SPIRITUAL PATRIOTS #4
The Downfall of Dreamers
A. In past lessons we noted:
1. The need for spiritual patriots
2. The need for watchfulness and vigilance against false teachers
3. The importance of remembering how God has dealt with evil doers in the past
B. When people go to war, dreams become their closest traveling companions. dreams become especially vivid in times of unrest. Some dream of loved ones back home. Others dream of victory and an end to conflict
C. “Yet in like manner these also in their dreamings…” (v. 8a)
1. Although the word “dream” can be applied to flights of fancy, it is typically used in a more positive sense.
a. Often used of making plans or setting goals
b. Unfortunately, this was not the kind of activity Jude had in mind when he referred to these false teachers as “dreamers” (NKJ).
c. Jude wrote about the unholy dreams of wicked men who were attacking the church
2. It is possible that these men were claiming some special revelation in the form of dreams
a. It is also possible Jude had reference to their sinful thoughts
b. James says it this way… James 3:13-15
3. The mindset of these false teachers was reminiscent of man’s condition immediately before the flood
a. Genesis 6:5
b. Paul referred to such ungoldly men as “inventors of evil things” (Rom. 1:30).
c. Sinners often live in a kind of dream world, totally ignoring the consequences of their actions
A. CHARACTERISTICS OF FALSE TEACHERS
1. THEY “DEFILE THE FLESH”
a. In the name of God, and under the supposed protection of grace, they shamelessly adopted a lifestyle of sin.
b. Those who fill their minds with unwholesome thoughts are inclined to pollute their bodies with unhealthy practices
c. No one is immune from the effects of iniquity… Galatians 6:7-8
1) Christians must not kid themselves about the consequences of sin
2) God’s law of sowing and reaping cannot be circumvented
d. Defilement is the only possible outcome when a person caters to worldly cravings
1) Christians must glorify God rather than gratify the flesh… 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
2) With the help of the word of God evil lusts can be subdued… Galatians 5:16-18
e. Romans 12:1-2
2. THEY REJECT AUTHORITY
a. “set at nought dominion” (reject authority – ESV, NKJ)
b. God has established a system of authority in this world to restrain people from carrying out improper thoughts and desires
c. The ungodly rejects God’s authority
d. God ordained authority in the home
1) Ephesians 6:1
2) Some reject parental authority (Rom. 1:30-31)
3) What would children be without parental authority?
e. God has ordained civil authority
1) Romans 13:1-7
2) The purpose is to encourage the good and to execute wrath upon evil doers
3) What would our world be like without civil authority?
f. God ordained authority in the church
1) Elders are the divinely appointed overseers of local congregations (Acts 14:23; 20:28)
2) Hebrews 13:17
g. Bible authority is the underlying foundations these…
1) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
2) 2 Peter 1:3
3) Proverbs 14:12
3. THEY SPEAK EVIL OF DIGNITARIES
a. “rail at dignities” (speak evil of dignitaries- NKJ)
b. These are ones who are to be regarded highly because of their station, thus the ungodly are given to speaking against positions of leadership
c. Jude 9
1) The way that Michael, the archangel, conducted himself when contending with the devil stood in stark contrast to the disrespectful treatment false teachers were giving godly leaders in the church
2) Michael was engaged in a dispute with the devil about the body of Moses. After Moses glimpsed the Promise Land from the heights of Pisgah, he died and was buried by the Lord in a Moabite valley (Dt. 34:6)
3) When Satan tried to interfere, he was confronted by this distinguished member of the heavenly hosts
4) Jude does not give us the details, his focus is on the conduct of the archangel during this episode. Michael did not allow the confrontation to degenerate into an unrestrained battle of emotions
5) “Railing judgments” (reviling accusations – NKJ) are harsh terms of reproach. As tension escalates, it is common for conversations to become increasingly personal and cruel. When it became clear to Michael that Satan could not be reasoned with, he wisely brought the dispute to a conclusion by saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.”
6) When obstinate people are determined to do wrong, there comes a time to leave the matter in God’s hands.
d. Christians can lean a valuable lesson from this incident.
1) How does a child of God deal with unpleasant and contentious people?
2) Even when a person is confident he is right, it is not wise to enter into a war words that can lead to sin.
3) This does not mean it is inappropriate to discuss religion or dispute false doctrine. The key is to always conduct ourselves in the highest gentlemanly manner
4) When emotions are running high great caution must be exercised. One of Satan’s greatest weapons is to entrap those defending the truth with their own tongue
B. AWESOME INTELLECTS OR ANIMAL IMPULSES
1. The false teachers Jude confronted did not hesitate to speak evil of opponents who were more righteous than they – they justified their words believing they possessed a higher knowledge of God’s word
2. Despite their bold assertions they were completely out of touch with the word of God
a. The only special knowledge they had were of base things
b. They thought they were great thinkers, but Jude called them “creatures without reason” or “brute beasts” (v. 10)
3. People whose lives are dominated by sin mentally inhabit a dreamlike world of impurity
a. Over time, they become proficient at justifying their reckless behavior in the name of spiritual or intellectual enlightenment
b. Arrogance can cause many to rationalize almost any sin
C. RULES FOR RIGHTEOUS LIVING
1. In view of man’s higher nature, Jude provided three principle for proper conduct.
a. Saints should keep their bodies and minds pure from those things that defile them
b. They must show proper respect for rightful authority
c. Even when contending for the faith, Christians must speak the truth in love
2. God’s patriots must fill their hearts with holy aspirations
3. Those who do will enjoy the sweet dreams of a clear conscience
A. Spiritual Patriots are needed in the Lord’s church – Those who will:
1. Love the church enough to fight for God’s cause
2. Not be discouraged in the heat of battle
3. Who will be alert to the dangers threatening the church
B. Will you enlist as one of God’s Spiritual Patriots?
C. If enlisted, will you be a true Patriot for the Cause?
Sermon outline taken from Aubrey Johnson’s book Spiritual Patriots
Park Heights church of Christ
P. O. Box 107
1300 East Boynton Street
Hamilton, Texas 76531
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”