Date: July 31, 2011
Bible Text: Jude 22-23 | Jeff Voegtlin
Series: Transcribed Sermons
We’re looking tonight at the book of Jude, so if you’ll turn there. The title of my message will come from the last three words of the 22nd verse, probably the most well-known words of that book—making a difference. As we walked out of the house this afternoon, I said something to the effect of, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” My wife said, “Oh no, not one of those.” So, but, I trust that when you come to the Lord’s house, you come seeking to hear from God, and really it doesn’t matter whose body stands behind this pulpit, each of us that do that attempt to speak to you what God has given to us and try to bring the Word to you in a way that has made a difference in our own lives, and since it’s done that to us, we hope and pray that it will do that for you too. So, as we look at the Word, I want you to, not necessarily, I’m just telling you ahead, I don’t know how this is going to turn out. But there’s a certain point that we need to understand from the Word of God, whether it’s what you typically think of or not. If it’s the word of god, it’s what we should believe and I hope to bring the Word to you in a way that will convince you to adjust the way that we act, not just changing knowledge of what the Bible says or what we should do, but that we would change the way we act because the Bible has told us to. I want to just, we’re going to be looking at Jude, but I want to just read a verse in Galatians 3, verse 16. You don’t need to turn there, I think the point will be clear. It says, Now to Abraham and to his seed, were the promises made… And then he makes a point here, it’s interesting he makes an interpretation point or a hermeneutical point. He says, Now he saith not to his seeds, as of many, but as of one and to thy seed, which is Christ. Now Paul in his argument here is just pointing out to the Galatians that one little letter makes a difference. One little letter, if you’re in a Bible class studying the doctrine of the Bible, you’re going to hear that, if you’ve been in a Bible class, many of you have, you’ve already heard that. You understand that every word that we have in god’s Word is there on purpose. God put each one there and we have each one of them. And all the way down to even the letter of a word, and then we are reminded that Jesus said that not one jot or tittle… The jot is the smallest Hebrew letter and tittle is not even a letter, it’s a part of a letter that makes one letter into another letter, to explain it the easiest way. These little parts of god’s word, every little word, is important. You could say, a skeptic might say, “Well, let’s just flip open the Bible, oh there’s the word ‘all.’ Is that word important? Or the word ‘the.’” And they are a skeptic. They’re trying to be skeptical. They’re trying to make something not be important, but we understand here in this passage. We’ve been through Galatians already, in this verse Paul is saying, there’s a great important in just one letter, the difference in a singular and a plural. I point that out just to say that there’s, we’re going to hopefully learn more and understand the Word of god better when we recognize just one little word in this book.
So, I want us to understand, in order to understand the end of the book of Jude, we need to know what Jude is saying, and it’s a good thing that Jude is only 25 verses. It’s a good thing we don’t have to say that about Isaiah or something like that and have to start all the way through all 66 chapters of Isaiah. Only one chapter, so I just want to begin at the beginning and read this and just give kind of an overview of what Jude is attempting to talk to us about.
