Jude verses 1-11
"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."
Who Was Jude?
"Well I'm not sure how far we're going to get this evening as we jump into this little Book of Jude, Judas, more properly. Not Judas Iscariot, he's the most familiar Judas to most of us in the New Testament, most often mentioned. There was a Judas among the apostles, which is different from this man Jude. This man Jude tells us he is the servant of the Lord, and the brother of James, and the Church from the earliest times agrees that this is one of the Lord's half-brothers, same mom, different father. He would be the youngest. Early Church fathers tell us, Matthew 13 I think, Mark 6, mentions the brothers of the Lord, James, Joses, Simon and Judas, Jude. Early Church fathers tell us that they were the uterine siblings of Jesus Christ. It isn't until the 3rd century there's a bishop in Salamis who starts to [erroneously] tell us they were from Joseph in a previous marriage, that they came into the family when Joseph and Mary married. But the early Church fathers know nothing of that, they tell us these were all the younger brothers of Christ, that after Jesus was born, that Mary then had other children, and that there were at least four other boys, that are named, and at least two sisters, because it says sisters in the plural. And again, I'm always amazed as I think of this, you know, here is a household, Jesus could have been an only child, and it seems, he would have gotten more attention. But he grows up in a house with four brothers and two sisters and a mom and a dad. There's at least nine of them in this carpenters home, which I'm sure wasn't from the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And it is interesting in that context, as we study James and study Jude. Both of them are extremely forthright. There's over fifty imperatives in James's short book, and Jude in the same spirit, is very forthright and very direct. Neither of them are believers during Christ's earthly ministry. The family comes to him once, and they feel that he's lost his mind, they don't, you know, growing up in the same house, there wasn't anything about Jesus that won them. You know, they grew up in a carpenter's shop, and in the order, Jude would be the youngest. So if you're the youngest brother in the house, the younger of other brothers, you understand that place, you understand what it's like to look up to older brothers. James, besides Jesus the oldest, and Jude becoming part of the ministry, we only have some traditional history from Eusibius, he tells us that he traveled with a wife, that he was in fact an evangelist in the early Church. He's not named specifically as an apostle. But just imagine his memories, growing up in the house with sisters, with Jesus as the oldest boy, and his other brothers. And as he comes to faith, after the resurrection, we're told in Acts chapter 1, as the apostles are gathered, believers are gathered in the upper room, that the "brethren" of our Lord were there, Jude by then a believer. And just imagine again, James and Jude raking through their memories, as now they've come to know this one as their Saviour, as their Lord. Jude will end by saying 'our Saviour and God.' So it's very interesting, as he begins he calls himself "a servant of Jesus Christ, and the brother of James," he's not claiming any superior place, saying as he writes to the believers, 'Hey, you know who my older brother was, you know, I'm in the family, I'm a made-member, and I want you to understand that.' There's none of that here. His small letter is not a doctrinal statement, per se, he's not addressing a specific problem in a specific church. It seems to be a letter that was circulated, and it is challenging the Church [entire Body of Christ] in regards to 'embracing and holding onto the faith that was once delivered unto the saints, and then a warning of false teachers and apostates, and the destruction that they can do.' So it was a letter no doubt that was circulated commonly through congregations. And most believe at this point in time, only Jude and John are still alive, of those who were eyewitnesses of the Lord's ministry, that knew him. So, Jude writing, tells us as he begins, "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James," the doulos, the slave of Jesus Christ, one without rights, interesting. I mean, what's it like to grow up with an older brother, you think he's a goody-too-sandals his whole life, 'This guy, we can never get him to do anything wrong with us.' And then, what's it like to find out that your older brother was God all along? I think James and Jude need a little counseling, maybe, those are kind of very impressionable, that's a very impressionable thing to have happen to you. But yet on the other side of that, who could be more filled with wonder at the fact that he had come and lived in a household, he had come and got splinters in his hands, and he had worked for a living, and for thirty years was faithful to God without any demonstration of who he was. His public ministry was only three and a half years, he spent the vast majority of his life pleasing his Father, so again, when he came to the baptism at the River Jordan, and John the Baptist baptized him, a voice said "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am already well pleased." And he hadn't done a miracle, he hadn't preached a sermon. And Jude grew up with no doubt, a sense of that righteousness, a sense of something, and then coming to understand that after the resurrection, what God had done, and how desperately God desired to come and walk in the midst of his own creation, and rub shoulders with sinners and tax gatherers and harlots, and to look into their faces, and to demonstrate who he was.
'Having Been Preserved By The Lord Jesus Christ, And Called'
So he calls himself "a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James," now they would know who that was, as he wrote, "to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:" (verse 1) "sanctified by God" now that's what my translation says, your translation might say 'loved by God the Father,' because there's a discrepancy in some early manuscripts where the word is either "loved" or "sanctified." But when you're in the sphere of his love, your life is set aside, it is sanctified. They go together. When we come to verse 2 he uses the same word for "love" there, in fact that 'love is multiplied to us.' So, I like the idea that we're sanctified, we're set aside, for him. The same word that the Bible uses for "saints," same root word here. So you look around the room, look around the room, the saints. It's not the little guys on the dashboard, they're sitting here on Wednesday nights, look around, that's who we are. "sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:" that we are 'having been preserved' it means that it is done, that we're guarded. And I am thankful for that. And the longer you go on with the Lord, the more you're going to realize, that the reason you're sitting here tonight is because you're in the present condition of 'having been preserved by the Lord Jesus Christ.' I don't know about you, there are enough times I've banged my head, there are enough times that I would run ahead of the Lord and get into something I shouldn't get into, or I would lag behind with a cold heart, and get off track. There's enough people around here that come in, and we see them, they backslide or they turn, and they end up getting banged around, and whupped and they come back, you know, looking like something the cat dragged in, but they're back. And you look at them and you think, 'You know, I'm confident in their Shepherd, because they're preserved, he does such a good job, he does such a good job.' So I'm thankful. "preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:" Jesus said 'You've not chosen me, but I've chosen you, called you.' "preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: mercy unto you, and peace, and love be multiplied." (verses 1b-2) You might have come through a day or a week where all you can say is 'All I want is a little peace.' You ain't gonna find it in this world. You'll find two things in the New Testament, there's "peace with God", and everyone in this room whose saved tonight, we have that. But there is also the "peace of God." And that's objective and subjective. We certainly have peace with God, but the wonderful thing that God offers us, if we stay in his presence, and we depend upon his strength, and we're filled with his Spirit, that we have "the peace of God" also in our lives. There is no resource in this world for that, so "mercy unto you, and peace, and [agape'] love be multiplied." And I love what Jude says here, not 'be added to you,' but 'be multiplied unto you.' You've gotta love God's math, there's nothing fuzzy about it. Here's 'mercy, peace and love,' not added to us, 'multiplied.' And I appreciate that.
