JUDE — A CALL TO CONTEND WITH COMPASSION
John, led by the Spirit of God, said that there was a time when certain people who we really not part of us were identified with us. He uses the expression “antichrist.”
The word “antichrist” can be used to identify anyone or anything that is against or instead of Christ. Notice that these who were against Christ, instead of Christ, these profaners of Christ, were once numbered with Christian people. They got inside. They “crept in unawares.”
Across North America and around the world, there are churches calling themselves Christian that are filled with these kinds of people. They do not believe the Bible. They do not believe the Lord Jesus Christ. Slowly, there had been a change in these so-called Christian people. These people came in unawares.
Their condemnation was foretold. Jude 4 says, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation.” This means that their condemnation was foretold. God said that these kinds of people would exist. Many main-line denominational groups, many churches that once stood for truth, and many groups and organizations where great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers heard the truth and are now identified with the same movement, are really no longer Bible-believing movements. They have changed. Christ is no longer honoured.
This is one of the reasons I am glad to be an unaffiliated Baptist. The New Testament pattern for a local church proves to be autonomous, self-governing, and a part of no denominational hierarchy. We are under Christ and following the Lord. Our loyalty must be to Christ and to Him alone. The sole authority for our faith and practice is the Bible. Our leadership comes from the Holy Spirit of God.
Some good people you may know and love are caught up in something they have been in for years that has left its original moorings and no longer believes what the Word of God teaches. They may even say that we are intolerant because we do not make some sort of religious umbrella and bring everyone underneath it. But they would not say you were intolerant for refusing a drop of poison to be placed in a drink. They would not say you were intolerant for refusing to allow a poisonous snake in a baby’s playpen. May the Lord help us to stand! The soul of man is eternal. The eternal destiny of people is at stake.
It is not our responsibility to make the message acceptable; it is our responsibility to make the message available, to speak the truth and lift up Jesus Christ, and to proclaim God’s Word. We should stand where the Bible has always stood. We are not to be moved from it.
Their condemnation was foretold. The Bible says in 2 Peter 2:1-3, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
We have been warned about these people. If we are going to contend continually, we will certainly encounter men who desire to destroy and deny the things that we know to be true from God’s Word.
Their conduct should be marked. We are to love people and to do good to all men, especially the Bible says, to them who are of the household of faith. But the Bible also says that there are certain people who should be marked. God’s Word says in Jude 4, “For there are certain men crept in unawares.” He says, “certain men,” as if he knows who they are. Their conduct should be marked.
The Bible says in Romans 16:17, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” We must mark them and avoid them. This may not sound very loving, but it is being very protective of the pillar and ground of the truth. By doing this, we keep things right.
Their conduct should be marked. Speaking of their conduct, the Bible says that they are “ungodly.” This word means “refusing to submit to God.” They are ungodly because they refuse to submit to the Lord. Our Lord desires that we yield our lives to Him.
Notice also about their conduct that they turn the grace of God into “lasciviousness.” This word means “unleashing desire.” Almost every time this word is is used, it has to do with sexual behaviour. It means “doing whatever one feels like doing. Some people may use the grace of God to say, “We’re free.” Yes, we are free, but the Christian is free to do what the Lord Jesus desires for him to do. The beautiful thing about the Christian life is that, as we yield to God, we desire to do the right thing with our lives.
Notice the third thing about their conduct. The Bible says in Jude 4, “and denying the only Lord God…” This expression has to do with our sovereign God, the God of the universe. “…and our Lord Jesus Christ.” He is speaking of the God of the saved, our Lord, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. They deny the Lord Jesus Christ. These came in unawares and finally would up denying the Lord Jesus.
As we resolve to contend continually, we must remember the these men who creep in unawares, whose condemnation was foretold, whose conduct must be marked, are dangers that we must face. If we face these dangers trusting in Christ, we will become stronger in Him.
When the Bible says, “It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith,” that is exactly what God meant. Let us not be ashamed to contend with convictions, with compassion, and do it continually.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2