After urging his readers to be on the lookout for false teachers who had infiltrated their church and brought with them a false gospel and an empty way of life. In verses 12-17, Jude then sought to expose their character. To do this, Jude uses words that are ‘word pictures’ such as ‘trees without fruit’ and ‘wild waves of the sea’. There are five word pictures in all that lead us to see that the lives of these false teachers are characterised by selfishness, helplessness, fruitlessness, shamefulness and aimlessness. To add the severity of the picture, he gives his own warning as well as one from the non-biblical book of Enoch, that reminded his readers the need to be on guard. By telling us these things, Jude also reminds us that true teachers of theWord of God ought to be seen as those whose lives have the evidence and character of God’s grace.
Join us as we meet together to pray at 10:00am on Saturday June 4th. There’s so much we need to be praying for – especially for our nation on the verge of a critical Federal election, plus many other aspects of gospel work and witness throughout our nation and the world. We’ll meet together in the Upper Room until approx. 12:30pm. Come when you can, leave when you must!
Having established that his readers were in great danger from false teachers, in verses 8-11 of his letter, Jude added to his previous three illustrations from the Old Testament by referring to three more – using the examples of Cain, Korah and Balaam. All of these Old Testament men are known for their misdeeds, rather than their righteous acts or faith. Cain was a murderer, Korah led a rebellion and Balaam sought money to lead Israel astray. By referring to these men, Jude sought to make plain the character of false teachers who not only twist Scripture but whose lives are also reflect that they do not know the Lord or follow His ways. God’s people are urged to be on guard and fight for the truth – especially that of the gospel.
Having established that his readers were in danger of being led astray by false teachers, in verses 5-7 Jude then proceeded to give three illustrations from the Old Testament of how God brought judgment upon those who oppose His truth. And so by reminding us of the people of Israel who died in the desert, the angels who left heaven to join the rebellion against the Lord and the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah who lived lives of sexual immorality, Jude gave a strong warning to his readers. These lessons from the Old Testament were written for us and should be noted well. God will not be mocked. His Word teaches that ‘a man reaps what he sows’.
The New Testament letter of Jude may well be small but it packs a punch. In verses 1-4 we find that the author, one of the brothers of the Lord Jesus, intended to write this letter to his readers about ‘their common salvation’, but was compelled instead to write a letter with a far different tone – one that urged his readers to be very careful of the rise and the influence of false teaching in the church, calling his readers to do everything they can do to ‘contend for the faith’ and defend the truth of the gospel. 20 centuries later, Jude’s call is just as important. While there is a rapid growth in many religions and -isms around the world, the truth of God’s Word must be upheld, defended and promoted. God has not changed and He calls His people to be a people who know, love and defend His truth.
When Jesus told the parable recorded in Matthew 22:1-14 it would have been a shocking parable to His hearers. To turn down an invitation from a King could leave you open to the charge of treason. Yet the King’s subjects treated him with contempt as they turned down his invitation. Not to be deterred, the King put other plans into action, inviting and compelling the ‘non-invited’ to attend. God has made His gospel free to all and all are invited to believe it and respond to it in faith. Those who reject the invitation or who simply do not respond will only face the inevitable consequences that Jesus outlined in the parable. But all who respond to the gospel in faith can look forward to the great Day when the Father plans for people of all nations to honour His Son.