Today we pick up from where we left off on our expository journey through the Epistle of Jude. Jude represents the first expository assignment I have been tasked with in our church plant in Denmark - Kristuskirken. Though short in length, Jude is a letter jam packed with information on why we should hunt down false teachers that conceal themselves in the church, how we should identify them, and that we as Christians should go to war against them secure in the knowledge of being kept in the safety of God's preserving grace. Much of the credit for this series must go to John MacArthur whose teaching on this Epistle has been my major source.
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: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, 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. 4 For 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. (Jude 1-4)
Zeroing in on verse four of Jude's Epistle we see that these apostates, or false teachers sneak in under the radar and they are anonymous. If you look at church history you will see that liberals and apostates never build churches or Bible colleges. They always take them over. Look at Yale, Princeton, and Oxford, and even Spurgeon’s Bible College. Look at the Methodists and the Lutherans and the Anglicans. Christian movements corrupted by apostates. And I have some brothers who are on the inside of apostacized churches and schools. I love them, but they are foolishly trying to use the same strategy as the apostates. They are sneaking around trying to be reformers without anyone noticing. Al Mohler who, by God’s grace, reformed Southern Baptist Seminary gave this advice – apostacy and compromise happen little by little day after day until the truth is completely lost. Reform always requires a 180% call to repentance because you cannot biblically persuade apostates – they are not Christians. It is really a thrilling ride to hear Dr Mohler’s story on reforming the largest Baptist seminary in the world. In 1993 it was a liberal toilet bowl of perversion. Today it is regarded by many as the finest Bible college anywhere in the world. Al Mohler was hired by conservative Baptist leaders (who took over the movement in America) to go into Southern Seminary and reform it. On his first day he addressed the seminary at their meeting hall. As he came up to speak he looked out the window and saw a picture hanging by a rope from a tree and burning. As he looked closer he saw that it was a picture of himself. As he spoke, hundreds of professors and thousands of students stood up and turned their backs to him. Mohler only had a short message to all the teachers that morning. “At Southern Seminary we have a doctrine statement. Every teacher has to sign it and teach it or you will be fired. I’ll be waiting for you in my office.
Brothers and sisters, we don’t need to sneak around and be polite to false teachers. We can shout out loud in the light of day secure in the calling, love, and safekeeping of God. Contend for the Once for All Delivered Faith.
As we look through the rest of Jude verse 4 we see the frightening words concerning the apostates - "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". In these words we see election again – this time to damnation. We also see that Jude focuses more on the character of these false teachers than their doctrine. Why is that? And what does he mean by denial of Jesus Christ? I’ll talk about that, and more, in the upcoming posts. It should be an interesting ride!
To be continued next Friday . . .
Go On To Part 6
Go Back To Part 4
Go Back To Part 1