"Contend Earnestly For The Faith Which Was Once Delivered Unto The Saints" Why? "Because There Are Men Crept In Unawares, Ungodly Men"
He begins, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (verse 3) Interesting to me, thinking of how his older brother was, how he addresses the believer, "beloved". Verse 4 begins with the word "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, our Lord Jesus Christ." So, he says, 'I sat down to write unto you, I gave all diligence, and I wanted to write to you in regards to our common salvation.' And who doesn't? What a great thing, just to sit down and talk about what God has done on our behalf, and how blessed we are, and what God has done for us. And he says 'he was inclined to write this letter to the Church in regards to our common salvation.' Now, evidently the Holy Spirit moving Jude to write, the other apostles gone, John still alive. Jude writing, and he says, 'but it was needful' King James, the idea is, 'he was moved,' or 'he was impressed, the Holy Spirit forced him,' the idea is, in that sense, it is forceful. He wanted to write in regards to our common salvation, but "it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (verse 3b) 'I wanted to write about our common salvation, I sat down, and as I began to write, and I was trying to be diligent, it was urged upon me, the impression was made upon me, I couldn't escape it, that what I needed to write to you about, is that you would earnestly contend' and that was a word from the gymnasium, from the Olympics in his day, it was a word that spoke of complete exhaustion after competition in the Games. That you would give yourself (contend) completely to this. Think of the things that we completely give ourselves to in this room. What are the things that we completely give ourselves to, to the point of exhaustion? He says, 'the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart that I would exhort you, that you, not the pastor, the believer, all of us, should earnestly contend' for what? "for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." 'to contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered unto the saints.' Paul, remember, writing to the Galatians says, 'I'm surprised that you're so soon moved away from the Gospel of Christ,' he said, 'to another Gospel.' Well it's not another Gospel, it was a deformed Gospel. 'But though we or an angel from heaven bring any other Gospel to you, let him be anathema, let him be eternally damned.' And what he's saying here, is the Gospel itself. No doubt, as the New Testament writers wrote, they came to understand more about the Church in some ways. Paul developed that in his writings. But the Faith, you read in Acts chapter 2, the sermon that Peter preaches there, his nomenclature is from the Old Testament, it's filled with blood, with the cross, with atonement, with the death of Christ, with the power to save. He says 'the Faith that was once delivered, once and for all to the saints,' it doesn't have additions made to it. It's not a faith that broadens and adjusts to the culture and the society. He says it was "the faith which was once" once and for all, a one-time deposit "delivered unto the saints." That faith that was given to us in the beginning, that Jesus Christ, his oldest half-brother, of the tribe of Judah, of the line of David, was the Jewish Messiah, the Jesus of the Bible. Not the Jesus of so many religious clouds blowing around out there, he was Jesus, born of a virgin, of the tribe of Judah, of the line of David, in the city of Bethlehem, who walked among us, not who became Christ [as the Gnostics taught], who was Christ, who was crucified for our sins, died, rose on the third day, ascended, who is returning, the Jesus of the Bible. [Pastor Joe just describe the essence of what the Gospel is. What is the Gospel? See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm] That "Faith", that we would earnestly contend for, just like we were in some athletic competition, contend for that faith, to defend it, to care for it, to uphold it. It was once and for all delivered unto the saints. Why? He says, 'For there are certain men crept in unawares, that want to destroy all of that.' "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." (verse 4) They're sneaks, they don't just walk into the front door with a smile, they creep in unaware. "who were before of old ordained to this condemnation," you know, an interesting idea, that of old, there was a pronouncement against those who would do despite to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. "who of old were ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men," and he says they do two things here, one), "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness," two), they "denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ" denying his Lordship. [And there are heresies, Gnosticism, Arianism, that deny the deity of Christ, and this was creeping into the Church at this time, when only Jude and John were still alive. These heresies are still alive within the Body of Christ right now. See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/What%20is%20Arianism.htm] Look, they've snuck in, they've come in. Nothing new, is it. Jesus said, 'Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil,' Judas in there, in that group. Paul in Acts chapter 20 as he writes to the Church, he's gathered with the elders from Ephesus on the beach at Miletus, and he says, 'I ceased not to warn you over a period of two or three years that after my departure grievous wolves will come in, not sparing the flock, and men would arise out of your own midst drawing disciples after themselves instead of after the Lord Jesus Christ.' So here it's nothing new, and it's early, this is early. John is still alive. He says 'Already, in our day, in the Church, there is this problem of false teachers, false ministers, false pastors, false prophets, false evangelists, those who have snuck into the Church unaware.' They look like Christians, they talk like Christians, they wear Christian bumper stickers on their chariots, they listen to Christian music, they look like they fit into the Christian culture, and he says, 'But I want you to recognize them in two ways, number one is, they turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.' Now look, the grace of God is a very, very remarkable, unbelievable, staggering thing which was developed in the New Testament, the grace of God. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve, but grace is getting what you don't deserve. Ok? We've been through this. Mercy is when they commute your sentence, when you're headed to the gas chamber. Grace is when the governor comes in, and puts his own son in the gas chamber instead of you, takes you out, shaves you, gives you a new suit, puts you in a car, takes you to the court, changes your last name, makes you his son, puts you in his will, leaves the mansion and everything he's got to you. That's grace, getting what you don't deserve, God's grace. Now look, to me the gospel of grace is the most demanding gospel that there is. People talk about cheap grace, and they do that in the sense of 'aren't you afraid people are going to go out and sin again?' I'm not afraid at all. 