Summary: The book of Jude
“Defending Your Faith”
1/20/02 - Lakeview
Intro: It is good to be here this morning. Now you know that while we’ve been having some mighty cold weather up here this past week, Pastor Hubert and Cheryl have been “suffering for the Lord” down in sunny Florida. I hope you’ve been praying for them to be refreshed and renewed and to come back ready to help take this church to new heights.
I’m reminded of the case of the Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail. Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before.
When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream and fell to the floor in a dead faint. At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen: DEAREST WIFE:
JUST GOT CHECKED IN. EVERYTHING PREPARED FOR YOUR ARRIVAL TOMORROW.
P.S. SURE IS HOT DOWN HERE.
Well, we sure hope it hasn’t been THAT hot for Pastor Hubert this week! Pastor Hubert holds a special place in my heart. I had the opportunity to follow the Schmuckers as the Pastor of Union Chapel in Fort Wayne. We served there for the last 6 years. Now we are looking to see where God might lead us to serve him.
I’ve been blessed to have the chance many times to share God’s wonderfully rich word with others. It’s my chance to do that again today. I know that while I’ve come to preach, you’ve also come to hear what God might have to say to you. I hope you don’t get done listening before I get done sharing. Stick with me this morning, and I’m sure God will have a special blessing for each one of us. Let’s pray right now and ask God to offer his special blessing upon his word today.
PRAY - God to bless His word.
This morning, turn with me to the Book of Jude. If you turn to the last book of the Bible, Revelation, chapter 1, and turn back one page, you’ll be at the book of Jude. Now I would guess that this isn’t the most common book of the Bible to most of us. In verse one we see this is a book written by Jude, the brother of James, and the half-brother of Jesus. Make a note for yourself to look at Matthew 13:55 some time. It seems that during his lifetime his brothers did not believe, but after the resurrection, they became powerful men of God. James became the head of the church at Jerusalem and wrote the book of James. Jude also was greatly used in writing this book.
Jude writes this book to those who are called, loved by God, and kept by Christ. I hope that includes most of us in the room today. He writes us a very practical book that meets us right where we live. We often ignore this book, but I hope that as a result of our time looking at it today, you will come away with a greater love of the book of Jude.
When I think of Jude, I think of my pastor growing up. As he would give the benediction, he would quote from Jude 24 - “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling” - As he prayed this I would stand there as a child and think that somehow God kept us standing up. While that is true, that is not what Jude 24 speaks of. In college I heard one fiery Irish preacher who loved to quote from “CHUDE verse E-IT” and talked about “apostates” who were “reprobate concerning the faith.” None of that seemed very practical.
This morning, lets look at Jude with open eyes to see what this book is all about.
In verse 3, we see that Jude was excited to talk about our wonderful salvation, yet the church needed something else. Jude’s task was to exhort the church to “contend for the faith.” This term here is really a term from the sports arena, the olympics. We are to enter the arena, so to speak, in defense of our faith. The book of Jude is really all about how faith is to be active in our lives.
I. We need to defend our faith - vs. 3-19 - We need to be aware of those who would twist the faith with incorrect doctrine. Now you might ask “Why?” The answer is simple. God hates heresy!