Summary: The second in our series on the book of Jude. In this sermon we look at Jude’s mention of those who have crept into the church unnoticed.
The Enemy Within
Text: Jude vs. 4-16
By: Ken McKinley
Well we began our study in the book of Jude last Sunday evening, and we read verses 1 through 4, so tonight we are going to pick up where we left off… well actually we are going to read verses 1 through 16 just so we get the context of the message this evening.
Now we are probably going to take tonight and next Sunday looking at verses 4-16, because I want to focus specifically on the type of people Jude is warning us about The title of this sermon is “The Enemy Within.” If you remember last week I told you all that the message of the Jude was for Christians to “Stay Alert!” Well this week we are going to be looking at why Jude was urging believers to be vigilant.
Now we touched on how Jude wanted to write to these believers and encourage them in the common salvation that belongs to all believers in Christ. But the Holy Spirit inspired Jude to write something else. Instead Jude was to write a letter of warning.
Now today it seems like we are told over and over again to, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” But if we take a close look at what Jude has written in this short little letter it seems almost like Jude is contradicting what Jesus said. Here Jude, the half-brother of the Lord is condemning those who are polluting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And he does it in a way that is pretty straight forward. So is it right or wrong for Christians to judge? In John 7:24 Jesus says that we are to, “…judge with righteous judgment.” He also taught that we are not to cast our pearls before the swine… that presupposes that in order to know swine, we have to make some sort of judgment. So when we look at just one passage and build an entire belief system off of it, we are most likely going to end up with a skewed belief system. We have to let Scripture interpret Scripture. When Jesus says, “Judge not lest ye be judged” we can know from other Scripture and from the context of that passage itself, that Jesus was not saying that Christians could not judge anything… in-fact just a few verses down in Matthew 7:15 He says that we will know false teachers by their fruit. Again this presupposes a judgment. So what does Jesus mean when He says, “Judge not lest ye be judged”? Well I think the context bears out as well as the teaching in other parts of Scripture that we are not to judge motives. We can judge actions and behavior, but not motives. If someone does something that you don’t think they should do, or maybe they didn’t do something that you thought they should, don’t presume to know why. Say for example, we see a man whose intoxicated; we know he has engaged in the sin of drunkenness, but we don’t know the motive that drove him to it. That’s why 1st Corinthians 10:12 says, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands, take heed, less he fall.”
The Lord goes on to say, “Judge righteous judgment.” Turn with me to Matthew 23:13 (read); Jesus calls the Pharisees a bunch of hypocrites. He says they aren’t saved, and that they don’t even preach the truth so that others can be saved. Jesus is pretty blunt in this passage, all the way to the end of the chapter. We can look in the OT and see that God’s opinion of false prophets and teachers is exactly the same. In the OT God commanded that they be stoned to death. Now granted we are not to be going around stoning people to death today, but the message is pretty clear. God doesn’t like false prophets or false teaching. Now let’s go back to Jude.
Jude was writing because “certain men crept in unnoticed,” they were ungodly men, who turned the grace of God into lewdness.
These were people who were in the church, they were “religious people,” and they were probably active, doing things, saying the right things, they might have even been members. But they didn’t sneak past God. Vs. four says that they were long ago marked out for condemnation. Now if you look at vs. 4 it says, “They turned the grace of God into lewdness, and denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now think about this, if they are in the church, then they probably weren’t denying God and the Lord Jesus Christ outright, they probably said they were believers, and servants of the Lord, but in context what Jude is saying is that their lives and lifestyles denied the Lord. In other words, they drew near with their mouths, but their hearts were far from Him. They were denying the Lord by their actions, and lifestyles.