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Being on the Lookout

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“Being on the Lookout”

Introduction:

  1. The Book of Jude
  2. Who was Jude?
    1. Jude in Hebrew is Judah and in Greek is Judas.
    2. This was a common name in those days but there are two that stand out.

                                                              i.      One being the apostle Judas (Not Iscariot)

                                                            ii.      And the other being Judas the brother of our Lord.

    1. Most widely it is believed that he is one of Jesus’ fleshly brothers.
    2. There is decent evidence for either but in my opinion more for the case of Christ’s brother.
    3. Either way it doesn’t change the message of this book…
  1. Who was he writing to?
    1. Verse 1 gives us a very general audience, “To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.” #. It could have been written to Jewish Christians, Gentile Christians or both.
    2. Their location is not clear either.
    3. The scripture reading came from 2 Peter 2:1-12.  This is a parallel passage to the book of Jude.  But even though they are both so closely similar we can’t assume that they were written to the same people.
    4. The problem addressed here in Jude was a wide spread problem in those days and is still today.
    5. So I believe that this book applies just as much today as it did to his original audience.
  2. If you are not already there please turn with me to the book of Jude.
  3. Read Jude 1-25

Outline:

I         Lookout! – False Teachers are Real

A      Jude warns us of the reality of false teachers. 

B       This was not just a problem in the Old Testament or the New. 

C       The Christian faith is always vulnerable to those who would distort or pervert its message.  Jude gives us Three characteristics of these false teachers.

1        They live ungodly lives.

a         In verse 4 they are called “godless men.”

i          Vs. 4 “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.  They are godless men/, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”

b        In verse 8 we are told that they “pollute their own bodies.”

c         In verse 16 we see that these men are “grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.”

d        They don’t care about others they only care about themselves. 

e         They have their own agenda in life, not Gods! 

2        They pervert the gospel.                         Vs. 4b

a         Apparently these “false teachers” were saying things that Paul had warned us about in Romans 6:1-2 when he said, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

b        Moral relativism is the same thing that had crept into their churches even way back then.  “Whatever is right for you is right.”

c         The gospel tells us that because of God’s grace manifest in Jesus, you and I can find forgiveness and new life.

d        However, these teachers will tell you that God’s forgiveness is so great that it doesn’t matter how you live your life.

i          They say things like, “Come on, you don’t have to worry, you’re a Christian aren’t you?  God will forgive you!”

ii        While this may be true it SHOULD NOT be how we live our lives.

e         That kind of response or lifestyle is how many will rationalize

i          Marital unfaithfulness, embezzling company funds, killing someone, lying, cheating, stealing, etc.

ii        Basically giving no regard for God’s standards for life.

f         They fail to see that Jesus Christ is not only our Savior but he is our Lord.

·         He not only saves us from the penalty of sin, He is the one who should be leading and directing our lives through the Holy Spirit’s influence.

g        It is inevitable that we will all sin (even Christians), but that should ALWAYS be a tragic time in our lives.

i          Our desire should be to live our lives in such a way that we will ALWAYS be pleasing to God.

ii        A person who excuses their sinful lifestyle by pointing to the cross perverts the gospel and is not a true believer!

3        They lack respect for God.

a         Read verse 8-10

b        In verse 8, “reject authority and slander celestial beings.”

c         Jude speaks here of the time when Moses’ body was being fought over by Michael the Archangel and the Devil. 

i          Archangel – the highest angel in existence.

ii        Michael didn’t even stand up to the Devil himself.

a)      Remember that the Lucifer was the highest and most beautiful being “Created” by God.

b)      He was demoted from his position but we don’t find anywhere in scripture that he was demoted in strength or power.

iii      Even the Archangel didn’t bring a slanderous accusation against the Devil in his own power but simply left it in God hands saying, “The Lord rebuke you!”

d        Jude is telling us this to illustrate the point that “false teachers” don’t have any respect for authority – God.

i          They will take this whole matter of casting out demons and evil spirits into their own hands and have big crusades and TV programs, notice ALWAYS asking for your money. 

ii        They are promoting themselves and seeking the attention instead of giving God all of the glory and attention.

e         Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:  and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

i          Respect for God is the foundation of a truly Christian life.

ii        God is Sovereign and we are not.

iii      He is Lord and we are His servants.

iv      There is no fear in the heart of the “false teachers,” they do not respect His power, wisdom, justice, or knowledge.

v        They treat God like their servant instead of being servants of God.