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ,” and we believe that he is the brother of Christ, actually, and the brother of James, “to them that are sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ and called, mercy unto you and peace and love be multiplied.” This is his salutation. We could preach a message, but we’re not going to. He gives his purpose for writing in verse three and four, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation…” When I sat down to write, or when I decided I needed to write of the common salvation, “it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that ye should earnestly content for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Earnestly, he says, you need “to earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints, for, or because there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness and denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” I just want to stop here, his purpose, he’s saying, I need to write to you because you need to earnestly contend for the faith, and the reason you need to do that is because there’s certain men crept in unawares. There are people among you and you don’t recognize this. Now, that should, as I thought about that, I asked a question. But who are these men? They’re ordained to this condemnation, they’re ungodly men, and one key think about them is that they’ve turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness. Now this is prevalent in our society, people take grace and turn it into lasciviousness. They take their Christianity and say, “I’m saved, so I can do whatever I want to do.” Now, they might not say it in just that way, but they would say that we are too strict because we say you can’t do certain things if you’re a saved person. But they’re saved, they have grace, and they have taken the grace of god and turned it into lasciviousness. Now, I don’t know, maybe, let’s just put it this way, whatever they’ve taken, if they’ve turned it into lasciviousness, it’s a problem. Maybe they never had the grace of god. Jude actually says that, but they’ve taken and turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness. They’re taking the knowledge they had and they’re twisting it. I know of people who have sat in these pews and they will take the words that they hear from this pulpit and twist it. Or they take the words that they read in the Bible, and they twist it to say, “Yeah, but…” They think if they can cause a question, that any question is license. Question isn’t license. I have no problem having a question; ‘does the Bible really say that?’ Or, ‘What does the Bible say?’ But if the question is just an excuse for license, that’s turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. And those next phrases teach that they will reject their conscience in order to do that, and they reject god’s word. “…they deny the only lord god and our lord jesus Christ.” Now, the question you should ask is, “How does this happen?” He says there are certain men crept in unawares. How would men, and we use men in a generic term, or sense or fashion, so it could be a woman or a girl or a boy. But how would men creep into this church unawares? How would they get in here if they’re the type to turn the grace of god into lasciviousness? Now I thought of two ways very quickly, and I think you’d agree with them, and you might even think of more, but we’ll just, you can jot those down for when you preach next time. The two I can think of immediately, or that didn’t take me long to think of, was, they look good when they come. They speak some good things. They might speak many good things. We have a church, we’ve banded together as a community of believers, and so we work together, we hear the same Word preached all the time, and we understand it. We’re working together, someone comes in, it might be somebody who’s already here at this point in history. But they come in, they say the right things, they say mostly the right things, they might come from another church that seems like ours, but they’re poison. There’s a little bit of something there that they don’t, and as they get comfortable and we get comfortable with them, unaware to us they begin to plant seeds, poisonous seeds. So that’s one way that’s plausible, isn’t it? Somebody could creep in unawares. I mean, somebody could walk in here, dressed like a rock star is not really going to, we’re not going to be unaware of that. It’s going to shock us. It’s not like we’re going to say, “Hey, why don’t you sing the special tonight?” So, that’s kind of obvious to us. These are creeping in unawares.
Another way they can creep in unawares, or I would say another way this error can creep in unawares is if it grows up here. If it grows up here. It can grow up right in the middle of us and we as parents don’t root it out of our own children, if our children just go along to get along and they look like all the rest of us but they’re not, then that error, this error, through some of them will creep in unawares. You think, “Well, where did that come from? That’s Brother So-and-so’s son.” Or, “That’s their daughter, where did that come from?” It creeps in unawares. There may be other ways, but those are the ways I think of, I thought of quickly, that this can happen to a church, to our church. So, Jude says it was needful for me to write unto you of the common salvation and exhort you that you would earnestly contend for the faith. Because people are come in among you unware who were ordained to this condemnation ungodly men who turned the grace of god unto lasciviousness. So then, he kind of reviews a little bit. He steps back a little bit in verse 5 and says, “I will therefore put you in remembrance…” You ought to remember this, and you probably do remember this, if you’ve read the bible at all, you remember this. “Though ye once knew this how that the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt