Bria Connolly speaking on Jude 12-13. She spoke about the dangers of false teachers and the importance of fighting for the truth which means fighting for those who do not know the truth of the gospel.
- You are worthy because he says you are
- You are called to contend for the faith
- Choose God’s authority over your own feeling
“These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea casting up foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.” Jude 12-13
- He compares the false teacher to the hidden reef.
- In Titanic, they hit an iceberg and everyone goes down. The iceberg destroyed the whole ship because they didn’t catch it in time.
- He compares these false teachers to something that goes unnoticed and destroys the crew before they even know what hit it. That’s what hidden reefs do to ships. They bring destruction unexpectedly.
- Not simply bringing destruction, but they sit at the love feasts unnoticed. (The term Love feast comes from the Lord’s supper, the gathering and breaking of bread of believers) So they are gathering with believers, saying they are believers, yet secretly they are destructive. It’s an intimate setting, where we take the body and the blood of the Lord together, and they are secretly destroying it.
- These false teachers are a hidden reef at your love feasts.
- Let’s take these imagery pieces and break down what they tell us about false teachers:
- “Hidden Reefs at your love feasts, as they feast without fear” – unnoticed, silent destroyers, in the gatherings of believers, acting as believers. They are there, they act the same and talk the same, but they are there to destroy.
- “Shepherds feeding themselves” – Those who only care about themselves, advancing their own agendas, not submitting to higher authority. He’s telling them to watch out for these people who only care about themselves and their own agendas.
- “Waterless clouds, swept along by the winds” – When we see a cloud, it’s almost a promise of rain. But these false teachers are like waterless clouds, promising things that are not true, that will not happen.
- “Fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted” – trees should produce fruit. Teachers should be bearing the most fruit, but we see again that they are promising things that will not come to pass. Their words do not bring life.
- “Wild Waves of the Sea, casting up their own shame”– Reckless in what they say, bringing shame on themselves and those who draw close to them.
- “Wandering Stars” – When you were a ship captain, you would use the stars as your map telling you where to go. That’s how these false teachers were supposed to act, but they are giving misleading guidance. They will take you to the wrong place.
- Jude uses imagery from every area, to give something to relate to for everybody, so everyone can understand the danger of false teachers creeping in, so everyone can understand the gravity of walking away from truth, so everyone can understand their need God’s truth, so everyone can realize the urgency and need to contend for the faith.
- One of these images will stand out to us. He’s trying to help us see that we need to contend for the faith. There’s an urgency that comes with contending for the faith, and he’s asking them to fight.
- And we do not contend for things that come easily
- This faith in Jesus Christ, it is not to be once believed and then we just cruise throughout life. He is telling us here that we will fight for it. We need to wake up every day and decide to fight for it.
- We will fight for in in the midst of people who want to steal it, in the midst of people who want to distract from it, in the midst of guidance from all the wrong places.
- We also fight for hard truth, the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to fight by searching the Scriptures for ourselves, seeing who he was and what he did and what he said and model our lives after him.
“ For whom gloom and utter darkness has been reserved forever” v 13
- These false teachers, these people who shape the gospel message to fit their advantage, who pull people into anything less than truth, the end result is not an easy one.
- For those who choose anything less than to know that Jesus is the only Savior, that what he accomplished was once and for all, that his grace is sufficient to cover us, of all our sins and all that we’ve done, and accept the call to know Him, and live for him…that is the end result. For those who reject Jesus, the ending is hard.
- I get that that truth is a hard one. But it is one that we can NOT side step.
- As you guys go into your schools, as you go off to college, as your with your friends, there is an overwhelming push culturally to side step this truth. But what if we really did try to side step this truth? What would the result be? We say things like:
- “As long you follow your heart you will end up in the right place.” Or “no one can know what happens after you die” Or “a loving God would never send anyone to hell.”
- We need to look at these hard verses and hear these tough questions.
- I’m bringing them up because we can’t just side step the truth anymore. Not in our conversations, not in our theology, not about hell, but most importantly we can’t side step truth about the gospel.
- That’s why answers to these statements matter, and I’m not just going to throw them out there without talking about them, so let’s walk though them.
- “As long as you follow your heart, you will end up in the right place.” – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:16
- We can not claim that all roads will bring people to the same place. We cannot base eternity off of how we feel. It doesn’t work like that; our feelings don’t determine reality.
- “No one can know that happens after you die” Hebrews 7:24-25 says “but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
- There is an eternity, and those who know Jesus as Messiah are also saved forever. We exist forever. Which means, after we die, as followers of Jesus, we are with Him and saved through Him after our lives are over. For those who do not know him, they also continue to exist, but apart from him, in a place of suffering. After death, there is eternity.
- “A loving God would never send anyone to hell.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9 says, 5 “All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”
- God is a God of love, but He is also a God who is just. God himself had to die to pay the cost that was due to cover the sins of the world. He created us in love to live in communion with him, we chose sin, and he died to pay for it so that we could once again be with him. But for those who do not trust in the atoning work of Jesus, there is still judgement for them. God’s character calls for justice, and he made a way for people to come back to him. But if people continue to refuse him, there still has to be judgement for sin. Not because God is not loving, but because He is also just. He is a good Father who does not change. His judgment does not disappear because we want it to, but his judgment is satisfied in Jesus. So yes, there is life for those who call on the name of Jesus, and there is an eternity of separation and judgment for those who do not.
- This is not to make us afraid, but help us not shy away from what is true. There is truth in Scripture. We look at this so we might wrestle with it when it doesn’t make sense, and search the scriptures to know what God really says about life, death, and even after we die. It’s okay to wrestle with it.
- That we would not miss the call to contend for the faith, to fight for truth and to say that it’s worth it.
- In the middle of a world where people will sneak into our lives with a goal to destroy our faith, just like the reef destroys the ship, we have to know what the solid ground we stand on is.
- Fighting for truth is the only way we will go into our schools, into the world, and still cling to the name of Jesus.
- When we know truth, we know that Jesus came so that the wrath of God would be satisfied. God died to fulfill the requirements that we could not, that his character requires, so that sin would never go unpaid for. He took the weight of death and defeated the grave, so that we could have life with him. Jesus paid the debt we couldn’t, so that we could live in His truth, we could know His name, and we could live in truth worth fighting.
- And you guys, for those who don’t know this truth, the only truth, eternity still waits for them. Eternity still exists for those who don’t know him. That is why we can’t mess around with this. It is real, and God is inviting people into life with him, but those who reject it, they won’t be with him. They will live in judgment, apart from the atoning power of Jesus.
- So we cannot sit and wait for someone else to tell them. We cannot sit and hope that people figure out what is true. We can’t sit and hope that they might stumble across their Bible and read it. We cannot sit and hope that Jesus reveals himself without anyone telling them.
- Tell them about the life they were created for. Tell them there is truth bigger than the lies that flood in from all around. Tell them there is truth that satisfies that deepest longing in their soul. Tell them.
- Because the truth might not be easy, but it is worth the fight.
- The truth is Jesus, and in Him is life.