Summary: What kind of Christian Worker are you?
Jude is one of those books of the Bible that is easy to miss. At children’s camp this year one of the campers was reciting the Book of the Bible to me and missed Jude. It is one chapter and most have never heard sermons from Jude, but here goes.
Today’s passage is found in Jude verses 17-23
17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
The book of Jude was written in response to a growing situation in the early Christian church. There was a rise of men whose motives towards the church were not the purest. They were causing divisions and problems in the church. Verse 17-23 is a Christian-response to the troubles at hand. Also, this passage, at the end of Jude, opens by drawing our attention to the apostles that were with Jesus Christ. These apostles have come before us and have built the Christian foundation that we have today.
When I think of foundation I think of the construction industry. Today we are going to look at three different types of trades today that are involved in this industry.
First, there is the demolition. In this trade, they specialize in tearing existing structures down. next, there are the contractors – this trade specializes in building and remodelling. Finally, there are the sub-contractors. They come along side the contractors and fulfill parts of the contract.
Let’s look at the three types of work crews.
I. Beware of the demolition Crew
Who is the demolition Crew?
Well in verse 18 of Jude it says: “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
A. Who is the demolition crew?
- Most-likely, Jude is speaking of educated men that appear to have knowledge of the gospel, but are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
- Sadly, these people can even be involved in ministries
- They may be those out for financial gain that see the body of believers as nothing more than a cash cow, a way to exploit funds. Sadly we have seen examples of this in the past and even now. There are religious leaders that form these large organizations that prey on the emotions of individuals. Individuals that are in need of healing are prompted to give to these men in order for them to intervene in their time of need.
- I have a friend whose father passed away last year. He truly believed he was going to be healed of his physical troubles. He was sending money to a few television evangelists. They kept writing him back, saying, the reason he was not healed was because he did not have enough faith that God would do so and that he needed to send more money and have more faith. He died a few years ago and left his elderly wife in a position that she had to continue to work to meet obligations. I venture to guess we have all seen these shows on television, especially those of you with cable or a satellite dish.
- On the other hand, there are people that are enraged by the spreading of the gospel. They know that we preach one way to God and they feel we are intolerant and narrow-minded. Some individuals make “rail-roading the church” their life long career and goal.
- Sadly, this is playing out more and more in our schools and universities. Sadly many Christian kids that go to a secular university or colleges walk away from their faith and their Christian up-bringing, the statistics are alarming. Often, this is due to teaching that is contrary to the gospel and even attacks the gospel.
- Furthermore, there are those that we may work with or go to school with that even, out of ignorance or misunderstanding, scoff or jeer us because of our foundation in the gospel.
B. These men will try to divide you
Jude warns us about such people
- Verse 18 goes on to say that: these men will try to divide you because they do not have the spirit.