Summary: The need to contend for the faith
1. Every year, thousands upon thousands of wildebeests run a sort of marathon. The African savannah dries up for weeks. Then, rains come to the north.
Small herds of wildebeests join other herds of the hog-like creatures as they run for days. Covering many miles at a thundering speed, the larger herds grows to an unbelievable two million.
Driven by instinct, the wildebeest perform their yearly ritual, running at full speed. Then, all at once, they come to an orchestrated stop. There, at the edge of a particular river, they sense danger in the air. Baboons in the trees overhead watch with great anticipation, knowing what is going to happen next.
A few wildebeests venture to the edge of the river. The water is so inviting after the dry season and after their long, long journey. Oh, to take from the cool water. The feeling of danger is intense, but so is their desire for the refreshing water.
The few wildebeests that ignore their feelings of danger and begin to drink are at once taken in by the cool refreshing river water.
Then, in one swift action, large hungry crocodiles emerge from beneath the river. They grab their victims in their powerful jaws and yank them into the water. The wildebeests are torn limb from limb! What had briefly seemed a refreshing source of life-giving water quickly turned into a deceptive death-trap.
2. We must Defend the Word of God, because if we depart from the Scriptures, we will be be taken in by the tricks of false teachers. We must test all teaching and preaching by the Word of God!
3. Defending the Word of God - part 2
Trans: Jude 4
I. Descriptive Greeting. 1-2
II. Defending Word of God. 3-4
A. First, his Desired Intention.
B. Furthermore, the Divine Intervention.
C. Next, the Directions of clear Instruction.
D.Finally, they needed to defend the Word because of a Definite
1. They are Deceptive People.
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed - 4a
a. The Men - certain persons. These are false teachers.
No doubt there was a leader among them - false teachers always have a ring leader. A classic example of such false teaching in our day is Scientology, and they have a promoter as well.
In 1954, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard founded the religion Scientology. It is a religion without a God. It teaches inter-galactic travel, reincarnation, and mind control among other strange ideas the science fiction writer taught. When Hubbard died in 1986, he told his believers he would make himself visible within 13 years of his death at a California desert mansion.
One of the most powerful leaders of Scientology who emerged after Hubbard's death was David Miscavige. Miscavige recruited actor Tom Cruise into the cult and through the years immersed Cruise into the strange teachings.
The religion has grown to more than 10 million world-wide, enlisting other celebrities such as John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman and Chick Correa.
But it is Cruise who has had the greatest impact in recruiting others.
"Across 90 nations, 5,000 people hear his word of Scientology—every hour," International Scientology News proclaimed last year. "Every minute of every hour someone reaches for L. Ron Hubbard technology... simply because they know Tom Cruise is a Scientologist."
b. Their Manner - have crept in unnoticed.
"For certain men have crept in stealthily [gaining entrance secretly by a side door]..." Jude 1:4 (AMP)
"I say this because some godless teachers have wormed their way in among you..." Jude 1:4 (TLB)
"What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks..." Jude 1:4 (MSG)
"In classical Greek literature, the word referred to slipping poison into someone's glass. [Liddell and Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon]. As poison dropped furtively into a silver chalice, these men surreptitiously penetrated the church. And their effect was lethal, striking at the very core of Christian truth." [Swindoll]
While the cults always have a main leader, they do not do most of the dirty work. It is their followers who are trained to infiltrate churches. Of course they are not limited to the local church. "In today's church, such apostasy takes many forms. False teachers write books and edit publications, speak on radio and television, teach in colleges and seminaries, preach from pulpits, and have Web sites on the Internet."
""Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." Acts 20:28 (NASB)
"But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage." Galatians 2:4 (NASB)
"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves." 2 Peter 2:1 (NASB)