Summary: Help the church recognize apostasy within the church by recognizing a false Christian.
Sermon 4 of 11
Jude: A Call to Defend
The Enemy Within
4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Apostasy -- The abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief
It is basically false teaching that will lead believers astray, and cause division and hardship within the church.
Throughout church history there has been apostasy.
The early church dealt with it. We will deal with it. Jesus tells
us that false teachings will rise as we get closer to His Return.
What is scary is that this threat to the church comes from within.
It comes from those who claim to be believers, but who pervert not only the Gospel but other truths of Scripture.
Rob Bell, taught a couple of years ago that there is no Hell from his church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Pope Francis declared this year that good atheists can go to heaven.
Our world, now many of our churches, see no wrong in a homosexual lifestyle.
We have cults who twist words of scripture to get Christians to defect to their faith.
The list goes on and on.
What can we learn from about these enemies from Jude?
1. They are sneaky.
Notice that Jude says they have “crept in unnoticed”
They are a part of the church, but are there to destroy the church.
What kills an army quicker than anything is not the enemy they can see, but the enemy within in their own ranks that will destroy it from the inside.
It is true for the church.
These people act like a Christian, but are far from being one. Maybe they think they are a Christian, but they believe a false gospel and thus teach a false gospel.
That does not make a bit of difference. The fact of the matter is that they are sneaky. They are false. They are actors, hypocrites. They lead the church astray.
2. They are ungodly and pervert the grace of Jesus.
Jude basically comes out and says they are not Christians, they are not believers.
They are ungodly. He does not say they act ungodly, he says they are ungodly.
Again they are hypocrites. They act one way within the church, to gain favor, but outside the church, their true colors show.
If they were Baptists, they would have walked down the aisle, taken the preacher by the hand, say they want to repent of their sins and ask Jesus to be their Savior and Lord. They would have gone to the baptistery and been baptized. But in their hearts they would not have meant a bit of it. They did it for show.
There was no intention of allowing Jesus to transform them into His servant.
They would say they are saved, but continue to live like nothing has happened, unless they are with other Christians.
They are two-faced.
There was a belief out there that the body and spirit are two different things.
The body is corrupt and can’t be changed.
The spirit was what the only thing that could be saved.
Thus, since the body could not be saved, you could do anything in the body and not face eternal consequences.
In other words, “I’m saved by grace so I can go and do whatever I want to do and not lose my salvation.”
Salvation without transformation is a lie.
3. They denied Jesus and Master and Lord.
Again it goes back to what I just said.
They refused Jesus to have His rightful place in their lives.
It is like many say today. I take Jesus as Savior, but not as my Lord.
It is an all or nothing deal.
The apostates taught that Jesus did not need to be Lord in a person’s life.
There is no punishment for the spirit, only the body.
4. They stand condemned before God.
Notice what Jude says back toward the first of the verse, “who were long ago designated for this condemnation”.
What does that mean?
Some would say that they were predestined by God to be condemned or do what they are doing.
Others, would say that because of their choices they stand condemned not only before man, but also before God.
Folks, I don’t believe that God chooses anyone for condemnation, but I believe that God is smart enough to know who will come to faith in Jesus and who want.
God does not send anyone to hell. God does not condemn anyone. Our actions, our lack of faith, is what condemns us.
Understand, you may have gone through the motions of trusting Jesus as your Savior and Lord, but going through the motions is not what saves you.