afterward destroyed them that believe not.” Okay, so, the Israelites, remember the Israelites? They all followed Moses across the Red Sea and they were delivered from Pharaoah, and then what happened? Did they all go into the Promised Land? No. God destroyed some of them. They believed not. And I think if we looked at, as we look at it, we’ll see that he’s referring to a particular situation. But he says, Don’t forget the Israelites. Oh, they thought they were safe. They were out of Egypt, and yet some of them god destroyed. Then he says, and angels which kept not their first estate but left their own habitation. He’s reserved in everlasting chains under darkness under the judgment of the great day. The angels were created perfect, perfect beings created. And yet some of them arereserved in everlasting chains for judgment, condemned because they lost their first estate. Now, think of it. How did they lose their first estate? And then, even as Sodom and Gomorrah, verse 7, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh are set forth for an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. So we all know about Sodom and Gomorrah. They suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. And then he said, Likewise also…these that have crept in among you, likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh. What did the people of Sodom and Gomorrah do? They defiled the flesh. Despised dominion, what did the angels do? They said along with Satan, “I will be like the most high.” And speak evil of dignities. Remember the Israelites where they attacked Moses and spoke evil of the authority in their life? These people are the same as the people in Israel. Same as the angels, same as Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jude is saying I will put you in remembrance. Remember? And think of this—this is every group has strong judgment placed on them. Thousands of Israelites fell in the wilderness because they despised, they spoke evil of Moses. Who knows, legions of angels are in chains, under judgment. Whose towns and the cities around them, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities around them. Not just shriveled up, their economy died up, and they’re no longer in existence. Fire and brimstone our of Heaven, has anybody heard of that before? Tremendous judgment and condemnation on these, and the point that should be drawn from this is that these likewise, these filthy dreamers, who do the same thing that Sodom and Gomorrah did, and the same thing that the angels have done, and the same thing that the people of Israel did are going to suffer the same condemnation and judgment. And then he says, “Yet Michael, the archangel when contending with the devil about the body of Moses durst not bring against him a railing accusation but said, the lord rebuke thee.” Then, so that’s kind of a transition, I would say to verses 10 through 13 where he begins to identify the error a little bit more. He says, “But these speak evil of those things which they know not. But what they know naturally.” I think that’s a key word. This is Jude; I’m going to quote Paul. Paul said, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of god…” These who are crept in unawares, who look good, who we wouldn’t recognize right off, are not saved people. They’ve turned the grace of god into lasciviousness, they reject their conscience, they reject the Word of god, they turn against the Lord Jesus and our Lord Jesus Christ, as it said in verse 4, “they speak evil things they know not, but what they know naturally as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Wo unto them”, and see who he compares them to. Who are they just like? “They have gone in the way of Cain.” Was Cain a saved man? “And ran greedily after the error of Baalam for reward.” Was Baalam a saved man? “And perished in the gainsaying of Corah.” Corah, he’s the one who spoke against Moses. The earth swallowed him up—a one-way ticket straight to hell. He’s not a saved man. These people are in our midst, they’re spots in your feasts of charity when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear, clouds they are without water, carried about of winds, trees whose fruit whithered without fruit twice dead plucked up by the roots…They look like something. They’re a tree, but there’s no fruit on the tree. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame, wandering stars… We mentioned that, what is a wandering star? A wandering star is something that looks bright but will lead you to destruction. In the midst of us. It looks good, but if we follow them, we’re going to be in the wrong spot. Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And then he says, “Enoch even preached against it.” This is nothing new. Enoch was an early prophet, and even he preached against these types. The seventh from Adam, said, “Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints.” And what does he say is going to happen to these? “To execute judgment upon all and to convince all that are ungodly among them,” this is, look at how many times ‘ungoldy’ is there. “To convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed. And of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against them.” They’re ungodly. “These are murmurers.” Now, murmuring really not that bad, is it? Only killed a few thousand in the wilderness. “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouth speaking great swelling words…” I have in mind a particular group of people, actually, who have grown up here. Now this is a specific spplication, and there’s definitely other applications in the Word of god, but I have in mind a specific group of people—ones that have grown up here—that this fits. They’re not here right now. There may be some that would like to be with them, but they’re not here right now. They’re murmurers. They find fault with god. God put