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Making a Difference in 2018

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Jesus Christ made a difference in every believer's heart so that every believer could make a difference in their world.

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Making a Difference in 2018

Jude 17-23

Introduction:

God has called, qualified, and equipped the believer to make a difference in this world. God has also given every believer a choice whether or not to allow Him to work through them. It is not a lack of power on God’s part that we are concerned with, it is a lack of surrender on the Christian’s part that concerns us.
Jude is the brother of James which makes him the half-brother of Jesus Christ. Jude is writing to the believers at a time when apostasy and spiritual decline has taken place. The certain men that crept in seemed to be the same ones that Peter had warned about earlier in his epistle.
Jude had wanted to write a kind letter discussing the wonders and greatness of salvation but God led him in a different direction. This is another example of how God has inspired the writers of this wonderful book that we call the Bible. Often times men that were the writers of the book had to set aside their desires to write what God wanted them to write.
Jude’s warnings were to the believers that had not heard from Jesus nor the disciples for several years. False prophets had begun to creep in delivering messages that though they seemed real were nonetheless devilish at best. Jude could understand and see the problems that these false teachers were causing and he also could understand how eventually these false teachers could bring about the destruction of the entire movement of Christianity.
Even though the book of Jude was written over 2000 years ago the warnings and applications that are given in it are still very relevant for today. For you see we still have the same types of certain men creeping into Christianity bringing false doctrine, false teaching and satanic influences.
You see these false teachers in the movements today such as Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the modern-day charismatic movement. Many tend to follow these false teachers because they do not heed the advice of the apostle John where he challenges us to test or to try the spirits to see if there of God.
1 John 4:1 KJV 1900
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
God has called Christians to a different way of life so they can make a difference in the lives of those that they come in contact with.
Jude 22 KJV 1900
And of some have compassion, making a difference:

1. Remember the Word of God-vs.17-19

Remember the authority of the words.
These words that we are told to remember are the words that Jesus spoke either directly to or in the presence the apostles. They would have meticulously recorded every single word that Jesus spoke to them. There was no way that these apostles could’ve written something that was false or not true because the other apostles were alive and they read the letters and reviewed them in this manner every word of God has been exposed to people that knew what should’ve been said.
When we remember and obey the words the apostles had written so long ago, then our lives are literally being built upon that which Jesus started.
John 17:17 KJV 1900
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
When this happens then God can continue to build/change our lives, but it all begins with the Word of God.
Ephesians 2:20 KJV 1900
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Ephesians 4:11–13 KJV 1900
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
1 Corinthians 3:9–11 KJV 1900
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The Word of God was written by men who were under the influence and leading of the Holy Spirit of God; therefore these men wrote what we would call the inspired Word of God.
Inspiration literally means- “God-Breathed.”
2 Timothy 3:16–17 KJV 1900
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Acts 20:35 KJV 1900
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
The Words of God are the result of God speaking to men great truths for us.
Malachi 4:4 KJV 1900
4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, Which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments.
2 Peter 3:2 KJV 1900
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
Remember the predictions of the words- vs. 18
See the prediction about the type of man – these would be men who were ungodly, indulging in animal like physical desires, and denying the very existence of God.
The Christian should not be surprised when the devil uses evil men to attack either themselves, their families, or their church.
Jude 4 KJV 1900
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

LASCIV´IOUSNESS, n. Looseness; irregular indulgence of animal desires; wantonness; lustfulness.

There are many verses in the New Testament that give predictions about what will creep into the church and into our lives if we allow it.
Acts 20:29 KJV 1900
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
1 Timothy 4:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
2 Timothy 3:1–5 KJV 1900
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
c. Remember the warnings of the words-vs. 19
This verse seems to indicate that these men made a conscious decision to separate themselves from the true teaching of the Word of God and as a result of the separation all sorts of wickedness took root in their lives.
God has a heart to warn his people to be careful of their associations and how they influence their lives.
Proverbs 18:1 KJV 1900
1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh And intermeddleth with all wisdom.
Hebrews 10:25 KJV 1900
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
The challenge for us today is that we must remember and reflect on the Words of God and allow them to direct our lives. Having God direct your life is not something that just happened by chance, it is a conscious decision that is made through a heart that desires God.
If we are going to make a difference in the world around us we must remember the truth and obey the truths of the Word of God in our lives.

2. Reinforce the Work of God in your heart-vs. 20-21

Reinforce the beliefs that are the foundations for your faith.
There are three questions that every believer must ask themselves regularly:
What do I believe?
Why do I believe it?
What difference does it make in my life that I believe that?
What you believe should determine how you behave.

