Summary: The first in a series on the book of Jude, dealing with the initial overview of the book and Judes warning to Christians to stay ever alert.
Text: Jude vs. 1-4
By: Ken McKinley
Now while we’re going over the BFM during our Sunday mornings, we are going to be looking through the book of Jude in our Sunday evening services. It’s one of the shortest books in the Bible, but if I’m not mistaken I think 2nd John has fewer words. But I believe that the message of Jude is very relevant to us today.
But before we get too far into this sermon I want you all to turn with me to Acts 20:28 (Read). Hold your place there because we’re going to be coming back to this soon.
Now we just finished our series in Ephesians and in this passage from Acts was Paul speaking to the Ephesians and he tells them, “… take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.” Now Paul was specifically speaking to elders in this passage, pastors at the church in Ephesus. And the reason Paul is warning them is found in verses 29 – 31 (read). He says that after he leaves Ephesus savage wolves will come in among the believers, and also from among those who were in the church people would rise up and speak lies in order to draw church members away.
Now keep this in mind as we turn back to our text in Jude (Read Jude 1-4). Jude was writing to “them that are sanctified.” Some versions translate that word as “beloved.” And then he goes on to say that they are preserved by Jesus Christ. He goes on to write that “there are certain men who crept in unnoticed, who were long ago marked out for condemnation. They are ungodly men who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
What Jude is saying here is STAY ALERT! He’s saying, “You have an enemy out there and he is seeking whom he may devour!” And so this letter from Jude is a call to arms! As you read through its 25 verses you see that the language used here is strong, it’s harsh, it’s severe, and it’s politically incorrect. This is straight talk, black and white, and to the point. Maybe that’s why you hear so few sermons on this book. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually heard a sermon on Jude.
But what Jude is saying is for Christians to GET UP! GET GOING! BE ABOUT YOUR FATHERS BUSINESS! FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH! WAKE UP! He’s saying the same thing that Paul said in Ephesians 5:14 (Read).
But why is Jude using such strong language? Well… because he’s talking about life and death here.
Now recently we had our SBC convention in Kentucky. I didn’t get to go, but I watched a great deal of it online, and just the other night I watched a panel 21 discussion with a couple of well known Southern Baptist pastors, the president of the Lifeway Research, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lewisville KY, and the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The thoughts of these Christian leaders are that there are certain things that are evident, observed, and very troubling within the Church and within the Southern Baptist Denomination, and they are working hard at trying to fix them. And I agree with them.
First of all there seems to be a lack of serious theology in our churches and from our pulpits, secondly there is a lack of serious expository preaching – that means verse by verse, in context preaching, and what that results in, after a period of time, are serious problems for the Church. One of those is in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. The church is the way that God has ordained that the Gospel should spread to communities. And I think what these guys at that panel were saying is that we in the Southern Baptist denomination have a lot of things that worked really well in the 1950’s and we have a lot of things that worked really well in the 1980’s but they aren’t doing so good right now. And so while we’re glorying in our past success, we have a generation that is going to split hell wide open.
So first, lack of serious theology being taught from the pulpit; second, lack of serious expository preaching from the pulpit; third, a lack of desire to fulfill the Great Commission; fourthly – a lack of vigilance at the rise and spread of false teaching which is causing some to stay from the faith. What that means is that they are hearing false teaching and thus aren’t hearing the truth, and therefore are not being set free, and are not believing unto salvation.