Summary: We trumpet high impact ministry with all of its frills. Our services are filled with video clips, movie clips and unfortunately scripture clips. We take more time and efforts refining our delivery than we do making sure that what we are delivering has H
In practically every gathering of ministers there is a subject that comes up; that subject is church growth. “How do we get people to come to church?” We have answered that question with a thousand books and yet by and large we are losing the battle for souls. In spite of our best efforts, we seemingly have lost our moorings and are drifting around in the ocean of life with the only hope this world has and no sense of direction and no ability to impact our generation. While the question that prevails in Christianity is; “How to build a mega church?” the question that begs to be answered is how can we expect people to get excited about church when church has become nothing different from what we can experience in the world. We trumpet high impact ministry with all of its frills. Our services are filled with video clips, movie clips and unfortunately scripture clips. We take more time and efforts refining our delivery than we do making sure that what we are delivering has Holy Ghost content so in effect what we are doing is decorating our box without giving the gift. Jude says in verse12 “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. ”
Jude speaks of those who had taken a shepherding role, but did not function as shepherds. Instead of feeding the flock of God, they selfishly would feed only themselves. How unthinkable for a shepherd not to feed his sheep—which was his major responsibility! Their leadership was false, for it was deceptive, hardened, and selfish.
As leaders, these apostates were clouds without rain, blown along by the wind. This is the first of four vivid comparisons from nature in verses 12-13. These men had no water for thirsty souls; they only pretended that they did. And they were soon gone, unstable as wind-driven clouds.
As leaders these apostates were spiritually dead. A tree in the autumn (the time of gathering fruit from fruit trees) without fruit appears (or is) dead, and a fruitless tree that is uprooted is dead forever—thus it is twice dead. The dead condition of apostate leaders was indicated by two things: (a) they did not bear spiritual fruit in others, and (b) they were without spiritual roots themselves, and thus faced judgment.
v. 13. Like wild waves of the sea, raging back and forth and producing only froth on the shore, these apostates spewed their foam with nothing solid, edifying, helpful, or nourishing. What they produced was only shame, which their actions caused.
Wandering stars (i.e., “shooting” stars), move across the sky, shining briefly, and then vanish without production light or giving direction. Fixed stars help guide navigators, but wandering stars are useless to them. If any shipmaster would be stupid enough to follow one, he would be led astray. Similarly the prominence of apostate leaders is short-lived, useless, and false. They do lead unwary followers astray, pretending to be what they are not. They will therefore be swallowed up into the blackest darkness forever; eternal judgment is certain for them.
These apostates were not unfruitful believers, who would not receive rewards in heaven at the judgment seat of Christ. Instead they were impostors who would be judged according to their evil deeds.
I have witnessed first hand the delivery of vital organs to hospitals where they will soon be transplanted in someone who without them will soon die. When they are delivering these awesome priceless gifts of life, it has amazed me that they do so in a $4.97 cooler. You see they understand that what they are delivering is more important than the shell that delivers it! Let me clarify this for those of you who are having a hard time understanding where I am going. I am not knocking quality nor am I suggesting that we ought to return to some “sloppy agape” style of ministry where ignorance is glorified. But I am so afraid that the pendulum of balance has swung the other way so far that we somehow feel that if we can have a video clip of some perverted Hollywood type reinforce what we are trying to say that it will have a greater degree of credence to the audience that we are trying to appeal to. Let me say this about that, “I am not interested in having Hollywood puff up my stuff or reinforce my delivery.” Our preaching must not be with enticing words of mans wisdom but in demonstration of the power of God! What we need is for the Holy Ghost to drive the message home, what we need is to fast and pray until what we say is so anointed; it will go home with your loved one and work on them in the midnight hour!