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03 - Apostate s Doom By Pastor Jeff Wickwire | LT03302

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Hey, Jude Part 3
THE PLOT “Apostate’s Doom”

Last time we ended with looking at 3 men mentioned by Jude— Cain, Balaam, and Korah. They are used as illustrations of mod- ern-day apostasy and what, exactly, it attacks.

Cain represents apostasy’s attack on the salvation of God. Balaam represents apostasy’s attack on the sovereignty of God. Korah represents apostasy’s attack on the service of God.

The reason this whole issue of “contending for THE faith once delivered to the saints” matters so much to Jude and the other Apostles is because apostasy directly attacks the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. It damn’s souls to eternal lostness and destroys the pillars of truth upon which the church stands.

Understanding this makes it easier to understand Jude’s fierce attack against the apostates themselves, and their false mes- sage.

Now remember, apostasy and backsliding are 2 different things. A backslider is a genuine Christian who stops walking

with the Lord. They slowly stop reading their Bibles, talking about Jesus, praying, coming to church, and hanging around other Christians.

Sad as it is to backslide, there is a road open to restoration by true repentance and confession. God says in Hosea, "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely." (Hos. 14:4).

Apostasy, on the other hand, is a total renunciation of the faith, including Jesus Christ, His Person and work. The apostate is never truly born again, but have what Paul describes as “a form of godliness, but denying the power that could make them godly” (2 Tim. 3:5).

The LB says, “They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear.”

These are types of people Paul predicts will appear with in- creasing frequency in the Last Days:

“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last days some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.”—1 Tim. 4:1

Apostates leave the true faith of which they were never truly a part, follow demonic teaching, and in turn teach others the same. These are the targets of Jude’s letter.

So let’s pick it up at verse 12 where Jude will paint the apos- tates in very unflattering and powerful terms:

1:12a “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves,”

In Bible times it was a sign and bond of friendship and fellow- ship to sit at a table to eat together. In this Jude shows the de- vious nature of the apostates of his time. They attended the church love feasts, sat down to eat with them, all the while un- dermining and betraying them.

The word “spots” can be translated “hidden rocks.” It pictures a rock or dangerous reef hidden just below the waves that causes a shipwreck. So the apostates shipwreck the lives of the gullible.

Jude points out their brazen arrogance by saying they have “no fear.” There is no fear of God, no fear of judgment, no fear of discovery. They even go so far as to pass themselves off as pastors or shepherds of the flock. But their goal is to under- mine and destroy “the faith once delivered to the saints.”

In summary, Jude says first that they are confident impostors, deceivers of the first order.

Next, Jude uses four striking metaphors to describe them. His metaphors will explain why the followers of these apostates always end up disappointed, disillusioned, and distressed.

1:12b “They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds;”

When we see a dark cloud we expect it to pour forth refreshing rain. In a time of drought nothing is more welcome than a rain cloud on the horizon.

But Jude says that, while to others the false teachers appear to be clouds bringing rain of spiritual refreshing, they soon dis- cover the apostates bring no rain. Their message is bereft of truth and God’s blessing.

They are a sham, “driven” says Jude, by uncertain winds, not anchored in spiritual stability. Their message never saves, sat- isfies, or sanctifies. It instead deceives, disillusions, and de- stroys.

The next metaphor Jude provides is:

1:12c “late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;

The expression “without fruit” or as the KJV puts it, “whose fruit withereth” refers to trees that bear no fruit at the time when fruit is in season. When they should manifest the bless- ing of fruitfulness, there is nothing.

This is why Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits” (John 15: 15-16). Jude concurs!

They are also “twice dead.” Not only are they born spiritually dead like all of us, but when offered eternal life through Jesus Christ, they spurn it. Twice dead!

Jude says they will be “plucked up by the roots.” There is no hope for them. They are not only dead but damned. Remember Jesus’ words, “Every plant, which my Heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). Or as Jude says, “plucked up by the roots.”

_____________

Next comes metaphor number 3:
1:13a “raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame;”

“Raging waves of the sea” means they are dangerous. Raging waves leave sunken ships in their wake. Raging waves routine- ly destroy whole towns during terrible storms. Apostates are dangerous just like that!

The word “raging” is from a Greek word meaning “wild waves.” No man can tame them. It can also mean “savage” or “fierce.” The Greeks used the same word to describe a malignant wound. This is God’s description of apostates!

They “foam out their own shame.” The word he uses occurs only here and comes from a root word meaning “to foam at the mouth” like a rabid dog.
_____________

Now we come to the last metaphor:

1:13b “wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”

This metaphor speaks to the eternal doom of the apostate. Jude likens them to wandering stars.”

In the natural, all stars move. Our own sun in a moving star. It is located about 30,000 light years from the center of the Milky

Way galaxy. It is one of a cluster of some one hundred billion stars that inhabit this corner of space. Staggering!

