Summary: People who follow Christ must embrace truth
¡§Contend for the faith¡¨
¡§People who follow Christ must embrace truth.¡¨
Sunday Morning Sermon ¡V
After receiving a nasty letter a preacher sent it back to the church member with this note attached: "The enclosed letter came to me a few days ago. I am sending it to you because I think you should know that some idiot is sending out letters with your signature on them."
While an estimated 74 percent of Americans strongly agree that "there is only one true God, who is holy and perfect, and who created the world and rules it today," an estimated 65 percent either strongly agree or somewhat agree with the assertion that "there is no such thing as absolute truth."
The drunk husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife.
When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. "You were drunk last night weren’t you!"
"Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?"
The Church, Christians, People who follow Christ ¡V we must embrace truth. How do we embrace the truth? For that matter our world screams ¡V ¡§WHAT IS TRUTH?¡¨ The world says, ¡§what¡¦s true for you might not be true for me.¡¨ Unfortunately, when that happens all desire to grow is turned off and all ability to change is tuned out. If you get nothing else this morning ¡V there is absolute truth, and as a Christian you should know what it is.
Turn with me this morning to our text ¡V Jude 1:17-23 (Advance)
Jude is the brother of James who is also the brother of Jesus. At the beginning, in verse 1 he simply introduces himself as the brother of James. He is writing to the church about men who were traveling around who were teaching wrong things about God and what Jude says in Verse 4 ¡V they changed the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. They believed that you couldn¡¦t receive God¡¦s grace unless you sin, the greater your sin the greater God¡¦s grace. Instead of calling people to repentance and into the loving arms of God ¡V they denied Christ, as both sovereign and lord. The author here is telling the church to embrace truth.
So how do we embrace the truth? As the body of Christ ¡V how do we embrace truth, and still embrace those who don¡¦t see it. We have to face the facts all of us, myself included have people in our families who are ¡V for lack of a better way to say it ¡V are less than dedicated. Well, they are dedicated but to the wrong things. Jude is going to give us some advice on how we can do this.
First he says: (Advance)
I. You Must Remember (17-19)
a. What the apostles foretold
i. Exaltation ¡V It wasn¡¦t all gloom and doom
Peter would understand that we are currently living in the last days. He quoted the prophet Joel ¡V He says ¡V (Advance) ¡§I (meaning God) will pour out my spirit on all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.¡¨ That time has come. We have the written words of God and Christ, most come in a leather bound edition. We aren¡¦t dependent on dreams or visions or a different coming of the spirit ¡V he¡¦s already here.
ii. Warning ¡V Be Prepared
If we are truly living in the last days ¡V we should be prepared. We should seek to prepare others.
1. There will be scoffers ¡V people who mock you (Advance)
2 Peter 3:3 ¡V First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
2. There will be times of trials ¡V
a. We haven¡¦t seen the last of the anti-god, anti-church movement in this country.
b. Men will divide you
In fact the church Jude was writing was in deep with following certain men. They were already being divided. They were already following the wrong men. They weren¡¦t aware that these men ¡V although they appeared to be from God, they appeared to be full of the spirit ¡V Jude says ¡V ¡§They don¡¦t have the spirit.¡¨
i. They follow natural instincts.
Is it all bad if they are just following ¡§natural instincts?¡¨ Like a sports star when they have the chance to tie up the game in the last seconds ¡V aren¡¦t they just following natural instincts? If they are ¡V is it all bad? The NIV says ¡§Natural Instincts¡¨ ¡V the literal translation says ¡§Ungodly.¡¨ Paul makes it clear in: (Advance) 1 Corinthians 2:14 ¡VThe man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.