Summary: A sermon examining the reality of apostasy in our day.
Jude: A Letter For The Last Days
THE EXPLAINATION IN JUDE'S LETTER (PART I)
When a dangerous criminal is on the loose law enforcement agencies often put out an all points bulletin. An APB typically contains information about a wanted suspect or a person of interest. The officers will be on high alert and ready to engage the suspect if he/she is spotted. The book of Jude is kind of like an all points bulletin for the Church. We are to be alert and ready to engage the apostates who seek to damage the cause of Christ.
In this letter, Jude has called for the Brethren to "contend for the faith". This is a military combat term picturing hand-to-hand combat. There is no question that we have a battle to fight, and it is clear that we have a formidable opponent. Because of this, we must prepared for this fight. In order for us to be prepared we must know all that we can about our opponent.
It is college football season.... This weekend Alabama will face Arkansas State and Auburn will face Alabama State. During the week each team will spend time on the practice field and in the weight-room, but they will also spend a good bit of time watching film and learning all that they can about their upcoming opponent. Just as the coaches of your favorite team seek to inform their players of the challenge that is before them, Jude explain to us what we are up against. If we will listen to what he has to say we will know how to recognize our enemy and we will be able to "contend for the faith".
In verse 4 and in verses 8-13 Jude tells us just how evil the apostates really are. So far in this study we have seen The Motivation and The Illustration of Jude's letter, tonight I want to examine "The Explanation In Jude's Letter". Look with me to verse 4 and we will see that:
A. JUDE EXPLAINS THE DECEPTION OF THE APOSTATES v4
v4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
An unnoticed invasion had occurred in the church. Certain men "had crept in unnoticed" . False teachers had infiltrated the church. They were so deceptive that they had entered the assembly without being noticed. False teachers have always been a problem for God's people. Moses, Jeremiah and others in the Old Testament dealt with false prophets. The influence of false teachers is seen throughout the New Testament as well. There is no shortage of false teachers in the world today. Jude says that these kinds of people are by nature "ungodly" . Apostates "turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness". Lasciviousness represents all that's filthy, degrading, lewd and obscene. Apostates also "deny the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ".
This shows how deceptive they were. If they had busted in the doors saying "Jesus Christ is neither our Lord nor our Master" they would have been noticed immediately. But they were so deceiving that the genuine believers did not know that they were in the church.
- Not only does Jude explain the deception of the apostates:
B. JUDE EXPLAINS THE DEALINGS OF THE APOSTATES v8-10
v8 likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Here Jude compares the modern day apostate to the 3 people groups that he mentioned in verses 5-7. The apostates and their followers were as unbelieving and disobedient as the Israelites in the wilderness, they were are rebellious against the authority of God as the fallen angels, and they were as vile and unholy as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. We will see later in this Epistle that they will face similar punishment to those who rebelled against God in the past. Verse 8 goes into great detail concerning the actions of the false prophets.
- First of all we see that:
1. THEY ARE IMMORAL - v8a Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh,
Jude calls the apostates "dreamers". They live in their own imagination instead of living in reality. We have an example of this in the modern day positive thinking crowd and the New Age movement. Certain modern day apostates promise health, wealth, success, comfort, popularity, and much more through the exercise of positive thinking. The false teachers of the "word faith" movement teach that what you say determines what happens to you. They proclaim that if you make a request to God positively and without wavering then God is required to answer in the affirmative. These "filthy dreamers" will not face up to reality that God is not the wizard of Oz, a fairy godmother or a genie in a bottle. We are to obey God's command, He does not and will not obey ours!