Earnestly Contend for the Faith - Part 1
Date: 2 April, 2018
Text: Jude 1-16
Title: Earnestly Contend for the Faith.
We live in a very communicative world.
In the old days - it would be days, weeks, years before you heard news.
Letter traveled slowly and papers were few and far between.
1.) I can read numerous news outlets at the click of a button.
2.) If I desire I can be involved in numerous people's lives through social media.
In the same way - ministry has also changed.
1.) Our church has a webpage.
2.) We have sermon audio.
It is a blessing to be able to have this media outlet - and it is a blessing when we benefit from online ministry sources as well.
HOWEVER, where it used to be that a church flock was guarded from false teaching by their pastor's discernment in who he had into the pulpit and what teaching was allowed - THERE IS NOW A VAST SOURCE (ie. the god channel) FROM WHICH WE CAN CHOSE. THE DANGER IS THE FALSE TEACHING CAN SPREAD AS QUICKLY AS TRUTH.
BEING CONCERNED ABOUT FALSE TEACHING IS NOT A NEW REALITY TO OUR MODERN GENERATION. Our generation just has quicker access to such false teaching.
1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
CHRISTIANS WE ARE TO STAND FOR THE TRUE FAITH. Are you standing today against false teaching or are you in danger of ignorantly promoting the same?
I. Stand against false teachers.
quote: It has been said, "If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything."
exp. Certainly if you don't know where you stand you will certainly fall into error. And God has told us to stand up against false teachers.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares,
exp. They got into the church by secrecy.
ill. Spending the night in GA and going out to the car in the morning to find music and finding instead a fat mouse in the boot. Between services pulling apart the back seat and throwing out a mouse nest with naked little mouse babies..... "It had crept in unawares."
exp. If we had known about it creeping in - we would never have let it in.
ill. Satan knows that his servants can't openly join a church and so he cloaks them to look like they are godly. II Cor. 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
app. We have a church constitution and doctrinal statement to guard us from false teachers in our church - but with internet there is an abundance of ways in which false teaching can infiltrate God's church. Watch out for false teachers infiltrating our church!
...who were before of old ordained to this condemnation,
exp. God ordained long ago that those who do such things are condemned.
ill. Hamaan and Esther -
Est 7:8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
exp. To molest the Bride of Christ is to offend the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
app. Be careful that what you promote is the Truth of God's Word. False teachers have an ordained judgment which has been determined by God.
...ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness,
exp. They are wicked and pervert the doctrine of grace.
ill. Barnes Notes: Antinomianism: We are no longer under the law but under grace and have liberty to do as we please.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
ill. Easy Believism - no repentance or separation from sin - just pray this prayer and God's grace accepts you.
2 Corinthians 6:
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
question: Did God change his mind about His moral law when Jesus came? NO - However, He graciously gave his son as the only sacrifice acceptable to take away man's sin and graciously gave the Spirit of His Son as the only one who can help us suceed in obeying God.
app. Grace is no more permissive than the law. God still expects man to obey - but where men have failed - God has given the grace to cleanse and grace to keep. Is your sin keeping you from coming to God for His saving grace?
...and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
exp. They would not openly deny Jesus as that would clearly be herecy and the church would reject them. But, in actuality what they teach reject's the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
ill. Do not all Christian religions say that they follow the Bible? Do they - in reality?
1.) Theistic evolutionist - God created evolution. Do you believe the Bible? (yes - day age theory.)
2.) Liberal - Miracles - creation, crossing the Red Sea, walking on water, water into wine, virgin birth, etc. - have a hidden meaning but are not factual stories. (Do you believe the Bible - OF COURSE I DO - but you have your interpretation and I have mine.)
3.) Deity of Jesus - He is a good person, He is "a god," He is a prophet. (Do you believe he is God - of course I don't.... But I do believe in Jesus.)
app. Jesus is the living Word, He is the truth! - Be careful - not all who claim to be "Christian" are related to Christ.
5 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.
6 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.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, 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.
ill. Three illustrations -
1.) The unbelieving Israelites who died in the wilderness.
2.) The fallen angels reserved in chains for eternal judgment.
3.) Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by fire and facing the Great White throne judgment.
exp. As surely as God has saved those who believed and has judged those who rejected - EVEN SO WILL HE DO TO THESE UNBELIEVING FALSE TEACHERS. Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
ill. Back in the day - if you saw a laughing child running from an angry parents - you would know one thing - that child wasn't going to keep laughing and at some point the parent would catch up - it may be fun NOW but it would be anything but fun THEN.
Ecc 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
app. The false teachers are having their day - but the judgment is coming. (STAND AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS.)
II. Identify false teaching.
exp. We've identified who they are - infiltrators, condemned, permissive, professors and endangered. Now let's consider more of their characteristics. *note - they don't have to have all of these characteristics to be false teachers - but these characteristics when found will help to identify them.
A. They disrespect government.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
ill. I remember as a teenager (under President Bill Clinot) hearing people speak evil of him and thinking as a teenager about this verse. I may not like the President of the United States or other governmental authority. But I AM A CHRISTIAN AND I KNOW WHO PUT HIM IN HIS POSITION OF AUTHORITY.
