Apostates in the Last Days
5 August 2018 AM – Jude 1:16-19 – Jude18 – Scott Childs
Introduction: God knows that we are a forgetful people. If we only heard one sermon on the characteristics and descriptions of apostates, before long we would forget and let down our guard. God gave us the book of Jude as part of the Bible so that we would have constant access to Jude’s reminders.
Transition: As Jude concludes his description of apostates in verses 16-19, he gives us three reminders to make sure we do not forget.
1. Jude Reminds us of their Activities
a. Jude first identifies their inner activities (v.16)
1) They were murmurers.
a) They discontentedly grumble against God.
b) They do not follow the Bible as their absolute authority. They place their opinions and feelings above God’s Word.
c) Murmuring was one of the major sins of Israel during the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness.
d) Christians often murmur against God in the areas of separation, tithing, witnessing, Bible reading, church attendance, baptism, church membership, or sinful habits. If you say in your heart, “I know what God said in the Bible, but I disagree,” you are a murmurer against God. (James 4:17) says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (Philippians 2:14) “Do all things without murmurings and disputings:”
2) They were complainers.
a) This is a stronger form of discontent.
b) It is complaining about the lot God has given you in life. The apostates were complainers.
c) Pride is at the root of complaining because things are not going the way I what them to go.
d) God commands us to be thankful people not complainers. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (Ephesians 5:20) “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”
b. Jude then identifies their outer activities (v.16)
1) They walked after their own lusts.
a) In this context, lust is a strong desire for something God forbids.
b) The apostates walked after their own lustful desires, ignoring all that God said about lustful sins. They did whatever they enjoyed without regard to right and wrong. Jude told us back in verse 4 that the apostates were lascivious (driven by uncontrolled lust).
c) God commands that we, (1 Corinthians 6:18) “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (2 Timothy 2:22) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
2) They spoke great swelling words
a) The apostates frequently said things that were swollen or exaggerated. They stretched their stories to support their opinions.
b) That is human nature! However, that does not make it right. God wants us to speak the truth.
3) They had men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
a) They were showing respect of persons. They did and said things that impressed those they were trying to convince while putting down others.
b) These apostates made flattering statements to gain friends and followers.
c) God warns us against this sin. (Psalms 12:2) “They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.” (Proverbs 26:28) “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.”
2. Jude Reminds us of God’s Warning
a. Jude points us back to God’s Word (v.17)
1) He called his readers “beloved” because he was writing to the true Christians.
2) He pointed them to the words of the apostles of Jesus. God recorded their inspired words for us in the Bible.
3) The Bible must always be our standard. We must never rely on feelings or opinions.
I am Standing on the Word of God —E. M. Wadsworth
I am standing on the Word of God, ’Tis holy and ’tis true; Through ages it has been our light, With splendor ever new. I am standing on the Word of God, And thus I am secure; Though blows the tempest wild and hard, ’Twill evermore endure.
b. Jude reminds us of predictions (v.18)
1) There will be mockers in the last days. A mocker is one who scoffs at what God has said. The root word means to play with. Thus, he plays games with the words of God. He twists what God has said to justify his own desires.
2) Cults and false teachers today mock God’s Word by twisting it this way and that to get it to say what they want. Remember, the Bible is its own best commentary. Learn to compare the verses you read with others on similar topics. Do this by looking up cross references. Many Bibles have cross references in the margins. Do not be lazy. Carefully study your Bible to learn what God has said. Careless study may lead to twisting the Bible and mocking God.
3) Those mockers will walk after their own ungodly lusts.
a) One of the ways the apostates mocked the Bible was by walking after their ungodly lusts. They turned the grace of God into lasciviousness (uncontrolled lusts).
b) God’s grace is His divine enabling to do something that is humanly impossible. God saves us by His grace. He keeps us saved by His grace. He forgives us by His grace. However, we have no right to indulge in sinful lusts expecting God graciously to forgive. God only forgives the repentant.
c) (Galatians 6:7-8) “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
4) God’s Word warns us about those who mock God by twisting the Bible to suit their sinful desires. We must beware!
3. Jude Reminds us of the Result
a. Apostates cause divisions (v.19)
1) The text says, “These be they who separate themselves.” The word “separate” means to disjoin or to cause division.
2) The false teachers were causing great division in the local churches. Some believers knew the Bible well enough to remain strong. Others were weak and joined the thinking of the apostates.
3) God wants our church to have unity around the Bible. Every doctrine we preach must be supported clearly in the Bible. Every action we take needs to be sifted through the Bible. Our music, our dress, our attitudes, our language must pass the Bible test. If the Bible is truly our final authority, false teachings, murmuring, complaining, flattery and lust will not gain a footing.
b. They are led by the flesh not the Spirit (v.19)
1) Jude tells us that they are sensual. They are governed by nature or their sensual desires.
2) Jude adds the phrase “having not the Spirit”. If they do not have the Spirit of God indwelling them, they are not true Christians. They live by their natural sensual desires.
3) The reason they cause divisions in a church is that they are led by the flesh and not by the Holy Spirit.
4) Every true Christian has the Holy Spirit indwelling in him, but if we do not submit to His leadership, we will be walking in the flesh. We remember what Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” The flesh and the Spirit are opposite conductors in our lives.
Conclusion: The apostates were murmurers, complainers, lustful, exaggerators, flatterers, and mockers. We must remember their descriptions. We must not follow their example.
Song: Have Thine Own Way – 388