'Well people turn it into cheap grace,' that's their problem, it's not my problem, it's not the Bible's problem. [Comment: the apostle Paul showed us in Romans 7 what the law is for, it's a mirror, to show us where the sin is. Paul also showed us in Romans 7 that we, of our own selves have no power to overcome sin, on our own, through our own efforts. James in James 1:22-25 shows us the same thing, Gods law is a spiritual mirror which reveals where the sin is. Paul goes on in Romans 8:1-10 to show us that it is the Holy Spirit of God, now placed within us, that takes our natural, Satan inspired hostility towards God's law away from us, and replaces that hostility with a love for God and his laws. King David expressed this same Holy Spirit inspired love for God and his laws in his entire 119th Psalm. Grace is not a license to sin (where sin is defined in the Bible as the transgression of God's law in 1st John 3:4). The entire New Testament tells us from one end to the other, not to sin, to come out of sin. And by the Bible definition for sin, that means the entire New Testament is telling us not to break God's laws. Those who say that God's grace is a license to go out and do whatever you want, including sin, are practicing lasciviousness, as Jude is pointing out here. They're the false teachers, twisting God's grace into a false definition. Once you're pardoned by the governor, as in Pastor Joe's analogy, you're not supposed to go out and break all the laws which got you incarcerated in the first place with that death sentence over your head.] Because a legalistic gospel will turn you away and defeat you. Because man could never live up to the law [without God's Holy Spirit, that is. Calvary Chapels see this a little differently than the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God, but in essence, we live by the same obedient lifestyle. See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/whatisgrace/whatisgraceintro.htm for a discussion on law & grace]. The gospel of grace says to you, 'When you fail, when you fall, get up again, dust yourself off, let's go, you have no excuse. Let's go forward.' Because God is busy conforming you into the image and likeness of his Son [and what image is that? 1st Peter 2:21-22, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth ... " Sin is what? "Sin is the transgression of the law" 1st John 3:4. And taking it further, the image of Christ is more than just avoiding sin, it is having demonstrated active love, agape-love toward others (see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/Agape/Agape%20I.htm)] And in that it is the most demanding gospel there is. But, Paul had to address the Church and say 'Hey look, the grace of God is not license for our flesh, it's liberty [i.e. liberty, freedom from sin], we have liberty, we're all growing, we're all going through that process, and just because there's grace that doesn't mean we can go out and sin [which is the transgression of the law, 1st John 3:4] and there's no big deal about it.' And Jude here says, we have to contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints, because we believe there's life-changing power in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We live in a world that is powerless to change itself, it's drifting along in the tide or the undertow of a culture and a society. And we're saying to them, 'We believe that if you accept Jesus Christ, that he forgives you of your sins and the living Christ comes and takes up residence in your being. And that he who is in us is more powerful than the one who is in the world [i.e. Satan, the one who is in the world].' And there should be a change in our lives [through Jesus and God the Father dwelling within us by the Holy Spirit he puts within us, cf. John 14] when we get saved. But Jude says 'There are those who rather take the grace of God and turn it into lasciviousness.' They tell you, 'I tell you, you can live in sin, you can compromise, yea you can sleep with your girlfriend, yea you can go out and drink and get drunk, what's the big deal, yea you can spend all the family's money at Atlantic City, you're just sowing your wild oats, you're saved by grace, don't worry. Yea, you can live this way, yea you can do that, yea you can do this.'
Second Thing, Those Who Have Crept In Are Denying The Lordship Of Jesus Christ
And he says there's two problems there. One is, 'they're turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, into license to live sinfully,' and the other is, 'denying the Lordship of our only God and Saviour Jesus Christ.' You know, he's not just Saviour, he's Lord. Not just fire-insurance. Some people want that. They just don't want to go to hell, so they're willing to stay close enough with Jesus, they like to have fire-insurance, but the Scripture teaches he's Lord of our lives, that he's to be our Master, that the real pursuit of a human life is to find the right Master. And we get mastered by drugs, we get mastered by sex, we get mastered by money. All of those masters are cruel. Money's a great servant, it's a lousy master. But we come finally to the Master who laid his life down for us, who bled his life into the ground, who gave everything for us, whose preserved us, whose called us, whose every day whether we are cognizant of him or not, whether we're ignorant of him, and how sad, we often go through a day and haven't sat still long enough to say 'Lord, speak to me, here I am, lead me, make your Word alive to me today.' Because yes, he's Saviour, but he's Lord, he's Lord. And when we say the word Lord, there's only one option, that's to serve, that's to serve. That's what people back away from. There's an accountability with it. He says this, 'Look, here I am, the end of the first century, I can remember my older brother, I can remember when I didn't believe. I can remember just thinking, 'Can this really be?' and then after the resurrection, when my life was transformed, and I think of the men that knew him and walked with him, and the women, that laid down their lives, that have been martyred, that have gone on. It was nothing for them.' You know, you read about these men that were tortured, that were dragged behind chariots, that were shot full of arrows, that were skinned alive, that were impaled, you read about what happened to the apostles. There was not struggle there, 'Boy, should I let myself watch pornography? Can I go to an R-rated movie? Should I be smoking this or snorting this?' no, no, no, no, they were dead men, not when they died, they dead long before that. They had laid down their lives for the One they loved. K.P. Yohanan when he spoke to us down at the conference, he said that some of the churches in a particular area in India got a letter, and the letter said 'We want this amount of money from your churches within this amount of time, or we're going to start to kill all of your pastors.' And K.P. said, 'It's easy for me to say, if you don't think I'm spiritual that's your problem,' but he said, "I called the elders there, and we fasted and prayed, and I said, 'You have to make a decision, you do have money, I don't know if this is a one-time deal, I don't know all the circumstances, I don't know what you need to do.'" And he said, "They got back to me and said, 'K.P., we prayed and said 'We're not going to do that.'" And the pastor in the middle of it, the young pastor said, "If we do this, it's going to set an example to every other young pastor that's being raised up to be held hostage by the world." And he said, "If they put a bullet through my head, it will be the fastest communication that I've ever had with my Master. That normally when I get alone and it takes awhile for me to get into his presence," he said, "if they shoot a bullet through my head, I'll go right into his presence, and I'll be with him immediately." He found the right Lord, the right Master.
