Jude 12-13

A. We having been discussing for a while the need for Spiritual
Patriots in the Lord’s church
1. Jude 3
2. History proves that God will judge the false teachers
3. False teachers defile themselves and defy authority
4. False teachers are similar to Cain, Balaam, Korah in the evils and destiny
B. The worst mistake a soldier can make is to underestimate his enemy
1. Jude was determined not to let this happen to his readers
2. Using all the imagination he could summon, he labored to describe the ruthlessness and
corruption of the false teachers who threatening the church
3. He searched land, sky and sea to find the most appropriate images for illustrating their wickedness.
4. In the end he settled upon six powerful analogies to make his
5. Jude 12-13
1. Jude begins by comparing these corrupt men to “hidden rocks” (ASV; or “hidden reefs” – ESV; NAS) or “spots” (KJV, NKJ)
2. As we look at this from these two translations we see the
a. In the case of “spots” these false teachers were human blemishes on the love feasts of the congregation
1) James 1:27
2) Ephesians 5:27
3) People who have been added to the church have first been cleansed
a) Acts 22:16
b) Romans 6:3-4… those who do not walk in newness of life are a blemish upon the church’s reputation and fellowship
b. In the case of “hidden rocks” these false teachers, metaphorically, were men who by their conduct damage others morally
1) Like sunken reefs which could not be seen on the surface of the water, but which would inevitably wreck any ship which struck them, so these men gave no warning of the threat which they posed.
2) Sadly, false teachers do not appear as they really are until the damage is already done
a) Countless ships have been shipwrecked by hidden rocks
b) 1 Timothy 1:19-20
3. The “love feasts” Jude mentions probably refers to the friendliness that was evident among the saints as they enjoyed a common meal together
a. Early Christians derived pleasure from this kind of fellowship
b. Acts 2:46
4. Jude says that false teachers secretly bring in blemishes that do harm to Christian fellowship
1. In the second analogy, Jude compared false teachers to self-centered shepherds who “without fear feed themselves”
a. They are consumed with satisfying their own egos and lusts while completely ignoring the spiritual needs of those entrusted to their care
b. “Without fear” suggests they were unconcerned about facing God in judgment to account for their misdeeds, but…
2 Corithians 5:10
2. Leaders are often called “shepherds” in Scripture
a. Ezekiel prophesied against the shepherds (leaders) of Israel who put their interest above the interest of the flock (Eze. 34)
b. Jesus is called the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11), who laid down His life for the sheep
3. Due to their influence, leaders can expect a higher level of accountability on the Day of Judgment
a. James 3:1
b. He must be without reproach (2 Tim. 3:2)
c. When a person proclaims himself a spiritual leader but does not live up to that trust, he has committed a serious offense.
d. Whether the problem is apathy or opportunism, the outcome is the same
1. Next, Jude painted a verbal portrait of false teachers as waterless clouds
a. It is doubtful that he has white billowy clouds that lazily pass through the sky on a summer day
b. It is more likely that he imagined dark clouds, always threatening rain but never delivering the refreshment so desperately needed
2. Few things could be more disheartening in the dry arid regions of Judea than waterless clouds
a. Jude used this frustrating figure to portray the problem of spiritual drought
b. False teachers are like clouds that promise rain but never deliver
c. Proverbs 25:14… These men are all talk and no show
3. “Carried along by winds” may symbolize the spiritual instability of ungodly men
a. Like clouds at the mercy of the wind currents, false teachers lack the integrity to withstand unbiblical doctrines
b. These false teachers are like clouds that create excitement as they come but leave disappointment as they go
1. The fourth figure used of those undermining the faith was that of barren trees.
a. Jude envisions a person walking up to a fruit tree in late autumn expectantly looking forward to a ripe, juicy treat
b. Instead, the fruit was withered away, leaving the hungry individual disappointed
c. Such was the experience of those who sought spiritual food or blessing from these hypocrites
2. Teachers who drink deeply from God’s word produce good fruit
a. Psalm 1:3
b. Jesus cautioned to be careful and examine the fruit… Matthew 7:20
c. Isaiah 5:1-6
3. Jude uses the phrase, “twice dead” to depict the fruitless lives of the false teacher
a. A tree my get a reprieve the first year of not producing fruit, but if there is no fruit produced the second year it is uprooted
b. Matthew 3:8
4. The phrase “twice dead” might also indicate the tragedy of Christians who have gone back into the world
a. Hebrews 6:4-8
b. Nothing can be sadder than for a person who has been saved from his past sins only to be lost later through disobedience – the second death is awaiting the unfaithful
1. Jude turned to the “wild waves of the sea” for his next image of iniquity
a. False teachers are wild and unstable like the tossing sea
b. Loud and boisterous and producing only foam
c. False teachers are loud and boastful, but for all their talk, they have little to show but the residue of their own shame
2. Isaiah 57:20
a. Instead of littering beaches, false teachers litter the minds and lives of those they influence
b. In some cases they are like giant waves that leave utter destruction in their path
1. Jude’s final example of iniquity comes from the heavens
a. Religious leaders are like stars because they impart the light of knowledge, but Jude says these false teachers are not that way
b. “Wandering stars” seems to refer to meteorites that blaze impressively across the horizon
1) No one cannot steer by shooting stars… they blaze for a moment and are then go, and so it is with false teachers
2) Their light went out when they departed from God’s word
c. False teachers have wandered away from God’s word – their lives are spiritually off course
2. Those who are faithful to God’s word are like stars in the midst of a sinful world
a. Philippians 2:15
b. Those who are faithful to God’s word have an enormous influence in leading people in the right way – in startling contrast to the false teachers Jude is discussing who lead men into darkness
1. It is a terrible blunder to underestimate one’s adversary in battle
a. This is why the New Testament has gone to great lengths to provide intelligence on the enemies of Christ
b. Ephesians 6:12
2. In writing his battle plan for Christian warfare, Jude painted a vivid picture of the awfulness of sin and those who promote it
a. False teachers are spiritually empty, fruitless, unstable, and self-centered men
b. Their wild actions defile, disappoint, pollute, shame, and destroy the souls of men
1. Overcoming evil requires facing the problem squarely
a. That is why it is a terrible mistake to downplay heresy
b. Although it is admirable to bear with the mistaken understanding of the weak, it is inexcusable to make light of the maneuverings of the willful
2. Like Jude, spiritual patriots must honestly assess, accurately describe and graphically portray the wickedness of false teachers
a. Complainer who find fault with everything are not to be admired, but spiritual patriots who alert the church to real doctrinal danger are heroes of the faith and should be thanked for their courage
b. We must not ignore the problem of false teaching – it will not go away
c. Tell it like it is so other can see it like it is. Jude did. Will we?

** Thoughts for this sermon came from Aubrey Johnson’s book “Spiritual Patriots”

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531

About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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