“An Unpleasant Responsibility”

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Christian Life, Cults, Jude

     WARNING!  Don’t read this if you are not a Christian.  It won’t make much sense to you because the “natural man” doesn’t receive the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness to him.  He cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).  However, it you are a true Christian, we invite you to consider carefully what you read (Acts 17:11). 

     Enjoyable.  Encouraging believers (the saints) is a much more enjoyable thing to do than having to warn them of the dangers that surround them.  But since we live in a world where evil doers abound, it is necessary to make believers aware of those who would try to “rain on their parade” and make their lives miserable. 

       Responsibility.  The Lord’s half brother Jude (Matthew 13:55) was given this responsibility by the God the Holy Spirit and we have his words recorded for us in a brief letter that can be found just before the Book of Revelation. He wasted no time identifying the enemy so the church could recognize them. They are –

      Ungodly Men.  The Apostles Peter and Paul had warned their readers about them too (2 Peter 2:1ff; 2 Timothy 3:1ff).  By the time Jude wrote his letter, their numbers had grown greatly.  Such men lack reverence for God and distort true worship (Colossians 2:24).  They often replace it with sensual and/or emotional music to desensitize or hypnotize the people.  The ungodly man gives in to the lusts (strong desires) that emanate from his sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21).  

      Worship.  True worship of God entails the use of one’s spirit that belongs to the mind of a believer (Ephesians 4:23; John 4:24).  It must be truth about God’s attributes that are found in the 66 books of the Scriptures alone.  Believers can/should worship God anywhere as they think about His goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, holiness, and love.  This form of communication with God doesn’t expect anything from God in return. By it we simply adore Him for who and what He is.  What do you know about the other seven ways to communicate with God?  Ask about them.

     Godliness.  A new Christian needs to realize that he has been given a new nature from God (2 Peter 1:4). This new nature has new desires that are placed there by God (Philippians 2:13).  They will be opposed to the lusts coming from his sin nature (Galatians 5:17). The Christian still has his sin nature (1 John 1:8) that always tries to thwart godliness.  Do you know when he will no longer have a sin nature?

     Choices.  Each Christian has the choice to live an ungodly lifestyle to please himself and his sinful nature or to please God by living godly.  He can be godly when he is filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and when he walks by means of the Spirit (i.e. orders his life under the Holy Spirit’s direction – Galatians 5:16, 25).  He allows the Holy Spirit to produce in him the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). This fruit must be directed by the Christian toward the right object for the right reason.  It’s possible to misdirect the “Fruit of the Spirit” (such a “agape” love) toward the things of this world system that are all passing away (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:11).  Do you know what makes up the present world system?  Godliness is doing what God wants us to do with the power that the Holy Spirit provides for Christians (Philippians 4:13). Ungodliness is doing what our sin nature wants us to do. 

     Happiness.  “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he mediates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the waters, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).  Read about the ungodly man in the last few verses.

     Deceitful.  In addition to their being ungodly, false teachers are those who creep into churches while the leaders and mature believers are sleeping.  The Apostle Paul warned the elders (Pastor/teachers) to take heed to themselves and to the flock (Christians) in their care (Acts 20:28).  These “creeps” proclaim another Jesus (Jesus said there would be many false Christs – Matthew 24:5) and another way of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15) other than by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone.  Many of them believe in “universalism.”  This false doctrine teaches that everyone, including the devil, will end up in heaven eventually after being purged for some time.  Believe it or not, some people don’t want to go to heaven to be with God and other Christians.  Just ask some of them.

     Antinomianism.  Some of these false teachers distort grace by telling people that they can live any way they want to live now that they have been saved.  They offer freedom but by their teaching they enslave themselves and their followers even more ( 2 Peter 2:12-21).  But God disciplines His true children when they sin and fail to confess their sins to Him (Hebrews 12:5, 6; 1 John 1:9).  Even though the believer receives family forgiveness when he confesses his sins, he may have to suffer the governmental consequences of his sins for the rest of his life. 

     Creed.  The creed of some of them might be:  “God is a creation of wishful thinking; religion is a mechanism of escape from reality; man is a glorified gorilla who asks too many questions and represses too many desires; morals are a matter of taste; love is an art; and life is a racket.” – Dr. Wallace Petty.  Gross immorality characterizes many apostates.  One writer has said that “one of the troubles with the world today is that people mistake sex for love, money for brains, and transistor radios for civilization.”

     Gnosticism.  “This false teaching [that is still around today] assigned to Christ a place subordinate to the true Godhead, and undervalued the uniqueness and completeness of His redemptive work [of salvation].  It insisted that between a holy God and this earth a host of beings, angels, etc., formed a bridge, of which host Christ was a member.  This system included the worship of angels and false asceticism [a self denial that leads to a higher spiritual state -Colossians 2:18, 20-22].”  Dr. C. I. Scofield.  Do you know of a group that teaches such erroneous things? 

     Deity.  Two main ways to identify an apostate is by learning what he believes about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Does he believe that Jesus shares a total and complete equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9)?  Does he really believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures alone?  Does he proclaim the Gospel clearly in its entirety (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)?  Does he add false conditions for one to be saved?  Do you know what some of them are?  If not, ask about them.

     Agonize.  Jude told believers to contend (agonize) earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3).  If you’re a true Christian, don’t let others impose the wrong “House Rules” (Dispensations) on you.  If you live by the wrong rules you will not mature spiritually and you could lose out on a lot of rewards and crowns that God has in store for His children who do the work that He planned for us to do (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10).  

    Whew!  We’ve just shared a lot of information with you.  As we said at the beginning, this information won’t make sense to you if you’re not a true Christian or if you’re a carnal Christian (1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4; Hebrews 5:12-14).  It’s intended for Christians who are rightly related to God by having their known sins confessed to God the Father (1 John 1:9), who desire to grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18), and who are willing to change (with God’s help) when they are exposed to truth from God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2). 

     These articles usually correspond with our messages on Sundays at the Grace Baptist Church in Paso Robles.  Some of them can be heard on the Internet at www.kelseypeach.com. If they help you as a Christian, please share the information with other believers who desire to grow in the Lord.  Be a “link person” who might impact the lives of many others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s