'I Want To Put You In Remembrance Of Three Examples, Egypt, The Angels That Fell, Sodom & Gomorrah'
1. The Example Of Egypt
He says, 'Look, I just wanted to sit down and write about what we believe, common salvation, how wonderful it is,' and he said, 'just the Holy Spirit would not leave me alone, it was made needful for me to write unto you that you would earnestly contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered unto the saints, because there are these that have crept in unaware, they're in our midst, they're a contamination to the Body of Christ, God is going to judge them, they're ungodly, and they're turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and they're denying the only Lord God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' And he says, "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." (verse 5) He's saying, 'Now I want to remind you of certain things,' and a lot of our learning is repetition. I'll tell you, probably most believers, the most amount of Scripture they have memorized is songs, if we sing the Psalms, a lot of the songs we sing are right out of the Scripture, and you realize you know all the words, because you sing it every week. Most of you can sing a,b,c,d,e,f,g, etc., you can't just say it without singing it. You don't know the letters of the alphabet without the tune that goes with it, I know, because I'm just like you. Because repetition, Peter says 'I'm not telling you anything new, as long as I'm in this body I want to put you in remembrance,' John said, 'I'm not giving you a new commandment, but an old commandment.' And Jude says here 'I want to put you in remembrance about some things that you already know, as we think about this struggle in regards to false teachers and those who would ruin the Church and the grace of God.' "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." (verse 5) Now he's going to talk about the children of Israel in the wilderness, who were brought out of Egypt, he's going to talk about the angels and the fact that they fell, and he's going to talk about Sodom and Gomorrah and the fact that they were destroyed. He's going to use three examples of those that were extremely privileged, and though they were extremely privileged, God had to deal severely with them. And in verse 8 he comes back to who he's talking about in verse 4, when he says "Likewise also these filthy dreamers " So as he goes through, he's not telling us we're going to get destroyed, there's certainly always an exhortation to us. But he goes through those who were in great privilege, but also in great sin, and how God dealt severely with them, and he says "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." (verse 8) So, he's going to move through these three examples. First he says, 'The children of Israel (verse 5), the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward, destroyed them that believed not.' (verse 5) So, first example, children of Israel, the Lord bringing them out of Egypt. A lot of Christians say, 'If I could just see that. If I could just see the Lord walk on the water, if I could just see a leper healed. If I could see a miracle, it would make it so easy,' no, no, no, no, that will never create the stedfastness in your life (or faith) that you long for. And when God is ready to put a miracle before your face, he will, and when he does, you'll find out you don't have a file to put it in [mentally]. I've seen several miracles, they make a staggering impression momentarily, temporarily, but you don't have a file for it, and the impression of that fades. The children of Israel in the land of Egypt, think of what they saw, the water of the Nile being turned to blood, the ground being turned to lice, all of the frogs coming up on the land. My wife would have remembered that. [laughter] You know, if she lived in Goshen and the frogs came up and didn't mess with her stuff, she would be 'Praise God!' Think of all of the plagues that came on Egypt, think of the darkness, so thick they were knawing their tongues, and yet Goshen was in the sunlight, how God divided between his people and the Egyptians. And think of what finally took place of course on the night of the Passover, the angel of death going through, the blood on the doorposts and the lintels, the children of Israel coming out of Egypt with a mighty hand. The Red Sea, the Red Sea, you would think they had seen enough in Egypt. wouldn't you? If you saw all of those miracles, do you think you'd be standing at the Red Sea with Edward G. Robinson saying 'Hey Moses, you brought us out here to kill us in the wilderness, didn't yaaa,' and the people saying 'Yea, yea.' That's the way we are. They had to cross, if they crossed a mile abreast, over 8,000 abreast, it would have taken all night to get through the Red Sea. Not the Reed Sea, the Red Sea, the Egyptian army destroyed the next day. How long after that they were already griping and complaining about the fact that God could not provide for them? And mixed in with them is the "mixt multitude." It amazes me, how the whole movement in the Church, we want to bring the unbelievers in. There's enough trouble when there's half-a-dozen unbelievers that want to stay with us. We love people to come in and get saved, we love people to walk into the church, and what hits them in the face is the love and the demands of Jesus Christ. That he's paid the price, that they're sinful, that if they repent, turn away from their sins, they can turn to him, he'll forgive them, they'll have eternal life. We don't want to like get them in and shmooze them so they don't even know what the terms are. The children of Israel had enough problems with the "mixt multitude", we don't know how much of an influence it was for them, they came to Kedesh Barnea, they turned away [from entering the Promised Land]. And the whole generation then dies in the wilderness. He's saying 'Remember the great privilege they had,' he's not saying to the Church that this is who you are, he's saying 'Remember the examples we have, I'm putting you in remembrance of these things.' They saw miracles, all kinds of things, they were privileged. And yet still, turned away. 'Take heed, be wary.'
