Error and Warning

Jude 1:3-16 (ESV)

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. 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. Now 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. And 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—just 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. Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But 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.” But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.

Woe 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. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild 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. It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to 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.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

This passage shows us that even in the early church, people had to guard against false teaching. Today is no different. People in the "Christian Church" are teaching all types of lies: "God made me this way", "God wants me to be happy", etc. The thing is, as Pastor Rob pointed out recently in his series on the Gospel of John, Jesus pointed out that if people hated Jesus, they will also hate us (if we live according to the Word) and persecute us.

But we are to take heart. First, because being hated by those who have embraced the philosophy of this world means we are on the right track. Second, because if we suffer for Christ for doing right, then we will have a reward in the next life.

For me, hearing those famous words; "Well done, good and faithful servant!" will be enough. All I care about is pleasing God.

This passage does not get into specifics as to what the false teachers were presenting other than to say sensuality, and denying Christ, so we need to focus on what we know is correct doctrine. Christ died for our sins. He died, not that we may live however we want, but rather so that others will see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.

So let us live in such a way as to point the way to Jesus. Let us forsake our own wants and desires to build up the church. Encourage one another in Christ.

by Virgil Stripes

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