Summary: Many have come to us under disguise of christians, Jude helps to see them for who they are
Pretenders or Contenders
Illustration: The events of the last weeks have left their mark on history. Even from within we have seen the treachery. Those who have gone in under the disguise of volunteers were actually looters, stealing from those who were helping. Even from within the church, we have seen this wrongful doing. The Reverend Jerry Falwell had a message to America. I have a great respect for Reverend Falwell and the Moral Majority, which he is head of, but I was embarrassed and taken back by his comments. He said, "The tragic events done in D.C. and at the WTC were a clear sign that God has withdrawn his protection of America." That may be so, it may be a sign that God is ready to withdraw his protection over America, but Reverend Falwell went on to say "it is the fault of the homosexual community that this is happening." To Reverend Falwell and others who believe this I say; NOT SO! God may be warning us but it is not the fault of the homosexual community, it is not the fault of one group but of our nation as a whole. If God removes his protection of the U.S. it will be because the church stopped being the church. This is not the first time such judgments occurred in the letter of Jude we see such judgments.
The First of these is judgment of the pretenders.
1. Change the grace for immorality
a. Sexual sin- easy repentance= cheap grace. Romans 6:1
i. We aren’t happy unless we are sinning, God is not happy unless he is forgiving, so lets make everybody happy.
b. They change the natural for the unnatural
i. Sodom and Gomorrah
ii. Romans 1:25
iii. Their sin is more than sexual
c. Although those who do such things although the know God’s righteous decrees that those who do such things deserve death, the not only continue to do such but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)
d. Even Angels can be pretenders. Rev. 12:7-9
e. They are twice dead (Jude v 12)
i. Taken the way of Cain
ii. Rushed to profit into Balaam’s error
iii. Destroyed by Korah’s rebellion
iv. All of these are mindful events in Israel’s history.
v. God will judge the pretenders by their acts, words, and desires.
Then there is judgment of the church
1. V.20 Does the church have the Spirit
b. Keep the faith
c. Be merciful to doubters
With each judgments comes the promise
1. The ungodly= fire v.7
2. The Godly= presented faultless before the throne v.24
: Some of us may remember a movie called "On the Waterfront". One of the most touching scenes is when Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger are in the back of the car. Rod plays Marlon’s older brother Charlie. Marlon Brando was a boxer who became a longshoreman. On night Charlie comes into his brothers locker room before a big fight. He asks his brother to take a dive, the mob that runs teamsters who Charlie works for has bet heavily on his brother’s opponent. In the back of the car, Charlie again is asking for a favor, he wants his brother to be quiet about the goings on of the waterfront. Marlon reminds his brother of the previous favor he had asked. He says, " I could have been somebody Charlie, I could have been a contender."
Today you have that decision to make. Will you be a pretender or a contender?
Make that decision as though all will end in the next five minutes.
What will be your decision be?