Summary: A sermon examining the Old Testament examples of apostasy that are referenced in the Book of Jude.
Jude: A Letter For The Last Days
THE ILLUSTRATION IN JUDE'S LETTER (Part 2)
Have you ever noticed certain products that have very strange warning labels on them? For example:
1. On a wheelbarrow is the warning "not intended for highway use".
2. A child's baby stroller is labeled with the warning "do not fold with baby inside".
3. A Vidal Sasson hair dryer says "do not use while sleeping".
4. One brand of chainsaw warns the user "not to hold the wrong end of the saw".
5. One sign beside a pool reads "warning, no swimming if you cannot swim".
6. A child's clothing label reads "wash inside out and remove child before washing".
7. A certain washing machine has a label reads "do not place any human begin in this machine".
8. An adult Superman costume comes with this disclaimer : "warning this product does not enable flight or super strength".
9. One brands of toilet bowl cleaner says that it is "safe to use around children or pets, however it is not recommended that either drink from the toilet".
10. And last but not least, a bottle of drain opener has a label that says "Warning: if you cannot read this warning label do not use this product".
There are 2 main reasons why these labels exist. The first and main reason is because of frivolous lawsuits. Another sad (but true) fact is that these labels are on these products because someone, somewhere did these stupid things. Someone actually used a match to check the fuel level on their boat, someone tried to hold the chainsaw by the wrong end and some hunter did not know that doe urine was not intended for human consumption and the manufacturers paid a price as a result of a lawsuit. These warnings are inspired by previous errors of others and we are able to learn as a result.
Did you know that the Bible is filled with spiritual warning labels. There are countless examples of people who faced serious consequences as a result of their actions. One clear example of this is when Jesus said to "remember Lot's wife". She was warned not to look back, but she looked back and she paid a steep price for her sin. Jesus wants us to learn from her error and heed the warnings that are given to us in the bible.
Much of Jude's letter serves as a warning. He warns us that apostasy has crept into the church, but there is also a warning for the apostate in Jude's letter. He gives several examples of those who turned from God and the consequences that they faced. Jude mentions 3 groups of people:
1) The Children of Israel
2) The Fallen Angels
3) The People Of Sodom and Gomorrah
Jude also mentions 3 specific people:
He tells us of their actions and then he reveals the consequences of their actions. In doing so, Jude gives us several illustrations of apostasy. (Again let me remind you that apostasy is a departure from the faith.) I want to pick up where we left off last week and continue to examine "The Illustration In Jude's Letter". Last week looked at the fact that:
A. JUDE REFERS TO THREE CASES OF REBELLION
The first illustration that he uses is that of:
1) The Children Of Israel - v5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
God was trying to lead the people forward but they did not trust Him to protect them and they turned from Him. Jude goes on to give another illustration of apostasy in the story of the rebellious angels.
2) The Rebellious Angels - v6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
These Angels were caught up in a rebellion against God. A result of their rebellion they have been bound and are currently "reserved (or kept) in chains". The third illustration that Jude uses is that of:
3) The People Of Sodom and Gomorrah - v7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
The people in Sodom and Gomorrah chose fornication, homosexuality and all other sorts of perversion over God. They had the opportunity to repent... they could have turned to God but instead they turned from Him! The apostates of the past, the apostates of today and the apostates of the future will not escape, they too will face the judgment and wrath of almighty God.