D      Well now we have looked at the reality of “False Teachers” they are Real.

E       Now let’s look to the second point.

II      Lookout – False Teachers are dangerous.

A      It is easy for us to kind of dismiss or ignore the reality that “false teachers” are dangerous.

B       But they truly are – Jude knew it and he gave his readers three Biblical incidents.

1        The Israelites Egypt/Wilderness Vs. 5

a         God delivered Israel from their bondage and slavery in Egypt.

i          In the process they witness MANY miracles.

ii        Of all the people in the world, they were richly blessed to see such miraculous signs.

iii      But when they were there standing on the opposite side of the Jordan ready to take the “promised land” they failed and resisted God, they grumbled, ultimately they refused God’s leadership. 

iv      Consequently, God sent them into the wilderness to wander until all that were present at that time (over 20) had died.

b        If this can happen to a people who had God right there in their midst, cloud and fire.  It can surly happen to us.

c         The whole nation suffered because of a few “false teacher” who had wedged their way into the group and had an influence over the whole.

2        The angels who abandoned their home.” Vs 6

a         When angels where first created there were no Demons.

b        You see in Isa. 14:12-14 Satan fell:  “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!  For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”

c         Satan – Lucifer was the angel who God created that hovered above the throne of God and was one of the angels who “Guarded the Holiness of God.”

d        He let pride take over his being and he was cast out of heaven and somehow he got 1/3 of the angels to follow him instead of God and they were all cast from the presence of God.

e         As it says in 2 Peter 2:4 if God did not spare the angels who rebelled what makes you think that you are excused if you drift away? 

3        The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Vs 7

a         These cities are known because of their wickedness.

b        This is the place where Lot his wife and two daughters were living.

c         When two angels came to get Lot and his family out of their, the men in the city got mad at Lot because he would not bring these men out to them so that they could have sexual relations with them.  Gen. 19:5

d        This was the very reason that the angels were there.  This way of life had become so rampant in those cities that God destroyed them with fire.

e         And that is how we remember Sodom and Gomorrah; they were so wicked that God wiped them off of the face of the earth.

C       The message that Jude is driving home with these three instances is simple, “false teachers” can lead us away from the Lord and ultimately to destruction.

1        We saw it with the Israelites, the fallen angels and with Sodom and Gomorrah

2        The same is true and will happen to us and to those we love if we follow the way of “false teachers.”

D       If those three examples weren’t convincing enough Jude briefly gives three more.

1        Cain – refused to worship God’s way.  Ended up killing his brother and being an outcast from his family.

2        Balaam – called God prophet who was using this title for his own profit.

3        Korah – who led a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron (the earth opened up and swallowed him and his family up.)

E       The point is simple:  God cares about the truth. 

1        He is the true God and wants to be honored and respected.

2        Those who refuse to honor Him will be destroyed.

F        So now we have seen that “false teachers” are Real and Dangerous.

G      What are we to do?

III   How to take a stand!  Vs 17 and following

A      First off, we must Contend for the faith.

1        This is the idea of what an athlete does.

a         He strives to be the best one out there and will train for years to be in the Olympics.

b        They will go through agonizing training to succeed, to prevail.

c         They work hard to be the Best.

2        There are many things in this life that we will contend for.

a         Every four years there is a presidential election.

b        The candidates will spend hours upon hours and thousands upon thousands of dollars to win the election.