The antidote for error is not simply to pull back from wrong but also to be built up in what is right

Colossians 2:7 KJV 1900
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Colossians 1:23 KJV 1900
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Ephesians 3:17 KJV 1900
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Reinforce your personal times of prayer.
Luke 18:1 KJV 1900
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Romans 8:26–27 KJV 1900
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Ephesians 6:18 KJV 1900
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Reinforce your personal devotional life, your Bible reading and Bible study time.
The Bible promises to bless those that meditate on the Word of God.
Joshua 1:8 KJV 1900
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Psalm 1:1–3 KJV 1900
1 Blessed is the man That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That bringeth forth his fruit in his season; His leaf also shall not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
John 14:21 KJV 1900
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 KJV 1900
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
Reinforce the hope in your heart that Jesus is coming again and coming again very sent.
One of the things that will create a strong sense of urgency in our lives is when we are fully persuaded to the fact that Jesus is coming again soon.
2 Timothy 4:8 KJV 1900
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
1 John 2:28 KJV 1900
28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
Titus 2:13–14 KJV 1900
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

3. Reach out with the Witness of God in your area-vs. 22-23

An important factor in keeping one’s own faith active and vibrant is exercising it serving others. Even where there is danger or extreme immorality involved, God calls on believers to mediate His love for the fallen and share the gospel with the lost.

Look for ways to demonstrate compassion-vs. 22

C̵OMPAS´SION, n. [It. compassione; Sp. companion; Fr. compassion; Low L. compassio, compatior; con and patior, passus, to suffer. See Patience.]

1. A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration.

Compassion-your hurt in my heart.

We must distinguish between the weak and the wilful.

False teaching can cause those who are uncertain about what they believe to be misled, even to the point of doubting their own salvation or possibly doubting that God is even real.
to treat someone with compassion is to demonstrate tenderness, the desire to restore them in the spirit of meekness not to be needlessly harsh or severe and are handling of them.
To treat someone with compassion is also to demonstrate humility not pride nor tax holiday in our conduct toward them.
Here’s a thought: if God has forgiven them then why should not I?
Matthew 9:36 KJV 1900
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 14:14 KJV 1900
14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Colossians 3:12 KJV 1900
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Look for ways to share truth-vs.23
Note – when working with others particular those caught up in San and a sinful lifestyle, we must be careful of allowing that influence to lead us away from our biblical priorities.
This verse is challenging us to tell people the truth about Jesus and heaven and hell and salvation; but it is also warning us to maintain a heart for God so that we can demonstrate a life for God.
Even in 2018 God still calls his people to personal holiness.
Those around us need the truth but they need the truth spoken in love with a heart that is broken for their sins.
John 8:31–32 KJV 1900
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Anecdotes and Illustrations Conquered by Compassion

Conquered By Compassion

ONE night I was preaching in one of the suburbs of Chicago, and when I gave out the invitation an enormous man rose to his feet. He weighed 290 pounds. I thought to myself, “You have caught a big fish to-night.” After the meeting was over, I went down and sat beside him and talked to him. He said, “Let me tell you how I came to accept Christ to-night. I have been a church-goer all my life, but I only went to criticise, and when men got up in the prayer meeting to talk I took out a little note-book which I kept, and wrote down what they said, and then kept tab on them during the week to see how their life agreed with their profession, so I came to say to myself, ‘All Christians are hypocrites.’ My heart became as hard as a stone. I was perfectly indifferent. Some months ago, I was taken very ill, and the doctors said I must die, but I was not at all afraid to die. I had become so hardened by the criticism of professors of religion that even death had no terrors for me. But one day a retired minister came and asked if he might pray for me. I said, ‘Yes, you can pray for me if you want to. I have no objection, if it will do you any good, it won’t hurt me any. Yes, pray if you want to, if you will enjoy it. It won’t disturb me.’ He knelt down beside my bed and began to pray, and I watched him out of the corner of my eyes. I was keeping tab on him to see if he was real. I thought I was dying but I was not a bit frightened. I was perfectly callous and hardened, but as I lay there watching him out of the corner of my eyes, I saw a tear rolling down his cheeks. I said to myself, ‘Here is this man, a perfect stranger to me, with no possible interest in me, and yet he is weeping over my sins and my lost condition.’ That broke my heart. That is why I am here to-night. That is why I got up and asked for prayers; that is why I have taken the Lord Jesus.”

I tell you, you will win more men and women by your tears than you will ever win by your arguments.

Conclusion:

Are you ready for God to make a difference in your life in 2018?
What needs to change in order for God to have complete control of your life?
Are you ready to make definite decisions today concerning your relationship with God?
Salvation, Bible reading/Bible study, Devotional time with God’s Word, Prayer, Compassion/caring, involvement at church, Soul winning....
To Make a Difference we must become Different.
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