Summary: The church has the task to root out those who profess faith in Christ, but in reality they are faking their faith in order to destroy the church
As we consider the sea of apostasy around us and the effectiveness of faith fakers activity in today's church, it seems as though the church has little hope in stemming the tide. But according to the book of Jude, not only can we stem the tide, we can take positive action to deal directly with these faith fakers-these imposters.
What can we do about faith fakers? Note that Jude begins verse 17 with the word but. This word signals a reversal. The message is that the church can have an impact on apostasy. It can deal effectively with imposters. Jude goes on to give us three important keys to survival in these days of apostasy. He calls on all true believers to be educated, insulated, and separated.
Compassion is the believer's trademark in dealing with imposters. Jude admonishes us, as followers of Jesus Christ to have compassion for imposters as we defend our faith. So, what should our response be to the apostasy of our day?
How must we deal with apostasy and the work of imposters?
First, we need to be educated as to who the apostate is, what he does, and why he does it. We need to know who they are. We need to know what they do. And we need to know why they do it.
Initially, we need to be educated as to who apostates are. Jude tells us they are "mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts" (v. 18). Today, some people are saying, "Well, perhaps the Bible is not the inerrant, trustworthy, and infallible revelation of God after all." Many discredit it and claim that it is not true. Others say that it contains the Word of God but that it is not really the Word of God. The irony is that every person who denies the inerrancy of Scripture is proving, in a sense, its claim to inerrancy. We can expect, in the last days, attacks on the Bible. And let me say today, that I never had a professor at seminary that ever took that position. Every single professor I had took what I consider to be the highest view of Scripture possible. Some of what we are hearing today is just not true, when it comes to liberalism in our seminaries.
This word mocker is an interesting word in the Greek language. It means to "act in a childish fashion, to be childish, to play." There is a world of difference in being childish and childlike. Our Lord said that if anyone would come after Him, he must come as a little child. The Lord honors childlikeness but abhors childlishness.
In dealing with apostasy in a sympathetic sense, we must be educated as to who the apostate really is. He is childish in his behavior because he is a "mocker."
Apostates mock at the gospel. They mock the word of God. This is certainly not novel. We should not be surprised if we are mocked, for our Lord was mocked.
He was physically brutalized but then He was stripped naked, then clothed with a scarlet robe, had a crown of thorns pressed upon His brow, and then they bowed before Him and mocked Him.
Jesus said earlier that the slave cannot expect any more than the master. A mocker is one who treats the Word either the living Word or the written Word)
in open defiance! Those who mock Scripture today are no different from those who mocked the living Word Himself.
But let me say here that I am not just talking about those who claim Scripture is untrue. I am talking about those who turn their back on Scripture and use their circumstances as an opportunity for unfaithfulness. The truth of the matter is, they are not being unfaithful, because they never truly had a relationship with the Lord to begin with. They hold their circumstances up and give them higher authority than the Word of God. They use some upset in the church, they use the other hypocrites in the church, they use their family as excuses for unfaithfulness. People when we hold our circumstances higher than we do the Word of God, we are guilty of several sins. We make our circumstances our God. We deny the authority of Scripture over our lives. That is the next subject that I would like for us to consider on these Wednesday nights.
A final insight into the character of the mocker. He follows his own ungodly lusts (vs. 18). He is a slave to sin and to self, which explains why he denies the truth. He does not want a God who tells him how to live. Peter talked about mockers in the last days when he said, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts...." (2 Peter 3:3).