A Warning to the Infiltrators
Today we are going to take a quick peek at the book of Jude, weighing in with but one chapter of twenty four versus, it is one of the shortest books in the Bible, yet carries all of the weight of God’s word.
This letter warns against those who have infiltrated our church, perverting the grace of God and denying Christ. Jude provides us with a number of biblical examples, and then urges those true men of faith to persevere in Godliness and love.
Let’s read Jude quickly and then I will make some observations on this text. I will be reading from the English Standard Version, so please bear with me if your translation does not follow word for word.
1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
3Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4For 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. 5Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day! 7just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you." 10But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. 14It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him." 16These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
17But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18They said to you, "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions." 19It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22And have mercy on those who doubt; 23save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
24Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Now, verse one tells us that this letter is written to Christians, those who are called (elected by God, chosen ahead of time, called out by God) and kept for Christ Jesus. I dare say that if I were to ask if everyone here today is a Christian I would hear a wave of amens. So then, this letter was written to you, but to what end?
Verse 3 explains that this letter is an appeal that you contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Why? Verse 4 "4For 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". What? Are there men in this room today who have "crept in unnoticed"? "Designated for condemnation?" "Ungodly people?" who "Pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord?" Surely there are!
Now, stop right there, I know that it is in your very nature to now be looking around and identifying these rogues in our midst, but I implore you not to do so. Rather, take time to reflect internally, look to yourself, remove the beam from your own eye before you start to work on your neighbor.
This is extremely important, especially in a ministry such as the Master’s Touch, where so many arrive looking for relief and are willing to say and do anything to get off the street for a while. Sure, I’ll go to church, sure, I’ll memorize that scripture, sure, I’ll read the book of John and write up a paper on it. You know the truth of my words, I guarantee that you or someone you know here has joked about this.
And then these individuals, perhaps it is you, begin to "get involved" far better that you were just honest with everyone around you, saying you don’t buy in to this whole "Christian" thing, are just looking to get rehabilitated. But no, you start playing the part, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you attend church, you pretend to be pious, you tote your bible around with you so that others notice, maybe you’re a deacon now, maybe you lead a bible study, but you ain’t right.
If you fit this description, you should be very afraid! This term, "designated for condemnation", is dire! And my purpose is that this subject may be used to awaken the unconverted persons in this congregation. Look here at the examples and don’t get to comfortable.
God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He saved them, he demonstrated his power through miracle after miracle, and God still destroyed those that did not believe (verse 5). Look to the angels, in their pride they rebelled and God now keeps them in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the Great Day (verse6). Sodom and Gomorrah (don’t tell me you don’t know about sexual immorality and unnatural desire) undergo punishment in eternal fire (verse 7).
Verse 8, these people rely on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. Oh you certainly don’t intend to be punished, do you? You certainly fell comfortable that you will be going to heaven. Hear what Jonathan Edwards had to say on this subject:
"All wicked men’s pains and contrivance which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, do not secure them from hell one moment. Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape than others have done. He does not intend to come to that place of torment; he says within himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to order matters so for himself as not to fail.
But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow. The greater part of those who heretofore have lived under the same means of grace, and are now dead, are undoubtedly gone to hell; and it was not because they were not as wise as those who are now alive: it was not because they did not lay out matters as well for themselves to secure their own escape. If we could speak with them, and inquire of them, one by one, whether they expected, when alive, and when they used to hear about hell, ever to be the subjects of misery: we doubtless, should hear one and another reply, "No, I never intended to come here: I had laid out matters otherwise in my mind; I thought I should contrive well for myself – I thought my scheme good. I intended to take effectual care; but it came upon me unexpected; I did not look for it at that time, and in that manner; it came as a thief – Death outwitted me: God’s wrath was too quick for me. Oh, my cursed foolishness! I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction came upon me."
Check yourself to ensure that you are not one of the infiltrators! Verse 11 says "Woe to them!" Our Bible clearly tells us that these infiltrators are in our midst and I beg you to ensure that you are not counted in their number.
And if you find that you are, then repent! By all means man, turn from those sinful ways and give your life fully over to Christ. Don’t wait a minute longer, you know better than I do the Servants of Christ in this ministry who have dedicated their lives to sharing the Gospel with you, speak to them now, clear up the matter, and live for Christ!
And to you faithful few, beloved, build yourselves up on our most Holy faith! Pray earnestly in the Holy Spirit and keep yourselves in the love of God. Wait patiently for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that will surely lead to eternal life.
And have mercy on the infiltrators in our midst. Save them by sharing your faith in word and in deed. Show them mercy, let them witness the fear of God in your own life. You are the salt and the light, you are the true children of God, you are called to be His witness on earth, you have an inheritance in heaven that no one can take away from you. Share that with the others around you, be self-disciplined and wise in all you do.
September 18, 2016
January 09, 2009