious thing in God's eyes, and a Bible teacher must continually submit to God's Word and Spirit to discern and teach only truth. Evidently it would be better for those teachers, seminarians, and others who espouse errors such as humanism, evolution, and other false concepts, that a millstone were hanged about their necks, and that they were drowned in the depth of the sea than to lead astray those "little ones" in their influence. JDM