2019-07-14 – Jude 1-25 – Defile, Reject & Slander
Bible Text: Jude 1-25 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Jude | 2019-07-14 – Jude 1-25 – Defile, Reject & Slander
(Baptism, Vacation Bible School starts next Monday)
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Last week we talked a little about the subject of Christian hospitality from the letter book of Third John, and I must admit, you were all very hospitable while we were talking about hospitality, lol. Today we are going to learn from the book of Jude. It is the last book before Revelation. And next week we will be starting an old-testament book called Ruth. My prayer is that you are getting to know your Bibles through these sermon messages. That your Bible becomes a great friend and comforter going forward as we continue this thing called life.
Please turn in your Bibles to Jude 1, pg 1088 in the Pew Bibles, The Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God, and let us start with Prayer.
You probably remember the old song “Hey Jude”. It was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon in August 1968. It was a tribute to John Lennon’s son Julian as they were going through some life struggles at the time.
Although not at all related to Jude in our Bibles, in this book we will see also some life struggles. To give you a little background on this book and person of Jude, you should know that Jude and James (the author of the book of James) were Jesus’s half-brothers. The Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named or numbered. So again, Jesus’s brother Jude wrote this book of Jude. Although there was a time when Jesus’s family didn’t recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but after Jesus rose from the grave they could no longer refute His deity. He was and is God incarnate as the Son of God, Savior and Lord. Amen?
This book of Jude starts out with a traditional greeting:
1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James: To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write, appealing to you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. 4 For some people, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into sensuality and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.
First, Jude refers to us, the readers or hearers of this text as “the called” here in verse 1. He also refers to the readers as those who are loved and kept for Jesus Christ. When the Bible refers to somebody that is called, loved or kept, it means that God chose us and keeps us in his loving graces. It kind of reminds me of the security one gets when they are a child being cared for by a parent. I recall when my children were very young, we would go on a trip someplace and we would strap them into their car seat to protect them from hazards on the trip. Likewise, we have nothing to worry about because God has got us in His grip.
Ephesians 1:4-6: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Isn’t that beautiful? Salvation is by God’s will and pleasure, and for His glory. In the book of John chapter 6 Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day…No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day”.
So, according to Jesus, all of God’s “chosen” will be saved without exception; they will hear and respond because they are chosen. Also, Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew (loved) he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
So you might be asking why I am taking the time to clarify for you these terms and principles of our faith. Well I want you to be wise. I want you to be able to converse about Christ centered concepts, and dialog with others about your faith walk. Sometimes we Christians use words that are not part of mainstream dialog. Some refer to it as Christianese even. I am not suggesting that you change your vocabulary, but just that you understand some of the basic Biblical concepts so that you might continue to grow and even love God’s word.
At verse 4 Jude switches channels and makes reference to some who are stealth. What that means is there are some folks going to church, they look like and act like fellow believers, but in fact they are not. We might be fooled by some at times, but make no mistake, God knows whose children or little sheep are His.
Personally I think it would be great if we all had Christian ID cards or Dog Tags so we could know for sure who is and who is not a true believer. Unfortunately, we do not always know. And if you are in the church serving and leading, it is likely that you will encounter these types of folks. Imposters or posers. However when you recognize them, do not let these people steal your joy. That is a constant challenge we will face along our faith journey, and that is why the Bible authors warn us so many times, so we will be prepared when the time comes.
Jude continues now at verse 5 with some Old Testament examples to learn from:
5 Now I want to remind you, although you came to know all these things once and for all, that Jesus saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not believe; 6 and the angels who did not keep their own position but abandoned their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deep darkness for the judgment on the great day. 7 Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns committed sexual immorality and perversions, and serve as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
This is a lot to chew on, even for the most biblical literate disciple. Let me briefly break this down a little for your better understanding. There are three incidents that Jude reflects upon here that demonstrated lack of faith. The first is referring to the Israelites coming out of Egypt. In the books of Exodus, Moses took the Israelites from being slaves in Egypt to being free again, but many of them were found weak in their faith. As a result the God punished them. The second event is regarding the angels at verse 6, they were the ones that sided with satan and tried to steal God’s throne as depicted in Isaiah 14. They are now being held accountable and the book of Revelation says they will end up in the lake of fire. Then the third issue or example we have at verse 7. It refers to the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah written about in Genesis 19 that was destroyed because of perversion and wickedness. Even in our lives today we see people who go against God’s word and will and they too will one day be judged for them. We might see these types of people prosper for a while, however we all know that God will not be mocked. We should be on our knees more praying. Jude continues at verse 8:
8 In the same way these people—relying on their dreams—defile their flesh, reject authority, and slander glorious ones. 9 Yet when Michael the archangel was disputing with the devil in an argument about Moses’s body, he did not dare utter a slanderous condemnation against him but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these people blaspheme anything they do not understand. And what they do understand by instinct—like irrational animals—by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, have plunged into Balaam’s error for profit, and have perished in Korah’s rebellion.
There isn’t enough hours in the day to explain all these different episodes, most of which are mentioned in other parts of our Bibles, but some we do not even know the details. Having said that, all of these incidents are examples where the people rebelled against God’s will and they subsequently suffered from the consequences. The application for us today is that folks might think that their small or large rebellions and indiscretions don’t amount to much. They think that turning from God living a sin-filled life is just about their “personal space” and they think it doesn’t really result in any harm or consequence. However, we will see how verse 12 explains what is entitled as “The Apostates’ Doom”
12 These people are dangerous reefs at your love feasts as they eat with you without reverence. They are shepherds who only look after themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by winds; trees in late autumn—fruitless, twice dead and uprooted. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shameful deeds; wandering stars for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved forever.
14 It was about these that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied: “Look! The Lord comes with tens of thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly concerning all the ungodly acts that they have done in an ungodly way, and concerning all the harsh things ungodly sinners have said against him.” 16 These people are discontented grumblers, living according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage.
17 But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They told you, “In the end time there will be scoffers living according to their own ungodly desires.” 19 These people create divisions and are worldly, not having the Spirit.
Again we need to be praying for one another and praying for those that God puts in our paths. That they will wake up and acknowledge our Heavenly Father as being our Creator and Lord. That Jesus is the only way into heaven, and we need Him as Savior because we cannot be righteous enough on our own.
Saint Jude concludes this message with an Exhortation and Benediction starting at verse 20:
20 But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. 22 Have mercy on those who waver; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
24 Now to him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to suffer the “Apostles Doom”.
We live in a unique time in history and this little book of Jude can help equip us for the untold challenges of living in these end times. Today’s Christian must be on guard for false doctrines which can so easily deceive us if we are not well versed in God’s Word. We need to know the Gospel—to protect and defend it—and accept the Lordship of Christ, which is evidenced by a real life-change. Authentic faith always reflects Christ-like behavior. Our life in Christ should reflect our very own heart-knowledge that rests on the authority of the Almighty Creator and Father who puts His faith into practice. We need that personal relationship with Him; only then will we know His voice so well that we will follow no other.
This book of Jude is a great reminder for us to get back to the basics of our salvation. It encourages us to not let the myriad of doubts and lies derail us from the one true gospel.
In closing today, I compiled the main points from that Beatles song “Hey Jude” to reflect on, as they might be relevant to our message today. See if you can find yourself anywhere in these words:
Hey Jude, don’t make it bad;
Hey Jude, don’t be afraid;
Hey Jude, don’t let me down..
And anytime you feel the pain Hey Jude, refrain, Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders. For well you know that it’s a fool, Who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder.
God loves you dear church
Please Rise, Let us Pray..
Reminder: we have our quarterly business meeting Wednesday 17 July for all the church members.