Part 13 – Covering Sea, Earth, and Sky – That’s How Bad These Guys Are
Jude is not done describing and speaking against the false teachers that have infiltrated the Christian churches that Jude cares about. In verses twelve and thirteen Jude becomes extremely poetic and expressive in the choice of words that he uses to describe these heretics, and his choice of words are a very harsh and poignant reminder of the fate of all those who oppose the Lord God and His ways. Jude uses five word pictures to describe the attitudes and teachings of the apostates:
1. They are ‘blemishes’ or ‘submerged and hidden rocks’ at the Christian love feasts (meals in which the church would share of their bounty with each other and intimately connect the meal with the Lord’s Supper). Since these heretics were not believers then they were defiling the Lord’s Supper, and they probably also acted inappropriately during this special and sacred time. The lesson for us as believers today is that we must always examine our hearts as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper and make sure that our hearts are right with the Lord and with each other when we partake of the Supper. Alone with their misuse of the Lord’s Supper, they pretended to be shepherds of the people, but they were only feeding themselves – a picture again of the Lord’s Supper and how their unbelief kept them from truly glorifying the Lord’s sacrifice.
2. They are clouds with rain, blown along by the wind. Just as people during a drought would be excited to see a dark cloud forming with the promise of delivering rain, yet if the cloud blew away without leaving a drop of refreshment, the Christians listening to the false teachers would be excited to hear the Living Word of God preached, yet would be heartbroken to discover that these heretics spoke of things that brought death and emptiness, as opposed to life.
3. The heretics are autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted – twice dead. True shepherds of the Lord, and truly converted sinners will bear fruit in their preaching and in their life, but these false teachers were like autumn trees that were supposed to bear fruit, but produced nothing, so they are uprooted by the Farmer and thrown into the fire. They are twice dead – spiritually dead in that they are not Christians, and then eternally dead because of their unbelief.
4. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame. As unbelieving heretics their teaching was all over the place – rough, wild, without purpose – causing only havoc and chaos to God’s people and to unbelievers. Just as crashing waves turn up the muck and mire from the ocean floor and leave debris and a mess, the lives of the heretics will produce only eternal shame.
5. They are wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved. Just as a meteor burns and glows as it hits the Earth’s atmosphere and shines brightly for a moment because it crashes or dissolves, the false teachers might shine for a moment but they will crash and burn – literally, in the total darkness of Hell as they spend eternity separated from the Lord God and His saints.
When taken together we see that Jude has placed the heretics in the sea, on the earth, and in the sky, as a picture to all of us of how sin and false teaching is widespread, yet the Sovereign Lord God will take care of His children, and will judge the unbeliever with justice, righteousness and holiness.
The take-aways from this message can be summarized as such:
1. Be alert to false teaching by knowing God’s Word and sound doctrine
2. Have a right attitude when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper
3. Even though you may not be a pastor, we are all in positions to ‘feed others the Word of Truth’, let’s not just feed ourselves but care about feeding others the Truth of God’s grace and Word
4. Don’t be a cloud without rain or refreshment – keep your promises and spread grace, love, and God’s Word to refresh the saints
5. By God’s grace, Spirit, and Word, work towards producing spiritual fruit that will last
6. Let’s be that calm sea of God’s Spirit instead of stirring up dissension and trouble
7. Let the steady and consistent Light of Christ shine upon us and through us, rather than being a bottle rocket for Jesus….complete the race.