them in this church and they find fault with it. They find fault with the activities that they had to endure, they find fault with the preaching that they had to listen to, they find fault with the policies that they had to follow, they find fault with the rules. They’re complainers. And they walk now after their own lusts. They do what they want. Some of them, what they want isn’t as terrible in our sight as others, but still they do what they want. They walk after their own lusts. “And their mouth speaketh great swelling words.” You should hear their speeches. You should read their words, great swelling words. They’re hot stuff, they’re big stuff now that they’re out from under the protection, actually, of this church. And they have men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. Isn’t that the case? They think that if they speak a certain way, somebody else will like them. Of course they don’t care whether we like them, and like is not a great big thing, necessarily, but they speak big words, they say certain things because they’re all worried about what some other man thinks about them. But beloved,… And so we have this description. Jude says, it’s important for me to write to you. You need to earnestly contend for the faith because there’s error around you. You might not see it right now, but this is what it looks like. This is what’s going on. And then in verse 17 he starts a new paragraph and he says, he tells us what to do. What should we do then? We have all this trouble around us. What should we do? “But beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ how they told you that there should be mockers in the last time who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” Now specifically, we’re to remember what the apostles said. The apostles said this to us in the Scriptures, in particularly said, “Don’t let this surprise you. There will be mockers in the last days. And they’re going to walk according to their own ungodly lusts.” But in a broader general sense, we’re to remember the Word of god. The Word of God. What should you do? Remember the Word of god, and then guard yourself. The next thing in verse 19 he says, “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the spirit.” Now that kind of says something about them. They don’t have the Spirit. “…but ye,” okay so, we’re to remember the word and then we’re to keep ourselves in the love of god. Guard against coldness. Guard against coldness. How do you do that? “…building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy ghost, and looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Listen. We can’t float from day to day just doing whatever we feel like and think that we’re going to be protected against error. We’re not going to keep ourselves in the love of God if we’re not doing these things. We are to build up yourself on your ost holy faith. Build up yourself. Is that something that just happens? We’re not evolutionists, right? How did that building get there? Somebody built it. This says, “…build up yourself in your most holy faith.” What is your most holy faith? It’s the Word of god, it comes from the Word of god, it’s the doctrines of the Word. It’ the teachings of the Word of god. So, we need to be in the Word, we need to be studying it, understanding it, learning it, growing. Building up our most holy faith and praying in the Holy Ghost. We need to be praying, and then looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. It seems to me that it would say remembering where we are, how we got here. We got here, we’re in our state, we’re in this position because of the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. So these three ways that we would guard ourself or keep ourself in the love of God. And then we come to our text. The third thing that we’re to do is to warn unbelievers. Now in this it says, verse 21, “Keep yourselves in the love of god, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And some have compassion making a difference. And others save with fear pulling them out of the fire hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” And then he finishes up and says, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy to the only wise god our saviour be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and ever. Amen.” Now the whole point of what we’ve done so far is for us to be to talk about verses 22 and 23. I want to first of all tell you what those verse don’t mean. I’m not trying to be funny or smarter than you, but, hopefully you’ll see this through the context of this book, the first thing that it doesn’t mean is some have compassion and therefore they make a difference. It doesn’t mean that they make a difference because they have compassion. If that’s the case, it means some people have compassion and some people don’t have compassion. And you ought to have compassion. That way, if you have compassion, you’ll make a difference in people’s lives. Now I’m not against compassion. I’m not trying to say that. We can see all over the Bible how Christ had compassion and we’re supposed to be Christ-like. All I’m saying is that this doesn’t mean that. I’m going ahead and saying that because I want you to when you read this to remember what it does mean because I think it’s very important for us to understand what Jude means in our church. In situations we face in the isles of this church at certain times during the year. And it doesn’t mean that we ought to care about people, and if we care about people we’ll make a difference in their lives. You see, it says, because then it says, “…others save with fear…” So if it meant that it would mean that, well, some of us we have compassion and make a difference, and others, well, they’re the ones that don’t have compassion, and that’s okay. And we know that’s not okay for us not to have compassion. So, maybe it means this: Have compassion on some, or no, maybe