Believers we should be defending the truth, opposing the liars, the false prophets and false teachers, and asserting the Gospel. But so many of us get caught up in the fancy words, sprinkled with just enough scripture or christianese that we don’t challenge the liars, doubt the truth, and even fall victim to their twisted beliefs.
Jude, the brother of James and Jesus wrote to the church to warn them about the heretics and the lies that were infiltrating the church. Verses 3-4 read,
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
If we don’t insist on the pure truth, who will? How many people will fall for the false teachers, who today often have television shows and attract hundreds of thousands to their sugary messages?
Or are you one of the people who maybe falling for the promises of the positive preachers? Do you know the Bible for yourself? Do you know Jesus for yourself? That is the best way to discern the truth from the lies. That is the way to fight back. The false teachers can’t win against the truth. It may be a long struggle, but you can’t give up, you can’t let more people follow them to destruction. All those who don’t confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe with their heart that God raised Him from the dead will burn eternally in Hell.
We have to know what the scriptures say, we have to know the Gospel we claim to believe. We can’t very well contend for the faith if we don’t know what our faith is. Verses 5-7 read,
“Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”
What are some of the characteristics of the false teachers? Verse 8 describes them.
“Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.”
We’ve seen those people, they seem so spiritual, but they depend too much on themselves. And they blaspheme, that is curse the glorious ones. The glorious ones are not only the angels, but the demons and Satan as well. Only God has a right to do that. We do not have a right to curse or rebuke them, that is God’s role. These people take God’s role into themselves, declaring visions and truths that come from their own mind and desire for pleasure, power and prosperity. They follow their fleshly and base desires, they live by whims and instincts. These are the ones declaring God’s new will to others all the time rather than proclaiming Jesus Christ. Verses 10-12 describe them like this,
“But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. 12 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;”
The focus of their ministry is the ego, and the result of their ministry is their own gain. We have to oppose the lies and dark. We belong to Christ and we have to stand for truth, live nobly, and glorify Him always. Verses 17-23 encourage us,
“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”
We can’t just stand by and watch as they lead people down some path that leads to Hell. We have to strive for maturity, always more of Jesus and less of us, more of the Spirit and less of our flesh. We have to read the word and live the word and through our suffering be transformed into the image of Christ. We have to be able to discern the false from the true and stop them. Tell them the truth and give them the choice to accept or reject Christ.
Do you feel you aren’t strong enough to fall into the trap of sinning and flesh? Do you think you don’t have what it takes to oppose the wicked? You don’t have to be strong enough, you can’t oppose the wicked. But Jesus can. He gave you the Holy Spirit. Verses 24-25 read,
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”