2. Second Example: The Angels That Kept Not Their First Estate, That Sinned
Verse 6, "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." I'll read verse 7 because it helps throw some light on it, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." (verse 7) So the second example is the angels. It says, "which kept not their first estate," and it puts some responsibility on them in the grammar there, 'they kept not their first estate,' is 'their principality.' Remember Paul writes to us about principalities and powers and so forth [angelic]. Now angels weren't involved in reproduction, angels are "a host" they were all created on the same day. You and I, there's a Saviour for us, there's no Saviour for angels. Because there's a fixed number, they were all created at one time. You and I, we can blame, 'Well, if it wasn't for Adam and Eve I wouldn't have all these problems,' we have somebody to blame, so there's a Saviour for mankind, because sin came to the whole race through one man, there's salvation and eternal life which comes to the whole race through one man, which is Jesus Christ. But the angels were a fixed number, they were a host, and they were created on a certain day, in the days of creation. [And Job shows the angels shouting for joy at the creation of the earth, so this angelic creation took place probably before the BIG BANG, the creation of physical matter, and SPACE-TIME itself.] The fall [angelic fall] occurring before the temptation of Adam and Eve. [Many think this would have been during one of the E.L.E.'s, extinction level events, probably the KT barrier E.L.E. 65 million years ago which killed off all life on the planet, including all the dinosaurs. Jesus did say that he saw Satan fall as lightning to the earth in Luke 10:18.] Because Lucifer, Satan is already fallen, coming to tempt. So, 'the angels which kept not their first estate, principality,' arotis tense 'they left, once and for all, their own habitation, their own dominion.' There was a choice made by the angels, and they deliberately left behind their own ascribed principality, the place that they had ascribed to them, they left that behind, he says, and "he hath reserved [them] in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Darkness is bad enough, but being under it must be worse. That sounds scary. We, just with the senior high, with the graduating class, we go down to Virginia, they go with a spelunker down there, and they go caving. And part of that process is, when he gets them down into a cave at a certain point, he turns the lights out. That's not exciting to me. When I was 13 years old I was in a cave in New Mexico, and the guide did that to us, took us down, we crawled around, we got way down there, and he turned the light out. Now let me tell you, that is black. You only think you know what dark is. When it's so dark if you put your, you can't see anything but fireworks in your retinas it's so dark, there's nothing in everything, it's just black. And that's where they're reserved, in some place like that, under darkness, he says, "unto the judgment of the great day." They sinned, they left. 2nd Peter tells us, "the angels that sinned," he says, "God hath reserved unto judgment," put them into Tartaroo, into some holding-place. It says here, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh," "in like manner" the Greek phrase there ends with the word tutois, it means "to these" and it's 'even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, in like manner to these' and the gender has to refer back to, it can't refer to cities or Sodom and Gomorrah, it goes back to "angels." 'in like manner to these [angels] giving themselves over,' the form of that grammar here only works one way and demands one thing. And that is, 'that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in like manner to these angels, gave themselves over to fornication and on occasion going after strange flesh.' And it's one of the places in the Bible which points us to this, no doubt, very strange situation in Genesis chapter 6, where "the sons of God go into the daughters of men," and take them as they want them, and giants are born out of the union. Josephus says they were fallen angels [being referred to here in Genesis 6], the Septuagint says they were fallen angels, all of the ancient rabbis say they were fallen angels, all the Church fathers say that they were fallen angels. It isn't until 'modern' scholarship looks at it and says 'it is too strange to deal with.' So, the sons of God, and competent scholars, say 'This must be referring to the godly line of Seth, and that they went into the Canaanitish women,' and they don't talk about whether they're talking about Canaan, which didn't exist until after the Flood, or Canaanitish because they were related to Cain, 'and because you had a godly line, believers, marrying unbelievers, giants were born.' Now if that was true, our nursery would look strange back there, you have to understand that. First of all, there was no godly line of Seth, Seth was a sinner, his father and his mother fell, Seth had to offer sacrifices, there was no godly line. And it says that the giants that were born out of that [fallen angelic union with human women] were in the earth in those days, and also after the flood. So they weren't from the line of Noah and his wife, and his sons and their wives, because they were righteous, they were acceptable in the sight of God, and preserved [through the Flood]. Somehow there are races of giants, the Anakim, the Elamites, the Zamzumin, the Rephidim, there's all of these tribes of giants after the Flood, and whatever gives birth to them [i.e. whoever sired these giants] doesn't drown in water, that survived all of that. In fact, Deuteronomy speaks of the sixty cities of the giants, up in the area of Bashan. A book written in the 1860s by archeologists that were there then talks about some of those cities and what they looked like. So we have this very strange allusion to angels who left their first principality, their assigned position, and they left that behind once and for all, and somehow got involved in some sexual sin. And they're reserved unto the judgment of the great day. Isaiah chapter 24, verse 21 and 22, 2nd Peter, the Book of Revelation, we're not sure what that means. It's kind of a strange idea. And it's strange because it says 'As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man,' and that was one of the strangest things that marked those days. I have an idea that the post-Rapture world is going to be a very, very supernatural and strange place. But these angels, privileged, in their principality, walked in the presence of God, far more intelligent than you and I are, able to look into the face of God. And yet in one sense, because they're finite and God is infinite, they are not even able to understand, because Satan, Lucifer says, 'I will be like the Most High, I'll sit in the sides of the north, I'll do this,' not even understanding the impossibility of what he was saying, because of the holiness of God. So there's fallen angels.
