Part 10 – Jude and the Phony Sheep
In verses five, six and seven Jude speaks of the eternal punishment that will befall three particular groups of people/creatures from the Old Testament. The unbelieving Israelites from during the exodus; the fallen angels that tried to keep the Messiah from coming by attempting to poison the human race through having sexual relationships with some of the human women; and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who rebelled against the Lord God by indulging in all sorts of sexual perversions.
As Jude moves into verses eight, nine and ten, he tells of the similar sinful behavior of the false teachers that not only had infiltrated a number of the churches that Jude was personally close to, but false teachers are still alive and well in the 21st-century church. In verse nine Jude tells a very unusual story about a dispute that the archangel Michael has with the devil over the deceased body of Moses, but I decided to hold off until this coming Sunday to look at this story in more detail, in order to allow me to address the issue of false teachers and their teaching more closely.
We are told in verse four and then again in verse eight that these false teachers are ungodly (do not trust the Lord and act contrary to His ways), they pervert the grace of God in order to sin as much as they wish; they deny the full humanity and deity of Jesus Christ, thus reject His authority; and heap abuse on celestial beings, which we will talk about in more detail this coming Sunday.
The goal of this message was to challenge the church to take seriously the warnings the Lord gives His children in the Word to avoid, rebuke, warn others, yet minister to the false teachers we may encounter in our walk with Christ. False teachers are much like the radical terrorists that we are faced with in world today, but the false teachers are far more dangerous because their goal is to profit in their false teaching and to cause spiritual terrorism by withholding the Truth of the Gospel and God’s grace that saves from the people. False teachers are all around us; they are hard to identify at first because they are disguised as angels of light, and appear as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The way to keep oneself from being sidetracked by the false teaching of false teachers is first and foremost to know the Truth! We are to personally know Christ through a redeemed, transformed and repurposed relationship with the Lord; and then we are to be well equipped by knowing deeply, personally, intimately the Word of God and what His Word tells us about the character and nature of our Triune God; as well as the basis of our salvation, which is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, so that God alone will receive all the glory.
The reason that nominal Christians or unbelievers get sucked into pseudo-Christian cults and other false religions is because they do not know the Savior, and they do not know what/who it is they are to be believing in.
As we see in the references in Jude, as well as in the apostle John’s Three Letters, the full deity and full humanity was questioned, doubted and denied by the false teachers, and this biblical doctrine/truth is ESSENTIAL to the Christian faith!
The second way to help a person from being sidetracked by false teaching is to know the enemy. It is helpful to understand as much as it is possible, the actual false teaching and beliefs of the false teacher and their ‘religion’ so that it can be easily compared to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ found in God’s Word.
The bottom line is that as believers – as followers of Christ – we all need to be committed to coming to a true and sincere trusting faith in Christ by God’s grace; committed to trusting and depending on God’s Word; to know our doctrine (What the Bible teaches concerning the nature of Christ and our salvation); and to be living active Christian lives that express clearly to a spiritually dead world the love, compassion, mercy, and grace of God.