Hey Jude Part 2
Let’s Not Forget Jude 5-16
As we continue from last time, (see “Jude,Things are Really Bad” post) let’s first recap byt stating that Jude was addressing the morally unrestrained teachings that had found their way into the church and his society. His clarion call was for believers to vigorously contend for the faith that was delivered to them by the Apostles. We found last time, that when believers do so, they can take a sad situation and make it better. Jude’s next vital message to us could be summarized with, “Let’s not forget”.
Forget what? Let’s take a look.
“I need to remind you of this.” verses 4-7
- The Lord saved his people out of Egypt, but destroyed the unbelievers.
- Even the angels who left their assigned authority were judged & sentenced.
- Sodom & Gomorrah’s sexually immoral society was consumed in the fires of judgment.
While living in the midst of the kinkiest of perversions known to mankind, Jude reminds us that judgment has and will continue to come upon such practices. Jehovah is a just God who will always deliver the believer in Him but that same justice must judge unrighteousness. No one is exempt, not angels or humans.
“I need to remind you about blasphemers.” verses 8-10
- They are sensual dreamers
- They corrupt and pollute the natural realm
- They reject spiritual realms of governmental power
- They scoff at heavenly things
- They insult all that they don’t understand
- They behave like animals, doing whatever they feel like doing
- They live by animal instincts
- How terrible it is for them
Again, Jude calls out what he sees in society without backing down. Blunt. Categorical. Plainspoken. The false ideologies and practices of the ungodly mock at, and reject spiritual truths while indulging in sensuality, and all forms of self satisfaction and gratification.
They have followed– verse 11-
- The steps of Cain
- Balaam’s error
- Korah’s rebellion
Three Old Testament rebels who lead many astray are given as examples of what will happen to the blashemers. Each of them and their followers were destroyed by God’s judgment.
In Cain we see the picture of man offering to God the fruit of his own works rather than the faith in God’s blood sacrifice. Balaam shows us a spiritual man who was motivated by money and financial gain. Korah led a rebellion against the leadership of Moses. These three did as they pleased, just like this current generation. They suffered God’s judgment, just like every generation will.
Jude offers one last note regarding the things we should not forget, pertaining to the false teachers and ideologies of the day.
The dangers of false teachers/teachings – verses 12-13
- They are hidden reefs – their disguised teachings will shipwreck lives, churches and societies
- They are clouds without rain, swept along by winds– they show the promise of refreshing & growth but are empty and influenced by evil spirits
- They are fruitless trees in autum– looking good and productive on the ourside, but when fruit is needed, there is none. They are twice dead – on the inside and the outside.
- They are wild waves, bringing only stormy seas of shame to the people they impact
- They are wandering stars – all they give is misleading advice
These are brilliantly, vivid metaphors revealing the absolute futility of false teachings. They offer us no hope, are empty, deceitful, and deadly. They were in Jude’s day, they are in ours.
Jude’s admonition is that the false teachings of unbridled sexual fantacies and lifestyles, will, indeed be judged. verses14-16
He repeats the idea of certain judgment coming to:
- those who are ungoldly
- the ungodly, blasphemers
- those who follow sinful, selfish pursuits
- loudmouthed boasters
- seductive flatters who manipulate others
In these few verses, Jude warns us all that perverted, sensual ideas and lifestyles are nothing new. They have been around for generations. He reminds us that in the midst of such depravity, God is always looking for the righeous and will reward them for their faith in Him. He reminds us that judgment is coming for all, and he reminds us that the ungodly will, in justice will be judged.
Would you look around you, look for hidden reefs, waterless clouds, fruitless trees, wild waves, and wandering stars. They surround us. The are dangerous and deadly. Don’t be fooled. They are loudmouthed, and seductive, and they will manipulate you, your ideas, and your faith.
Their scoffing at spiritual things and brute beast instincts will lead them the way of Cain, Balaam, and Korah. In the end their unrepentant lifestyles will lead them to be swallowed up by God’s judgment.
In these days, we, each, must distinguish truth from lies.
We may be surrounded by the ungodly, but let’s not forget the truth of God’s Word.
Hey Jude, we’re with you.
Jude, Things Are Really Bad
It was 1968. John Lennon was facing divorce, the upsetting of his family, (lil’ Julian was 5), and a turbulant time within the Beatles, when his song-writing partner, Paul McCartney penned the song, “Hey Jude”. In an attempt to help Julian deal with this terrible situation of divorce, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy for him, Paul wrote, “don’t make it bad.” In like manner, Jude, the author of the short New Testament book that bears his name wrote, addressing a terrible situation, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy, his words resounded, things are really bad.
What was it that so alarmed Jude to write his 25 verse book? What was it that caused him to change his plans from writing about one topic to a totally unplanned one? What caused this basically unknown, half-brother of Jesus, and once unbeliever in his brother’s claims, to have drastically changed his song? Why was he now blasting that things are really bad?
His chorus could have echoed that of the Beatles. His song’s emphasis was, take this sad situation and make it better. Don’t be afraid. Go out and get it. Both Jude & McCartney’s writings carry very similiar messages, in but very different situations.
Jude’s alarm was at the libertine (morally unrestrained) teachers in the society and in the church. These false teachers believed that God’s grace gave them the freedom to do whatever they pleased – especially pertaining to money and sex. Their sensual ideas had crept into the church’s thinking and the societal structure and had not only perverted the grace of Jesus but denied Him altogether. Their ideas, Jude knew, have consequences.