Dan 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
Pro 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
question: How does the Bible say to follow authority?
Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
ill. Jesus about taxes - Luk 20:22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?
Luk 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.
app. A religion that is anti-government is a religion that is against God. The only thing we are to do is to submit and pray. I Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
B. They reject the way of the cross.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain,
def. woe - is an expression of grief, regret, misfortune or grievous distress.
ill. Woman who had a disney cruise booked for herself and her family - 26 weeks pregnan arrived to find out that 25 weeks was the cut off point. They had to remove her with an armed officer. (She was complaining but disney isn't going to seek bad publicity and she obviously wasn't too calm about the situation - THERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF WOE - INTENSE GRIEF - REGRET.
exp. Cain's sin was refusing to submit to the way of the blood (blood sacrifice) and his stubborn determination to worship God however he pleased. Was he sincere? Yes, but sincerely wrong.
ill. Witnessing and hearing - I believe that as long as someone is sincere that they can worship God however they please. I believe God will accept them. Surely God will see the goodness in man....
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
app. Do you want to worship God however you please - SO DO THEY. You will be sorry as will they but it will be too late.
C. They love money.
....and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward,
exp. Balaam was hired by Balaak to curse the Israelites. Balaam was a prophet of God but for sake of what he could get he was willing to sell out to the enemy of Israel.
ill. Gehazi - 25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.
26 And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
ill. Preachers and church leaders are not to be - 1Ti 3:3 ...not greedy of filthy lucre;
1Ti 3:8 ....not greedy of filthy lucre;
ill. The one time you see the zealous righteous anger of our Lord is in the Temple (the house of God) casting out the money changers. Joh 2:16 "And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
app. There are many people who hate God because of "false teachers" who have robbed them in the name of God. False teachers love money.
D. They reject spiritual authorities.
...and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
exp. Core was putting himself forward as a spiritual leader and trying to usurp the authority of Moses. He was leading an insurrection against God given spiritual authority.
ill. Harold Camping - teaching church age had ended - stay at home and listen to me preach on the radio. He usurped the authority of the pastor's whose people he pulled out of their churches.
app. I praise the Lord for good preaching outside of this pulpit - BUT WITH THAT BLESSING COMES THE CURSE THAT FALSE TEACHERS CAN ENTER THE HOUSE OF GOD EASIER THAN EVER BEFORE AND THEY OPPOSE THE LEADERSHIP WHICH GOD HAS GIVEN.
app. Careful - if you are listening to someone who is undermining your local church - that is a problem.
E. They are fruitless.
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
exp. Fruit is not just the salvation of souls. (I could name preachers who were as close to false teachers as you can get who saw souls saved.) Is the fragrance of Christ upon their ministry or is there a big show and no blessing (rain clouds without rain. trees without fruit.)
ill. Joel Olstein has a crowd as big as his bank account. But is the substance of the Word of God in his preaching?
app. They look Christian (with you in your feasts of charity, feasting with you) but the fruit of the Spirit of God is not there. BEWARE - of false teachers who are fruitless.
F. They are antichrist.
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
exp. Are they good preachers? "Raging waves" "foaming out" "hard speeches" but they are against Him. God says they will be judged.
ill. Some people think good preaching is a lot of energy, high volume, entertaining - but the reality is that GOOD PREACHING IS....
1.) BIBLE DIRECTED.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2.) SPIRIT DIRECTED.
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
question - What does the Spirit of God sound like?
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
note: With regard to preaching - 2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
app. SATAN IS A DECEIVER - let the Word of God work out what is right and what is wrong - not what appeals to you or what you agree with or what you think? THEY ARE AGAINST HIM!
G. They know nothing of a holy faith.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts;
Exp. They are discontent and sour. They are seeking to satisfy their desires and not Christ's desires.
ill. Careful Christian - Satan would have us take up our cause and not the Lord's?
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
app. Do you want someone to be damned? Do you believe that the Spirit of God agrees with you?
ill. Have you forgotten the sexual sin of the adulterous woman to whom Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more."
H. They are men pleasers.
...and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
exp. They are loud and eloquent about things that please those they admire.
ill. Tertullus at the trial of Paul speaking before Felix
Acts 24:1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
ill. In contrast John the Baptist told King Herod he was an adulterer because he took his brother's wife.
app. Careful - it's not just about seeking to please the world - it could be seeking to please the church - or an organization. God's servants are to be God pleasers not men pleasers.
Like anything - internet preaching and tv preaching - could be good. The danger is that the devil is a great deceiver and God has given pastor's to protect the flock from false teaching. If you are getting it outside of church - be careful.
CHRISTIANS WE ARE TO STAND FOR THE TRUE FAITH.
1.) Are you careful about the doctrine you are receiving and promoting?
2.) Are you letting God's Word be your guide or a false teacher?
3.) Are you following God's only way of salvation - the way of the cross?
(TO BE CONTINUED)
III. Beloved - earnestly contend for the faith!
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
A. Be edifying.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
B. Be spiritual.
praying in the Holy Ghost,
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
C. Be obedient.
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God,
D. Be humble.
...looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
E. Be soul winning.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
F. Be holy.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.