You Smell Like Hell
Text: Jude 22 – 25
By: Ken McKinley
Well we are finishing up our study of Jude tonight, and we are going to be looking at verses 20 through 25 so lets go ahead and turn to the book of Jude and read the last few verses there (read). I’ve titled my sermon tonight, “You Smell Like Hell!” And I’ll explain why I’ve titled that in a moment.
Now last time we looked at what it means to build yourself up on your most holy faith, and if you remember we’ve been talking about how these false teachers have infiltrated the church, and how we need to be discerning and alert so as to not allow them to mislead or tick anyone concerning the true gospel of Jesus Christ and true Biblical doctrine. So tonight we are looking at what Jude tells his readers to do when they encounter either one of these false teachers, or a person in the church who is listening to false teachings.
Friday was September 11th and I’m sure we all remember what happened on that day in 2001. And just the other day a man hijacked a plane in Mexico, and NORAD went on high alert. And I don’t know about you all, but I don’t think we are any safer as a nation then we were in 2001. The reason I say that is because of the nature of these terrorists we are fighting against. See the problem with these terrorists is that they are in our country. Just about every major city in America has an Islamic mosque in it now. And our government spends an incredible amount of money trying to protect us from terrorist. But our problem is that we have people in office that are more concerned with being tolerant than they are about actually protecting the innocent. The nation of Israel has never had a hijacked plane. But then again the Israelis do racial profiling, they have restrictive immigration laws, and they have intense border control. But here we are wide open, and so we have to spend millions and millions of dollars monitoring phone lines, internet activity, buying the newest equipment for airline screeners, making sure that farmers aren’t buying too much ammonium nitrate. And the reason I say this is because the church is sort of the same. In the church we lack the will or maybe the discernment to do what is necessary to stop these spiritual terrorists. So Jude wrote his letter for this reason. But… We are not only to be alert, and be watchful. Jude also says here in our text that we are take action. We’re not only to be on the defensive, we’re not only supposed to just sit and wait for the attacks to come, we are supposed to be pre-emptive.
If we are only reactionary then all we end up doing is damage control. Jesus said that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church. Gates are defensive structure. What that means is that when the Church is moving forward, all the powers of hell cannot stop it. We are to be moving forward. We have this word from the Lord that we will be victorious if we are moving forward. We are to be rescuing the perishing. But we don’t have that same word… we don’t have that same promise, if we loose our first love. In Revelation 2:1 – 7 The Lord said to the church in Ephesus that if they would not repent and return to their first love, He would remove their lamp stand. That’s exactly what happened in Ephesus.
So here’s what Jude is saying, “There are some in the church, who are not Christians... that we need to try and reach.” The original Greek reads like this, “Have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire, to others – show mercy with fear…”
So Jude tells us to make a distinction… He categorizes three types of people that need to be saved. The 1st group are those who are doubting. They are confused, probably by the false teachers. They are hearing one thing from their pastor, another thing from someone else, and probably another thing from some TV preacher. This can be a bad thing sometimes, because we live in a society that says, “If you’re successful as a minister then you must be right.” We look at the size of the church and we say, “Oh that preacher must be right for so many people to be following his teachings.” But that’s not always the case. So we are to have mercy on those who are doubting. We should be patient with them and teach them step by step, line by line, precept by precept. Show them the truth of God’s Word, present it to them faithfully. Pray for them, that God would remove the scales from their eyes so that they might see the truth, pray that they might be more discerning. Jude is saying that these are the kind of people we need to help. We need to be merciful to them, because they are confused. So we don’t kick them out of church and we don’t beat them over the head with commands, we are merciful. That doesn’t mean that we skirt the issues though. Remember Paul’s letter to the Galatians? He wrote to them and said, “I’m amazed how fast you’re deserting Him who called you by the Grace of Christ to a different gospel.” What happened in Galatia was that after Paul had left false teachers came into the church and told the Christians there that they had to keep the command of Moses to be circumcised. In chapter 3 of Galatians Paul said, “How could you begin in the Spirit and now be perfected by the flesh?” In other words, God saved you by grace, through faith – but now you’re trying to earn salvation by works?
So we have mercy on them, but we don’t withhold the truth either.
The second group Jude says we save them by snatching them out of the fire. That’s pretty strong language there. What Jude is saying is that this second group is convinced that the false teachers are right. They are already smoldering. They have the smell of hell’s smoke all over them. Remember the title of my sermon? These people aren’t confused like the first group, they have already made up their minds that the false teachers are right. Jude says that we are “Snatch” them out of the fire. The Greek word there is harpazontes; it means to grab and pull quickly, to snatch or to pluck. What Jude is saying is that if you meet someone who is convinced that false teaching is right, you don’t just leave them in their delusion, you don’t turn your back on them and throw your hands up in the air and give up. Instead you go after them with everything you’ve got. It’s a rescue mission, but the person being rescued doesn’t know that they need rescued.
The 3rd group, Jude says, “To others, show mercy with fear.” In other words, be careful. These are the ones who are not only convinced, they are also ready to defend their views, and if you’re not careful they could cause you to join that first group, the doubters… the confused. This group would be like the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormon missionaries. They know how to give answers and they’ve been trained to defend their erroneous views. And so you had better know your stuff. So Jude is saying about this group, don’t take them lightly.
You know we looked at the church in Ephesus in Revelation and saw that their lampstand was removed because they lost their first love and did not repent and do the first works. There are a couple of other churches we could look at as well.
The church at Pergamos allowed false teachers into their church, the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans and it destroyed the church in Pergamos.
The church at Thyatira tolerated the teachings of Jezebel, which taught the people there to commit acts of immorality was also done away with.
Flirting with false doctrine will destroy a church.
Verses 24 and 25 (read); This is Jude’s doxology. And these two verses are chalk full of doctrine. In these last two verses Jude says that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, that we have eternal security in Christ, that we are being sanctified in Christ, and that if we are in Christ we will be with Him in eternity. All of that is in verse 24, and not only that but it gives Jesus great joy to do these things for us and in us. In verse 25 Jude he says, “To God who is our Savior…” In just that phrase we see a reference to the Trinity, and we see the doctrine of monergistic regeneration (the teaching that God alone brings about salvation, not the will of man).
That’s why we give Him All glory, honor, dominion, worship, and praise!!!