it means this: Some people have compassion and some people save with fear. Some people are the compassionate type. You say, “Well, that’s me.” And others are the fearful type. You say, “Well, that’s preacher. He preaches hard.” Well, in a certain sense, our natures, some of us are less confrontational than others. We might assign our inclination to confrontation to be compassionate or less compassionate. You see, you know, I’m just going on stereo types here, but Pastor Whitecar, he’s not that compassionate type. He’s the save with fear type. Right? Pastor Damron, he’s the compassionate type. Mr. Armacost is the compassionate type. Pastor Damron, he’s the save with fear type. And we all, we’re all our type, right? I’m saying it this way, and I think you’re all sitting there saying, “No, that’s not what it means either,” right? It’s not. And what tells us what it means is one little word that often is not said that I intentionally skipped over when I read verse 22. Verse 22 doesn’t say, “…and some have compassion making a difference and others save with fear…” It says, “…and of some have compassion making a difference and others save with fear…” So what does that ‘of’ mean? How does that ‘of’ change the meaning of understanding this? Look. When people are crept in unawares among us and then they begin to be noticed, what’s going to happen? You have people who are poisonous, dangerous wolves among us and they are, once they’re comfortable, they’re going to do what? They’re not going to just sit there and listen to the preaching. They’re not going to just sit there and say, ‘Amen.’ They’re going to begin talking, they’re going to search out and see if they can, they’re going to network. They’ll get to one person and another person, and they might come to you, and you’re going to say, they’re going to figure out that you’re not a potential follower. But then they’ll get to somebody else and that other person is going to listen. If we’re going to contend for the faith, we have to address all the error amongst us and some of the people who are in error need to be addressed with compassion. Some of them are just listening to a wolf. They don’t know that it’s a wolf, they’re just kind of weak, whether it’s because they grew up in your home or somebody else’s home, or they haven’t been here for that long, for whatever reason, they’re weaker, and so they’re listening to error. And they need to be confronted with the truth with compassion. On them, of them, of those some, have compassion. And it’s not the compassion that would make the difference, it’s you that makes the difference. It’s not your compassion that makes the difference, your mind, your discernment says, ‘That person is in danger, I need to tell him the truth in love.’ And then, you see the other person, you see the wolf, and you don’t say, ‘That person is in danger,’ you say, ‘That person is dangerous, and they need to be confronted’ They need to be saved with fear. They need the judgment preached to them. And I guess I’m saying, I’m jumping to the conclusion, but I can’t wait any longer. At Christmas time when we have wolves come, they don’t need compassion. Wolves don’t need compassion. Wolves need the judgment of god preached to them. So, I jump to what it does mean. It means be prepared. Be prepared. How are we prepared? We remember the words that the apostles have spoken to us. We keep ourselves in the love of God, and then it means confront error. Some that are in error, on some that are in error, have compassion. Make a difference. On others, save with fear pulling them out of the fire. And then, I think this last phrase, relates to both situations. It’s an attitude. It says, “Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Listen, whether they’re in danger or they’re dangerous, it is dangerous for you to be around them. Now, because it’s dangerous to be around them doesn’t give us an excuse not to do it, and this is where this applies to every single person here. We could, here, I’m non-confrontational sometimes, most of the time, I think. I see a wolf and I say, “I’m going out that door because I don’t want to deal with it.” But what does the Bible say to do? It doesn’t say, it doesn’t give a third category. It doesn’t give me a third option. Either I have to confront error—I either confront it with compassion or I confront it with judgment with fear, but I must confront with one of those. I have to decide; I have to make a difference between one or the other, but there’s no getting out of it. As a Christian, if I love my church, if I love the Lord, when error is around here, I have to confront it. And not because I stand up here, each of us has to confront it. Each of us has to confront it. And we can’t say, we don’t have the option of not confronting error. Remember Jude said that you earnestly contend for the faith. So we must confront the error if we’re going to obey the Bible. The only difference, the only thing that we have a choice about is how we confront the error, and that depends on what situation they’re in. Are they in danger, or are they dangerous? If they’re in danger, have compassion. Go to them, speak to them, talk to them. “Look, don’t you see what’s happening here? You shouldn’t be doing this.” Befriend them, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. If they’re dangerous, you have to go them, confront them, show them that they are heading for the judgment of God. They’re heading for the judgment of God, and at the same time, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Hating the garment, again, doesn’t give us an excuse, well, I’m afraid that I’ll be contaminated, so I’m not going to do anything. No, that’s not an option. We have to do something. We have to contend for the faith with the right attitude and with the right attitude. With the right attitude about ourselves and the right attitude about those that we’re speaking to.