3. Third Example: Sodom And Gomorrah
You see, he warns, 'Look at them, look at their place, look at their position, the power they had, fallen.' "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." (verse 7) "strange flesh" heteros, other than normal flesh, it's a description of the sin Sodom and Gomorrah, sodomy, no according to God's original plan, ah, homosexuality, he really has no connotation to it, the Bible speaks of it in a different context. Does God love the homosexual? Of course, Christ died for the homosexual, of course. Has the Church failed to reach that community? Probably in many ways [except for the Brooklyn Tabernacle, pastured by Jim Cymbala, who wrote "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire," an incredible book about group prayer and the power of it.] Does God love the sin? No, he doesn't. And it says here, Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities in the plain, as lush, it was like the Garden of Eden, it was beautiful, in the midst of God's blessing, privileged. But there was a perversion. It tells us in Ezekiel as a matter of fact, 'Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and the abundance of idleness was in her, and in her daughters. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy.' It says what produces that kind of sexual perversion in a culture is pride, full belly, idle time---pride, full belly, you have farmers producing enough for thousands of families, we're used to going to the grocery store, getting whatever we want. I remember in the early '70s when they had the bad earthquakes in Guatemala, friends of mine went down, were part of the teams there, and they said people stood in line for over a mile with baskets and buckets to get wheat. Do you think people up here would stand in a mile long line here to get wheat? The guy with the most guns would be in the front of the line in this culture. Pride, full belly, and idle time, idle time. What do we do with our time? We love to watch, I won't ask you to raise your hands, Scream! Scream-2! Scream-3! I haven't seen none of them. It isn't that I haven't seen something I shouldn't have seen, but I didn't see those. I like a good western, where all the bad guys are dead at the end. [My favorite westerns are "Last of the Dogmen", "Hidalgo" and "Quigley Down Under"] That's why I don't' go, because there's something in me that likes that. I like Charles Bronson when all the nuts are dead. [Liam Neeson is good for that in a modern setting, as in his movie "Taken!" He's a believably scary good guy.] I like Dirty Harry, 'make my day!' I like Schwarzenegger before he was governor. He's an eliminator when he gets rid of the bad guys. There's something in me that likes that. But I can justify that, you know, that's the good guys killing the bad guys. It's righteous. It's not like these sick hack 'em up, chop 'em up movies where it's just perverted and cutting people up for having fun. No, the bad guys win in those sick movies. When Freddie Kruger's around, Dirty Harry and Arnold Schwarzenegger should be there to kill him. That's what I think [laughter]. But my point is, in a culture, you listen to the lyrics in our music now, you look at what's happening in the movies now, you look at the television shows, look at what's all around us, look at what's become acceptable, sexually. And there's enough of that in the Church. It is heart-wrenching sometimes to youth pastors, when they have to talk to parents about the things the parents are allowing the kids to do, that are coming to youth ministry---to defend children from the license of their parents is insanity. It's insanity. He gives these three examples, and it says 'here, going after other flesh other than God had prescribed,' they "are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." The fire that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah was not a volcano, but whatever it was, if you've ever been to the Dead Sea and see where Sodom and Gomorrah were, and say 'this place used to be like Eden, like the Garden of God,' whatever hit the ground there split the earth's circumference, that rift there [called the Great Rift Valley] is the longest rift in the world, it's one fifth of the earth's circumference, the rift that runs from Damascus all the way down through where the Dead Sea is, the Jordan Valley, all the way into North Africa [I believe actually central Africa]. Whatever happened there was extremely serious.
Those Who Have Crept In Among Us Are Filthy Dreamers And Despise Authority
And he says, they were "set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Yet, or "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." (verse 8) Now he comes back to those who have crept into the Church. Now look, just listen to me please, if you're here tonight, and you sneak into this church, and you're only here to pick up girls, go somewhere else! You know, the world's out there, go on out there and have as much of it as you want. The Church is not called to supply your carnal needs. We can't do that! That's not what we're here for. There's a bar on the corner, go on out there and have at it, until you're sick of it and done with it, we'll be here, we'll love you, you're welcome to come back, and say 'Look, this is what Christ has done for you,' if you're tired of all of that, and you're through with it, Jesus loves you, he's paid the price for you. But if you're here, look, I'm going to tell you something, [sounds like Pastor Joe is picking a personal bone here, based on how some guy-folk only come into Calvary Chapel Philly to check out the chicks, guys who are about as converted as my cat. But he's kinda off-text here.] in the old building we had somebody come who was blind, who was hitting on the girls in the church. That's why Jesus said, 'hey, if your eye offends you, pluck it out, if you think your problem's your eye, pluck it out and you'll find out you'll still lust without your eyes, because it's a heart-problem.' If you think it's your hand that offends you, you slug somebody, cut it off, and you'll slug somebody with your stump. That's what he's saying, that the heart of the problem is the heart. But if you're here tonight, and you're here, and you're deliberately causing one of God's children to sin for your pleasure, hey, Jude holds these things out, and says 'consider the great privilege the children of Israel had, and those who would not believe died in the wilderness. Consider the angels, who could have claimed to have been closer to God, look at the privilege they had, the light they dwelled in, what they saw, what they understood,' don't say 'If I could only see this, then I'd believe.' 'No, think of what they saw, and they sinned. Think of Sodom and Gomorrah, they had everything, all of the privilege the people in this world could want, and they sinned, and they suffered the punishment and the vengeance of eternal fire, to be an example.' Look, look, God loves you. What Jude is saying is, we have this common salvation, we have this message of God's love, and it's available, and it's pure and it's holy, and it has to do with Christ, and the price that the Father and the Son paid so that we can be forgiven. But he says, there are those if this ilk, that come in among us, "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." (verses 8-9) Now no one else tells us about this anywhere, and you read that and say, 'Well, thanks Jude, for all the details here.' He just kind of throws this out here for us. Michael, the archangel, there is only one archangel, he's arch-A, he's the head angel, he is The Head Honcho amongst angels, Michael, his specific duty is over the nation of Israel. "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst [dared] not bring against him [against the devil] a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." So he's talking about the fact people are in the Church, they don't understand lordship, they turn the holiness of God into lasciviousness, because they don't understand. And it says, 'even Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the devil over the body of Moses,' now we're not told about this anywhere else, but we know that God had a purpose for the body of Moses, because Moses was going to show up on the mount of Transfiguration with Elijah, and I think that body is going to show up sometime in the future outside of Jerusalem, one of the two prophets. So there was still a plan for that frame, evidently, and God knew where his body was buried, ah, the children of Israel would have made idolatry out of his body if they had it, no doubt [like the Catholic Church does with "relics"]. God buried him, Satan wanted to do something to it, and behind the scenes in the spiritual realm there was some contention over it, and Michael, the archangel, he didn't say 'Get outa here you stupid devil! Who do you think you are? When we get to the Book of Revelation, one angel is gonna bind you, just one, Harry, unimportant angel, we don't even name it, just Fred, you stupid devil.' You have people in the Church [Pentecostal types] that say 'I bind you Satan! I do this, I put chains on you, I do this to you, I do that to you!' He says, chill. The best policy in spiritual warfare is to keep the Lord between you and the devil. He can only be at one place at one time, and we always say 'The devil made me do it,' I'm sure he's bothering Billy Graham or George Bush or somebody else. Ok? But we do have some buck-private demon liar whose ugly, who hassles us. 'The evil one comes, he touches us not.' We're sealed with the Spirit of promise, we're washed in the blood, and our Dad can beat their dad. And that's all that matters. [applause] And we just want to keep our Dad between us and the enemy at all times. We don't want to wade in there like we're some big expert, because we read a book. Not this book, some other book.