This was a really bad situation for the first century folks. False teachings that promoted outrageous, sexually perverted lifestyles was being mainlined as part of the doctrine of grace, taught by Jesus and the apostles. Folks were falling for these ideas of unbridled sex and lust to the point of disavowing the truth of what they had been taught about “the faith that was delivered to them”. Jude knew these ideas had consequences.
So Jude wrote, take this bad situation and make it better. (better, better, better … :-))
He reminded those in the faith to fight for it, not let it slip away or be stripped down to powerless and shallow human urges.
Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed…, ungodly people…, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality, and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”Jude 3-4 ESV
By Jude using the term “the faith”, he was referring to the already established body of truth, set down by the Apostles and widely taught by and circulating through the early church. Ideas and teachings not in alignment with THAT body of truth were considered false teaching and the teachers, false teachers.
Those who parted from that body of truth, were considered “apostates” – fallen away from the truth. Apostasy is defined as “a defiance of an established system of authority; a rebellion; a breach of faith.” (Greek word, “apostasia”) Apostates twist the truth.
The worst forms of wickedness consist in perversions of the truth”RC Lensky
What Jude saw as really bad, was the apostasy, (the falling away from the truth of the faith) that was caused by these false ideas, that were influencing the church. Jude isn’t alone in his view. Every New Testament book (except Philemon) has warnings about false teachings. Why? Because ideas have consequences.
Satan came to Adam and Eve with an idea. The idea isn’t the problem, it is the action that is taken in response to that idea that can be. Ideas have consequences.
Notice that Jude didn’t have much to say about what these false teachers were actually teaching. What he was concerned about was how they were living. What we hear is not the issue until it becomes part of our lifestyle, ingrained in our action, then the fruit shows.
What Jude was compelled to do was call the people of faith to rise up, to remember what they had been taught and committed their lives to, and fight to see those truths stand. Fight against opposition that would seek to destroy those truths. Stand for truth in the face of outrageous, sexual practices seeking to influence the church and society. Speak up for truth when false ideas are spewed. Get in the ring, be involved with, and take a stand for truth and against false teachings of the faith.
Jude was telling people of faith, things are really bad. Let’s take this sad situation and make it better. (better, better, better…)
I can think of no more revelant message for today than this.
People of faith, we must contend for the faith once delivered to us. We must stand for truth, and that is the truth of God’s Word. In our churches, temples, and synagogues and out of them, we must contend for the faith, and not be sidetracked by false ideas. We must no longer give ground to the libertines denouncing Jesus and the faith.
Things may be really bad, but as we contend for the faith we can make this sad song better.
Na, na, na na-na-na-na….. Hey Jude! We’re with you.
NOTE- because this book (of Jude) has burned into my bones and spirit, and I believe there is no more relevant book for us today, I will be spending more time in it. So, for the next ?# blogs, we will be in Jude. It’s only 25 verses, you might want to read it again, soon.
Let’s make this place better,
Contender or Pretender
Repost from Sunday sermon 6.26.21, because this is so vital right now. 5.6.23
I remember times in my life when I decidedly committed myself to being a true contender. Bear with me as I list some:
- Young softball pitcher
- 16 year old female table tennis champion
- Award winning French Horn student
- Honors college student
- Ace volleyball server
- SUP 10Ker
In each of these stages, my focus, energy, effort, thoughts and time was (mostly) willingly given to improving, becoming stronger, better, more accurate and fluid in what I was contending for.
Training, discipline, and a long term goal, pushed aside laziness, discouragement and cheap talk. I was purposed to contend and be the best I could in an effort to win the prize.
If you’re looking to be a contender, your daily decisions are what put you on the road to that prize, not your words.
Contenders and pretenders look alike on the surface, but it is their actions that set them apart.
Pretenders take the path of least resistance, while contenders take disciplined training and overcome. There’s no achieving that championship belt by sitting quietly and watching others in the ring.
Pretenders allow laziness to take over and then the comfort zone anchors them in.
Here’s why it matters, whether you are a contender or pretender…
“… I felt the need to challenge you to vigorously defend and contend for the beliefs that we cherish.”Jude 3
Judah, was Jesus’ half brother and it is he that is speaking here. He was writing to the early believers because he wanted to challenge them to contend for the things that Jesus had taught them. Fight for them, for their truth, for their preeminence, for their validity. He was calling them to be contenders for the faith not pretenders.
No words of the Bible could be any truer today. Judah is calling to us, to remind us to contend for the beliefs we cherish, not become lazy and allow them to slip from our minds, lives, and national awareness.
Contend, with the same discipline as an athlete, for Christian beliefs that are under attack. Focus on them, exercise with them, spur with others- as an athlete and true contender for the faith, not just some lazy “Christian”.
Here is a quick list I made of Christian messages that are under attack:
- God as creator
- All are created equal and in God’s image
- God loves all mankind
- The Bible is his word and divinely inspired
- The inerrancy of the bible
- There is truth and there is absolute truth
- There is life after death lived in heaven or hell for everyone
- Right and wrong
- Power and freedom come from God not government
- Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman
- The church is God’s institution designed to execute God’s will on earth
- Life begins at conception
- Male and female
We are told to contend for these beliefs! Judah tells us to vigorously defend these!
What are we doing Christians?
We cannot allow the influences of this society to sweep away these beliefs that we cherish!
Think too about the values and beliefs brought to this nation by our founding fathers. We must not let them slip or be retaught guised in lies. This is serious.
I can’t help it, what are we doing?
Are you a contender or a pretender?
Go with God,