In part one we wrote: It is early into the evening. Neighbors are increasingly leaving their rooftops to retire for the night. Inside Jude's simple and modest eastern home the light is dim and decreasing rapidly. Jude has earnestly been contemplating writing to the brethren concerning the important doctrines surrounding salvation. The attacks on the truths of the Gospel are many and varied. It is during this time that the Holy Spirit compels him to write otherwise, and, under divine inspiration. So, with his lamp full with fresh oil, Jude dips his pen into the ink well, and in the quiet solitude of fellowship and guidance of the Holy Spirit, writes.
"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." -Jude 3,4a
In this article, the main thrust of Jude's intent is brought into play. It is the more precarious of the two articles, for if the spiritual is in error, if what you believe is wrong, then how you act and teach will be wrong and in error as well - even if it deals with just motive.
The Holy Spirit reveals to Jude and to us that He is very concerned about the brethren in Christ concerning those who merely profess to be brethren but really aren't, and the damage they inflict by whosoever is contaminated by them or their teachings. It has been stated in our local church often, that the most dangerous programming you can watch or listen to are on the religious channels. The most dangerous books you can read are in supposedly 'Christian' bookstores. These are people that will often act like politicians, saying anything you want to hear to gain acceptance - and, of course, relieve you of your money. The trend that began in the first century churches has never been fully defeated. Truthfully, they are nowhere near close to being defeated. They still are before us, and we still need believers to recognize the dangers and either start or continue to, "earnestly contend for the faith."
In both the Old and New Testaments there have been serious challenges against the truth. From within! As a nation, Israel , was driven from the land and scattered because of departing from the true and living God in favor the idolatry of the surrounding pagans. Their southern sister, Judah, saw what had happened to them. They knew better. They knew what the scriptures said and what God expected. But they also saw how Israel embraced idolatry and loved it. They then reasoned falsely, that because Judah had the temple and the sacrifices and the promises of God, that they could not be judged by God, and so therefore, embraced idolatry side by side with the worship of Jehovah. Imagine, if you will, worshiping Jehovah in the temple, and bringing in idols of all types as well, and worshiping them. The equivalent today in our churches is the bringing in of the world's music, dress, attitudes and morals and calling it 'praise and worship.' The prophets sought to deal with their sins, but to no avail. Jeremiah cried for them and prayed over them to repent. Judah refused to listen to him, one man who stood alone and said that he spoke just what God said. There were so many other prophets (false) who stated the opposite and the people liked what they said. Jeremiah was basically crying to his own people, The Apostasy is here: Judgment is coming!
Today our churches face even stronger challenges to maintaining, "the faith once delivered unto the saints." Emphasis has shifted from Biblical to experiential. If it works for you, it must be right - whether or not it is from God's Word. The Ecumenical Movements in our time have all but decimated the Biblical teaching of separation. These men have written their books; spoke at seminars and churches under the guise of being fellow believers. Some no doubt are. Most are not. To these people however, it makes no difference. But it does to God. The Holy Spirit moved upon Jude to write a book warning all believers of these people and the times that we live in. The Apostasy is here: Judgment is coming!
We speak in terms of the last days as though they are not upon us yet. They are here and the apostasy spoken of in the New Testament is here. The Charismatic and Emergent Church Movements, coupled with the Ecumenical Movements dominate most of what is being produced over the airwaves and in the bookstores. The truths of God's word are ridiculed and mocked by the way people are living, while their blasphemies and false teachings are embraced as doctrine. The live as you please crowd has grown so large that they have to think up new things to engage in to continue to hold their followers. One such leader boasted recently that he was a "Christian Hedonist." What mockery and blasphemy to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Word. Yet, that man continues his large following. The 'be saved and live any way you want afterward' crowd draws their teaching from the pit of Hell. That is surely not in the Word of God. Listen carefully, if any man or woman, church or seminary, television or radio program, or literature minimizes any portion of God's Word, holiness, sin, righteous living, faithfulness, or the believer's responsibilities as a new creation in Christ, they must be avoided. They must be exposed so that others don't fall prey to their devices. They must be renounced. They must not be followed or adhered to, lest you become part of the problem of apostasy in our churches or homes today. Jude wrote that these men were, "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Amazingly today, most call these same people, 'brother' or 'sister.' They are elevated and given credibility and respect. Why? Because they appeal to the flesh of fallen man and fallen men love having the flesh appealed to.
Saved people see it. Lost people cannot see it. Salvation is the key to Biblical sight and then sitting under the truth of God's Word - receiving sound doctrine, which is spiritually healthy for all of us.
Picking up from Jude's writing, may we see today, The Apostasy is here:
Judgment is coming! Repent of these evil influences, turn to God's Holy Word and live out your Christian life in the Holy Spirit's power and yieldedness to Him in all things, no matter what is going on all around you.