Those Who Have Crept In Among Us, They're Like These Three Bad Guys
Michael himself, the archangel, didn't bring some railing accusation, he just said, "The Lord rebuke thee." "But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves." (verse 10) 'Talking about these who have crept into the Church, that think they're something. "they speak evil of those things which they know not:" they don't know what they're talking about. "but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves" the desire of the flesh, and so forth. And he says now, "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." (verse 11) Woe unto them, they have gone, he says to us here, "the way of Cain," what is the way of Cain? The way of Cain, I know, you want to know, how did Cain get his wife? Don't worry about it, that's not what God would have us think about. The way of Cain, two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel are more alike than any identical twins that have ever been born. God created Adam. He didn't create Eve. He took something from Adam's side, and made Eve. With that he builded a woman. Eve had the exact same genes and chromosomes that Adam did. And those two boys were made from one pure strain of genes and chromosomes. They looked more alike than any identical twins that had ever been born, there wasn't mom's side of the family and dad's side of the family. They didn't fight about who had Thanksgiving and Christmas with whom, they didn't have the influence of this group of kids or that group of kids or the music or the television shows. They're two boys, more alike than any two that we've ever known, born to Adam and Eve, no doubt instructed by Adam in regards to atonement. Just imagine, no matter what they found they were excited about, that blew their minds, 'Dad, look at this! Look at this grape that's this big, look at this turtle we found, it has 94 different colors!' and Adam was always like, 'yea, that's cool, eh, that's really something.' They must have said to Eve, 'What is wrong with dad? I mean, he is always bummed out, you know, what is it with him?' And she probably said, 'Boys, the other side, the other side, he can never tell you what the other side was like. We walked in the cool of the day, with God, before the Fall. He can't tell you what that was like, to look into his face, to step into his presence, to be clothed with light. That's what's wrong with your dad.' And you know that once in a while they saw Adam go off in the evening, dragging some lamb with him, 'baah' screaming and yelling, and he'd come back, blood on his hands, on his clothes, peaced up, peaced out, and that look on dad's face. And he taught those boys, and when those boys came to worship God, one of them came with God's religion and the other one came with Cain's religion. Abel came with the blood of the Lamb. Those are the two fountainheads of all the religions in the world. One fountainhead is substitutionary atonement, that an innocent substitute (a lamb, as prescribed in OT law) has to die in our place, that somebody else has to shed their blood, because God is just, and for him to both be just and the justifier of the ungodly, the fitting price has to be paid and his wrath has to be satisfied. And Abel came in faith, not deserving anything, and shed the blood of a lamb. Cain came in defiance of that, with the fruit of his own labour, the sweat of his own brow, with the fruit of the ground where he toiled and he laboured, coming his own way, not caring for God's way. "they have gone in the way of Cain," making up their own religious systems, thinking that what they do is good enough, thinking they're more righteous than other people, thinking they're better than someone else, thinking they have some spiritual secret. "they have gone in the way of Cain" he says. He says, "they have run after the error of Balaam for reward," The error of Balaam, remember Balaam, hired by Balak the king of Moab to curse the children of Israel, because he had heard about some of the victories they were having over the Amorites, and they had killed Og of Bashan who was 13 foot tall, they had slaughtered giants. And now the king of Moab, Balak, thinks 'How am I ever going to do war with these people?' so he hires this prophet named Balaam, who evidently had some notoriety for his magical arts and his power, to come and curse the children of Israel so they could defeat them. And you remember the whole story, he says, 'God should I go?' God says 'No.' And then they send back again, say 'are you coming?' And he says, 'Well, alright I'll go,' and on the way his donkey stops, won't move, he's beating the donkey, kicking the donkey, trying to get the donkey to move, the donkey finally looks up, and says, 'What is it with you!? Haven't I always been a good donkey? I've always done everything ' It says God opened the mouth of the ass to speak to Balaam, and there was an angel standing there with a drawn sword that the donkey saw that Balaam didn't see. 'I can't believe you're beating me like this.' I would have died of a heart-attack. Those of you who have dogs at home, what if you were beating your dog, because your dog just chewed up something in the house, and your wife just chewed your ear off because the dog chewed up something in the house, and you're going to take your frustrations out on that poor beast, so you're beating him around the house, and he turns around and says 'What is wrong with you!?' You would drop dead. Balaam says to the donkey, 'You're lucky I don't have a sword or I'd kill you.' He argues with the donkey, like he's talked to donkeys in the past. He enters right into an argument. Don McClure, he's a Scotsman, so he appreciates money, he says, "What kind of man would kill a talking donkey? What's wrong with that man?" The error of Balaam was that he could sell for money, he prostituted whatever gift that he had. Look at a television today, those prostituting the Gospel of Christ. All they care about is money, all they do is beg for money. You know, it's interesting, when he went to curse the children of Israel, it says the Holy Spirit came on him, and he said 'How lovely are thy tents O Jacob, there is no iniquity found in thee.' And he blessed them instead of cursing them. The Holy Spirit came on him. But he still went out and figured a way to destroy the children of Israel, for money, for money, the error of Balaam. He says, 'They've gone in the way of Cain, making up their own religion, they despise lordship, so they don't care about God's religion. They've run after the error of Balaam, they're greedy, they're carnal, they care about money, what they can get out of God's people, not how they can serve God's people or lay their lives down for God's people,' And lastly he says, they've "perished in the gainsaying of Core." You guys remember Numbers chapter 16 hopefully, Korah. And he's of the tribe of Levi. He has great privilege, he was allowed to serve, he was a Kohathite. And he comes to Moses and Aaron and says 'You guys take