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.”
I identify with Jude’s passion here. The Lord has given me a similar passion and mission because of the times we now live in, and because so much of the church has gone the way of the world, and they have abandoned the true faith, and they are now following another Jesus and a different gospel.
So, the Lord is having me contend for the faith by exposing the lies for what they are, and by proclaiming the truth of the gospel, the whole counsel of God, in opposition to the half-truth (lie) gospel which is permeating the modern church and is spreading like wildfire.
And it is because many people who pervert the grace of God have crept into the gatherings of the church unnoticed, not that no one noticed them, but that the congregants weren’t aware that these were ungodly people disguising themselves as servants of righteousness.
Most of them are winsome, and they have been mostly schooled in how to market the church to the world. And so, they have convinced the congregants that using marketing techniques will draw in large crowds of people from the world, and thus they will “grow” their “churches.”
Now, if we know the Lord and we understand the Scriptures, we know that the church is not a building or an institution of men, nor is it a church denomination or a corporation of the state, although it has been turned into all these things, and it is largely accepted as such.
But the church is the body of Christ, comprised of genuine followers of Jesus Christ who are living stones in God’s spiritual building, his church, his body. It is a living organism, not a gathering of people from the world, plus some nominal Christians, plus some genuine followers of Jesus, too.
And the way the church grows is through obedience to Christ and to his word, through walks of faith, living lives pleasing to the Lord, and through the body of Christ going out to the world to share the gospel, and through the genuine salvation of souls by God’s grace, through God-given faith, via dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness.
And if we know the truth of the gospel, we know that what most of these charlatans are teaching is a diluted half-truth (lie) gospel which indeed perverts the grace of our God into sensuality, and which denies Jesus Christ as our only Lord and master.
For, they are teaching that we can “believe” in Jesus, have our sins forgiven, and we can be bound for heaven, but they make no requirement of the “believer” to turn from his lifestyle of sin to walk in obedience to the Lord and to submit his life to the Lordship of Christ.
Thus, these perverters of God’s grace are leading many people straight to hell while they are promising them heaven. For they are not teaching them that they must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness. Many are, in fact, teaching the opposite.
And so, the “believer” in Jesus has this idea that heaven is now guaranteed him no matter how he lives his life on this earth, and that it can’t be taken away from him, no matter what. And so, we have many professers of faith in Jesus who are still living in addiction to sin, as slaves to sensuality, and who are denying Jesus Christ and his Lordship over their lives.
Jude 1:10-13 ESV
“But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 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. 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.”
Many of these charlatans who have crept into the gatherings of the church, unnoticed for who they truly are, are there as messengers of Satan, out to kill, to steal, and to destroy the church. And they are there to lead people away from pure devotion to Jesus Christ, so they won’t be saved from their sins, and so they won’t have eternal life in heaven with God.
I am certainly not saying that every minister of the gospel who teaches a false gospel of grace does it knowingly, willfully, deliberately, and with evil intent. But Scripture teaches that wolves in sheep’s clothing will sneak into the gatherings of the church, and for evil purposes, to destroy.
And, if you have ever confronted anyone in a position of authority in the church, in a proper context, with regards to false teaching, and they refuse to change the message or the methods, and even if you show them what the Scriptures teach, yet they refuse, they are not true servants of the Lord.
And if you have followed the modern church movement at all, and if you have watched how the gospel has been taken apart and taken down and changed into something else, and if you have seen the moral and spiritual decline in the church, and the worldliness, you know this is purposeful.
Jude 1:24-25 ESV
“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, 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.”
So, we need to be those who test what we hear coming out of the mouths of those who are preachers and teachers of the Word of God. And we need to be students of the Scriptures ourselves so that we recognize deceit and the manipulation and twisting of truth being passed off as truth.
And we need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit who lives within those of us who believe in Jesus with genuine faith. We need to be praying for Holy Spirit discernment, and then we need to listen to the Lord when he speaks, and when he counsels us in the right way, and we need to obey.
He will keep us from stumbling if we submit to him, if we will listen to his counsel, and if we obey his word. And he will present us blameless if we die with him to sin and if we walk according to his Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For, if we deliberately and habitually continue in sinful practices, and righteousness is not what we practice, we will die in our sins.
So, study the Scriptures. Know what they teach, in context. Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and counsel. And then walk in the ways of righteousness and not in the ways of the flesh, and you will inherit eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.