The whole galaxy, some six hundred million billion miles of stars, is revolving around a center. Although it is traveling through space at an inconceivable speed, our sun will complete its own orbit only once every two hundred million years.

Watch this: When God created the stars, He appointed their courses, gave them their names, and counted them (Ps. 147:4).

The stars witness to God as Creator and to God as Redeemer. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament shows His handiwork” (Ps. 19: 1). They are for “signs” (Gen 1:14) and for seasons.

But Jude is not concerned with those stars. They are orderly stars, obeying God’s decrees as they swing on their ordained way around His throne. Rather, Jude is interested in what he calls “wandering stars.”

The apostates are like wandering stars with no ordered course. They are not in subjection to the God of creation. They are more like shooting stars that appear briefly and brightly in night sky, only to quickly disappear into the black darkness of space. Likewise, total darkness will be their doom! ________________

Next, Jude is given a flash of revelation by the Holy Spirit not found anywhere else in Scripture.

1:14 “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thou- sands of His saints,”

Enoch was a prophet in the earliest of Biblical times. He was the seventh descendant of Adam, so is very close to the begin- ning of time.

He named his son Methuselah, whose name means “when he dies, it shall come.” Methuselah was the human hourglass of God. As each birthday of his 969 years sifted by, the judgment of the Great Flood drew nearer. When he died the flood struck.

This same Enoch, the father of Methuselah, saw the coming of the Lord thousands of years before the time. And he saw the Lord returning with “ten thousands of His saints,” which points to the rapture of the church happening prior to this. Before the Lord comes “with” His saints, He will come “for” His saints.

And Enoch predicts WHY He is coming: 1:15a “to execute judgment on all,”

He is coming to judge the world. And by the way, we’re talking about Jesus here. He will be Judge. He told His disciples, “God has committed all judgment to His Son” (John 5:22).

That includes several judgments starting with the church at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:13-15) where our works will be passed in review, and our status in the millennial kingdom will be determined.

Then at His second coming, Jesus will judge the nations (Matt. 25:31-46). This judgment will take place in the Valley of Je- hoshaphat in Jerusalem (Joel 3:2,12). It will determine who will be allowed to enter the millennial kingdom.

Then finally, at the close of the thousand year millennium, He will gather the lost of all ages to the Great White Throne. This awful time of judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15. This is the judgment to which the apostates will be summoned.

And look at one reason why Jesus returns:

1:15b “to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

The word “ungodly” is from a Greek word meaning “to act dis- respectfully or irreverently toward what should be regarded as sacred.”

The apostates and ungodly of our time and times past care nothing for what is sacred. They cannot discern between the natural and holy. They stomp on and despise what is precious to God.

This is why Jesus warned, “Cast not your pearls (that which is godly and holy) before swine (the ungodly), lest they trample them under their feet” (Matt. 7:6). The ungodly cannot appre- ciate the value of what is of God. They will instead abuse it.

The Person of Christ, the truth of Scripture, the work of the Holy Spirit, the blood bought church—all should be regarded as sacred. Yet these are the very things they sully and soil. _____________

So...Like a dreaded movie they don’t want to see, Jesus will bring before the eyes of the apostates a replay of all of their ungodly deeds, their ungodly decisions, their wicked lifestyles.

And He will also play back to them all the evil things they spoke against Jesus Himself. Jude calls their words, “harsh things” spoken against Christ.

And folks, these very things are happening with increasing fre- quency in our generation. Sacred things, holy things, and Christ Himself are routinely mocked and maligned on national TV and other mediums.

Vile curse words that used to be reserved for private, behind closed doors discussions are regularly blurted on television for millions to hear, including children.

In 2007 one so-called comedienne, on receiving an Emmy award, made a vile, blasphemous reference to Jesus Christ, cursing Him on national TV, and then, holding up her Emmy, said the Emmy statue was her God. Rather than howling in protest, the audience laughed.

Unless she repents, those horrible words will one dark day be played back in her ear by the very Christ she blasphemed! ______________

Jude now sums up his disgust and revulsion at the words and deeds of the apostates:

1:16 “These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flatter- ing people to gain advantage.”

Grumblers refers to those expressing discontent. They grumble in secret against Christ.

Complainers are those who constantly gripe about their lot in life. Their tongue is like acid, eating away at any hope of con- tentedness.

Their walk or lifestyle is aimed at fulfilling their “own lusts”, their lowest depraved desires.

They “talk big” with “great swelling words,” but in truth un- dermine all sound teaching.

Their goal is to gain the admiration of others. They want to “be somebody.” It’s all about them, not Christ.

Jude is now finished with his impassioned exposure of aposta- sy in the church. Next time, he turns to us, the true church, with the welcome words “But you, beloved.” LET’S PRAY