too much on yourselves, who do you think you are? You think you're the hot-shots, you think you're the only one around here that has any authority?' And they're envious, and they have no respect for the leadership that God had raised up amongst the children of Israel, and they come with their censors. And Moses says 'Is it not enough for you to be Levites, now you have to be priests too?' And he falls before God and says 'God, I don't want to have anything to do with them,' and Dathan and Abiram get involved in the whole thing. And the problem is, a Korah will never do things the way God says. God says if you have something against someone, you go to them alone. You talk about it privately. A Korah will always go and blab and sow discord and cause problems, instead of going to their brother or sister and talking to them alone. He gets 250 people involved. And then he starts a mutiny, and then comes to Moses. And Moses falls down (in front of God), because Moses and Aaron, they didn't want the position of leadership. Moses said to God, 'Send somebody else, I can't talk, I don't know how to talk,' God says, 'I'm sending you,' 'I don't know how to talk,' 'What's that in your hand?' 'I don't know how to talk,' 'Throw it down,' it turns into a snake, and he runs away. God has to get him back again, they didn't want it. But Korah refused to recognize God's order, and Moses said, 'Alright, come tomorrow, bring your censors, and maybe this is the way we'll tell, we'll have God do something new, Korah. Let's try this,' He says to the rest of the children of Israel, 'Get away from their tents,' He says, 'Korah, how about if God is on your side, he does this, and opens up the ground and swallows me and Aaron and our families, but if God is on our side, how about if he just opens up the earth, and swallows you and your 250 buddies and everybody up?' And it says when Moses said that, the ground opened up, Korah and all of his crew, it says, went alive down into the pit [and it slammed shut!]. Bad day for Korah.
Jude, brother of James, servant of Jesus Christ, he could have said 'Youngest brother of Yeshua, pee-wee, the littlest one in the family.' 'I'm the servant, the bond-slave of Jesus Christ, to those of you who are sanctified, preserved, called, mercy, peace, and love be multiplied unto you. I sat down and I was diligent, I was going to write to you about our common salvation, but it was needful of me to write to you in regards to the fact that you should earnestly contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered unto the saints, because there are those who have crept in among us, unawares, whose judgment has been written about, spoken of by God, who are very busy turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Wherefore I put you in remembrance of certain things, you know them, of how the children of Israel, after all the miracles they saw, and everything that went on, and they were brought out of Egypt, yet in unbelief and grumbling and bitterness, some of them turned away, and they were destroyed. The angels who had unimaginable prestige and position before God and in the presence of God, deliberately, some of them deliberately turned away, and fell. And Sodom and Gomorrah, with all of the blessings, there was no place on earth where life was more lush and blessed. And yet they just gave themselves over to perversion, and have been held up as an example of those who will be destroyed with eternal fire. Likewise these filthy dreamers, who come in among you, who defile themselves carnally, they're like these men. Remember this, where there's genuine order, Michael the archangel, he's the archangel, he's the head man, when he disputed with Lucifer, with Satan over the body of Moses, he didn't bring some railing accusation against him, he just said, 'The Lord rebuke you,' because he understood the order. But these, not understanding dominion, not understanding order, defile all these things. He says they've gone the way of Cain, inventing their own religion, instead of the faith that was once and for all delivered unto the saints. They've run in the error of Balaam, prostituting whatever they have, they're driven by carnality.' In the end he's going to say, 'These have not the Spirit,' that that's their problem. But he says 'They've run after carnal things, and like Balaam, though with certain privilege, they sold out, they sold out for carnal pleasure and carnal means. And like Korah, they have no respect for the leadership that God has raised up, for the truth that God has imparted to the Church. But rather see it as a place where they can have their own position, and their own say, they're trouble-makers, cause division instead of causing unity.' His challenge is 'Look out, look out for those who would destroy the work of our Lord, Saviour, older Brother, Jesus Christ.' The Epistle of Jude is exhortive, it's a challenge, not a doctrinal treatise. Read ahead, we'll finish the Book of Jude next week. But what a great challenge for us. Look, if this is your family (spiritually speaking), we'll have the musicians come, we'll sing a last song, but if this is your family and this is your church, you have a responsibility, if you see a brother overtaken in a fault, you have a responsibility. It says let those of you who, not the pastors, in a spirit of meekness, challenge that person, restore them. If you see someone here, spreading discord or false doctrine, hey, stand up. What would you do if you were home with your brothers or your sisters, and saw somebody sneaking into the house, claming to be a brother or sister, you'd recognize them right away in your own house. And if they were destructive, you'd deal with them. For all of us, you know, take some ownership, not to be judgmental, but to be discerning. And the exhortation is to all of us, that we would earnestly contend for the Faith of Christ, because it's out there being watered down, it's being changed, they're making their own rules about it, 'We can't talk about sin, because it's bad for self-esteem, we can't talk about hell, we can't talk about sin, we can't talk about adultery, we can't talk about drunkenness, we can't talk about drugs, we can't talk about homosexuality, we can't talk about abortion, we can't talk about the culture, we can't talk about people that are lost, we can't talk about right and wrong,' no, no, no, you're the light of the world, the salt of the earth, you and I are the ones receiving this exhortation that we would earnestly contend for the faith. It still has the power to save people, and to change their lives forever. It still has the power to save, the same as it did 2,000 years ago when Christ handed it to the apostles, so [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Jude verses 1-11, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116]
What is "the Faith" we're supposed to contend for? It's outlined in the Gospel of Christ. see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm
What was the early Church like? See,