3        This is the attitude that Jude is telling us that we should have for our faith.

4        Do we really view our faith as that important that we will do everything that we can to know and live it the best that we can?

B       Secondly, we must Keep Growing.

1        In verses 20-21 we read, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourself in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

2        Notice the key phrases, “build yourselves up,” and “keep yourself.”

3        There is something that we must do.

4        This is not implying that we can grow spiritually without God’s help.

a         We can’t grow without him.

b        But we won’t grow if we just sit around and wait for him to do it!!!

i          (Illustration)  Parents put their young child to bed, about an hour or two later they heard a loud THUD!  They went rushing in and asked, “What happened?”  The child replied, “I fell asleep to close to where I got into bed.”

ii        This story is to near to home to too many Christians today; they have fallen asleep (spiritually) to close to where they got in.

5        You see we are to NEVER get comfortable where we are; we are to ALWAYS strive to learn more and be more like Christ. 

6        There are many ways a Christian can work on growth:

a         Get involved in a Bible Study

b        Maintain the habit of reading God’s Word daily

c         Study the Bible regularly

d        Enroll in a correspondence course

e         Get an accountability partner

f         PRAY PRAY PRAY

C         Thirdly, we must make a difference.

1        In verses 22-23 we Read

2        In other words, treat each situation individually.

a         Some will need to be shown mercy

b        Other will need to be saved quick and swift.

c         Still others will be to far gone to help.

3        Jude also goes on to warn us that as we are trying to make a difference that we need to protect ourselves as to not get defiled too.

4        The Old Testament priests were not to get their garments spotted and the New Testament priests (Christians) are not to get spotted with the cares of this world either.

5        We need to growing so much in our faith that nothing will be able to draw us away and suck us from God.

Conclusion:

  1. First off, the Bible must be our standard of faith.
    1. There is far too much teaching in our churches today that not Biblically based, they are what someone twisted a verse into meaning and have based a whole theology around.
    2. I know it takes time and energy to check things out that we hear, but it is necessary for each of us to study and know God’s Word for ourselves.
    3. Many of you will check labels on food and medicine.
    4. Some of you will research a purchase through Consumer reports or via the internet before making it.
    5. The Bible is our standard for truth.
    6. We must remember that the Bible does not Contain Truth, IT IS TRUTH!
    7. We must also remember that the Bible is not an inspiring book; it is the Inspired Word of God.
  2. Second, we must be prepared to defend our faith.
    1. 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”
    2. It would be foolish to go to war without weapons or ammunition.
    3. We are in a constant war with the Devil.

                                                              i.      Eph 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

                                                            ii.      He is always there to question our faith.

                                                          iii.      How are you prepared to answer the lies of the Devil?

                                                          iv.      Jesus Christ used Scripture, if it works for him why would I try anything else?

  1. Thirdly, it is not enough to defend our faith, we must live it.
    1. We have all heard someone say, “Do as I say not as I do.” 

                                                              i.      What a contradictory statement. 

                                                            ii.      Who would ever trust that person?  Why would that person ever expect someone to listen to them?  They are being a hypocrite.

    1. We can have all the head knowledge of the Bible, we can know it inside and out but if there isn’t any evidence of it in your life, what good is it?
    2. The devil knows the Bible probably better than anyone on earth.

                                                              i.      He uses it and twists it so “unnoticeably” that far too many of us fall into his lies and deceptions.

                                                            ii.      He used God’s Words to trick Eve into sinning and ultimately causing the whole human race to become sinners.

    1. The only way to battle Satan is through the help of Jesus Christ and he has given us EVERYTHING that we need right here in The Word Of God. #. Study it, Love it, Live it!!!

Let’s turn in closing to HYMN # 383Open Our Eyes, Lord

Sing this as a prayer for your life today.

Jude closed with this Doxology:

“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!  Amen”

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