I guess, if we’re right, each individual should get the same treatment. Now what happens, is each of us treat all of these different individuals the same way. I hinted toward that. “I’m the compassionate type. He’s the fiery type.” No. That’s not the difference here. The difference between who we’re talking to. So whether you’re the compassionate type or the fiery type or not, it doesn’t matter. This person who’s in danger needs compassion. This person who’s dangerous needs fire. Whether I’m compassionate or not, this person needs fire and this person needs compassion. If we’re a right church, what will happen then? When this person who needs compassion, when we greet them, when we talk to them, whenever somebody finds out about them, they are going to get all compassion. They’re going to see that we love them, that we care about them, that we don’t want to lose them, that we want them to grow, right? And this person who is dangerous, when he comes at Christmas time, and I’ve already hinted. I’ve got a certain group in mind, so you know what I’m talking about, but it could apply to any other situation, but it’s just classic. This person who comes at Christmas time doesn’t need us fellowshipping with him and being compassionate to him. I’m not saying we don’t talk to him, actually Jude is telling us we should talk to him, but we talk to them knowing the terror of the Lord. We talk to them pointing out the error of their way and the end of their way and how it’s full of judgment. When they’re standing around, and so, a wolf in this church, a wolf in a healthy church shouldn’t feel very comfortable. A wolf in a healthy church should be getting attacked, should be having the fire and brimstone of god placed before his eyes over and over and over again. He should get no rest, he shouldn’t be able to get away from one person and then, oh here’s some teenagers or here’s some other people his age who are well, they know they’re wrong, but, not going to say anything. Just going to say, “Oh, you’re living over there now.” That’s not an option for us. We’re to earnestly contend for the faith. So what I’m saying is, if the person needs compassion, everybody ought to show them compassion, and if a person needs to be saved with fear and shown the judgment of god, everybody ought to be showing him that. That’s what this is telling us. This is the difference. It’s not I’m the compassionate type, he’s the fiery type, or I’m the fiery type, I don’t have to have compassion on people. No. It’s not that at all. We’re to have discernment, we’re to have godly discernment, we’re to see that, and we’re going to treat this in this way or this way because we love the Lord. Because we love that person.
Each individual should get the same treatment from everyone in the church—either compassion or fear. So how do we tell? I kind of said it already, but I thought of some other words that might help us have discernment here. Is the person just kind of interested in other things? Are they weak? Are they a follower? There are certain people, their makeup, the way they act and live is that they end up following people a lot, and there’s nothing, hopefully we grow to follow Christ, but we should all be followers of Christ, I guess, but some people are just influenced by the crowd a lot. If this person is like that, if they’re a follower, they’re easily influenced, they’re weak, they’re just kind of open to questions, most likely they need compassion. I’m not saying, you know, you’ve got to go give them a big hug, but the way we would deal with them is, “Look, I care about you. I noticed that you, whatever, whatever the particular situation is, but I noticed you kind of were hanging around those people, and that’s dangerous. You don’t want to be doing that.” Or, maybe even without saying that you say to yourself or to your wife, “I noticed that guy hanging with those other groups. We need to get them over to our house.” So he’s too busy being around good people to be around bad people. That’s compassionate. But, on the other hand, you have people that are apostles, they’re evangelists for licentiousness. They’re bold. They’ve got to show everybody what, that they realized that you don’t have to dress like they do at Fairhaven and still go to church. It’s kind of interesting, he might still be in the auditorium, but there was one of these here before the service started and they often come, like I say, at Christmas time. They grew up here. They know how we dress at church, but they’re free from that. They’ve got liberty. No, they have licentiousness. And so, and evangelist for licentiousness, a bold, belligerent apostle of the Devil needs the fear of god put into them. I don’t know if we can put it into them, but he needs the fear of god preached into them. They need to be confronted with it, and then get away from them.
Now, like I said, I didn’t know exactly how this would turn out, but that’s the message of Jude. Jude says we must earnestly contend for the faith because error will come among you. I don’t know of any error at the moment, right here in this room, but it’s not just Jude that tells us that error will come along. So we ought to be on guard for it, and as long as we don’t see it, what should we do? Remember the word and keep yourself in the love of God. And then when we see error, we make a difference. We say, “Is that person falling toward it, are they interested, are they just following, or is that person promoting it?” We make a difference. We ought to be Christians who are making a difference, and that phrase can mean a lot of different things. We ought to be making a difference all around us, but this passage teaches us that when error is around us, we confront it, but we make a difference by how we confront it—whether we confront with compassion or with the fire of God, with the fear of the Lord.