Summary: Sermon one in a series on Jude. It reveals the problem in Conservative Christianity where people living in wilfull disobedience to God claim salvation.
The Problem of Dirty Christianity
“Godless people, whose condemnation was written about years ago, have slipped in unnoticed among us (by the side door).They are people who distort the grace of God and use it as an excuse to practice unrestrained immoral acts.” (Jude 4)
The last five books of the NT, before the Revelation deal with the problem of immoral, disobedient people, who call themselves Christians, and feel it is alright and it is safe for them to do things that are wrong. They claim this because God loves sinners; Jesus died for sinners; and all Christians sin. This is what Jude means by distorting the grace of God, making it a license to sin.
We see this in the world; in people, talking about going to heaven, who have little use for the church.
Our news is filled with the death of Ana Nicole Smith. Her trademark is the public exposure of her enlarged breasts. Her sexual escapades were proudly shared. Her son died of drug overdose and she appears to have done the same. Her little baby, worth millions, has had no less than five men claiming to be the father. Yet it almost every shot of Ana Nicole Smith, you see a beautiful cross hanging between her breasts. And her mind was on “Christian” truths. Before her death she was depressed, and said the reason was that she was afraid her son, who died a few months before from a drug overdose, was “lost somewhere in purgatory” and not yet in heaven.
A popular country singer, won an award, and said, “I want to thank the good Lord. He’s done a hell of a lot for me.” On national radio a man said of the death of Dale Earnhardt, “Heaven’s got a hell of a good race car driver now!”
We cannot judge any man. That might have been the grieving, emotional slip of the tongue of an otherwise godly man. But you and I know there are thousands of foul mouthed, drug crazed, dirty joke telling, immoral, prejudiced men and women who talk about going to heaven and don’t have a clue of what it means to be a real Christian.
Sadly, we see this in the churches, both in the pulpit and in the pews. We hear about hundreds of RC priests abusing children and worse; their being sent to other churches by their Bishops, to molest more children. And on the Catholic and Protestant side are the “Swingers”. This international organization claims that over half of its members are church going Christians. Swingers” meet and husbands and wives swap their mates.
One husband and wife, who claimed to be Christians, when interviewed on national TV were asked what they would say to their fellow church members. Their answer was “Judge not, lest you be judged” and “Let those without sin be the first to throw stones.” They quoted the words of Jesus to endorse their lewd behavior. This is ungodliness.
The list is endless- TV healers life in Solomon like luxury why poor people in their own towns have to eat dog food. The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, while preaching against homosexuality, was having an affair with a male prostitute. But worse than these isolated, horrible acts, is the attitude of the man and woman in the pew that it is quite alright to sin.
A poll in Moody Monthly, in the 1970’s; plus a poll today by George Barna reveals there is very little difference in the morals and ethics of church going, Conservative Christians, than in the world around them. They are just as likely to commit adultery; take drugs; cheat in school; use profanity; and be dishonest in business. Not all divorce is sin; but the divorce rate in American is 34% and for church members it is 34%.
B. Defective Christianity (Jude 3-4)
“My dear friends I was very eager to write you about the salvation we have in common. But I was strongly impressed to write and urge you to fight hard for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints (people of God).”
“The reason is that godless people, whose condemnation was written about years ago, have slipped in unnoticed among us (by the side door).They are people who distort the grace of God to use it as an excuse to practice their immoral ways.” (Jude 4)
A Faith Delivered – The word “faith” here does not mean our personal faith in Christ, but the body of truth, the Christian teaching that lead us to Christ. And this is found in the Bible. The authority of Jesus, in religion, was His OT Bible, which he called “the Word of God / the speaking of the Spirit / etc.” (). Protestant Christianity follows His example. God chose to reveal Himself to man, by forming a nation from Abraham, interacting with it, and raising up men to record an accurate record and interpretation of His dealings. Peter said, “No prophesy (he had just mentioned words spoken from God) ever came from the will of man. The men were under the control of the Spirit of God as they spoke the message that came from God.” (1:21)