Jude 1:3-4 ESV
“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. 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.”
So, how is it that these “certain people” have crept in unnoticed among the saints of God today? Why weren’t they noticed? Where did they come from?
They are the offspring, the byproduct, or the result of the cheap grace gospel which has existed a long time now, but which has morphed multiple times over the years. It started off primarily as Once Saved Always Saved, which is based off a one-time faith decision to believe in Jesus Christ.
But the goal of this decision seemed to be always to escape hell and to end up going to heaven, instead. Even though some people did teach we needed to grow in our walks of faith, it was largely accepted that once you “believed” that your destiny was sealed, and it didn’t matter how you lived your life on this earth, for you would still go to heaven when you died.
But then pastors were instructed that if they wanted to draw in large crowds to their churches that they had to soft pedal the gospel, so they began to make compromises, changing the word sin to “I messed up,” and changing God’s grace into free license to continue living in sin without guilt.
First the word “repentance” was altered to mean merely a decision to believe in Jesus, but then it was removed altogether, and then they started teaching that we don’t have to repent of our sins or obey the Lord or submit to Christ as Lord, for they call that “works-based salvation.”
Then, some have even taken it further by barely even mentioning Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, and by diluting the message to say something to the effect that God is so crazy in love with us humans that he just wants to be with us, and so all we have to do is just accept his affection for us.
So, those who have been brought up on this cheap grace then became those who regurgitated what they were taught, and then they diluted it even more to make it more appealing to human flesh.
So, what this cheap grace gospel has produced is a generation of people who are self-indulgent, who live for self-pleasure and self-gratification, who believe they do not have to forsake their sins or obey the Lord or submit to his Lordship. So, they are lawless. Thus, they are a law unto themselves.
They are so lacking in morals that immorality is running rampant in the church. Since they feel they don’t have to stop sinning and that they don’t have to obey God, then they feel at liberty to engage in all manner of evil, including an excessive desire for perversions of sex. And, they are shameless, because the cheap grace delivers them from any guilt associated with sin.
As They Feast with You
Jude 1:12-13 ESV
“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 the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.”
My husband and I were church planters twice, so we went through the training that many of these pastors are going through, plus we both worked in ministry within the local church in various places, so we got a pretty good picture of how things were being conducted.
It used to be that people of various church denominations would never agree on anything together nor would they join together for anything because of their differences in doctrine and theology. But then along came Rick Warren, and all of a sudden, churches across denominations were all following his church growth methods.
What we learned, from experience, is that a lot of these pastors are being taught marketing in place of Scripture, and that they are being taught marketing schemes and tricks and lies and manipulations for convincing people to buy into what they are now “selling” and in order to get them to cooperate and unify with them.
So they are being taught by their church denominations, not only to dilute the gospel to make their churches more seeker sensitive and so they can draw in large crowds of people, but in how to trick and manipulate the people to get them to do what they want.
Since the churches have largely been turned into businesses and are being marketed like any other business, appealing to their target audiences, they have immobilized the Holy Spirit, so they pretty much kicked the Holy Spirit right out of their churches, so that they have become Spiritless and thus also fruitless for God’s eternal kingdom.
For they have replaced the true gospel of grace with the cheap grace, and they have replaced the Scriptures with marketing books and with teachings of mere humans, which also include humanistic philosophy and new age teachings and eastern mysticism and cultish practices.
So, what is often now called “church” is not the church, but they are businesses of men marketed like any other business, with humans as their head, not Christ, and with human teachings as their authority, not Christ and his word, and with marketing books as their Holy Spirit.
So, what they are producing are a whole lot of people who are making confessions of Christ as Savior, but they deny Christ by their lifestyles. They are producing immature, self-indulgent, fruitless, immoral, irresponsible, irreverent selfish and worldly people who do not honor God with their lives.
But You, Beloved
Jude 1:20-23 ESV
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”
But we are not supposed to be like them. We are not to adopt their ways or their thinking, beliefs, and values. For, we are to be those of genuine faith in Jesus Christ who submit to Christ as Lord, and who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
We are to be those who honor God with our lives and who are living holy lives separate from the world and unto God (1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21; Titus 2:11-14; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2).
For if we walk according to the flesh, in sin, we will not have eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins because we refused to die to our sins. If we refuse to obey our Lord, we will die in our sins. For we are slaves to the one we obey, either to sin, which ends in death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness, sanctification, and eternal life (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
So, we need to be those who believe and who live the truth of God’s word, and then we need to be those who are sharing the truth of the gospel with others in order to save them from death and from hell and so that they can have true hope of eternal life with God, as well as deliverance from their slavery to sin and sweet fellowship with our Lord.
By Ann Aschauer
Children of the Kingdom,
You are called by God to shine His light…
So shine on through the darkness;
Be the salt and light for all your world.
Live for Jesus, ’til you see Him,
And your faith has its reward;
Shine on through the darkness;
Let His love shine through you all your days.
Go and win your generation for the Lord.
c 1990 Ann Aschauer
Shared by permission