Temple Baptist Church - 4-13-2016
A. There is quite a bit of unnecessary confusion in the verses following verses 3-4 that have brought about controversy among preachers. Jude lists 3 distinct kinds of examples in the following verses that are different and yet have one thing in common. All three left their first estate.
B. I want to separate the 3 in order to get to the truth of what Jude is saying because people have drawn unbiblical conclusions from these verses.
C. As Jude exhorts the saved to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered, he warns of two types of people: those who will not contend for the faith and those who try to destroy the faith. They are distinctly different!
D. Jude uses three Old Testament examples in the following verses:
1. The Old Testament saints who rejected the promises of God and refused to go into Canaan. These brought about a temporal judgement upon themselves as they wandered and died in the wilderness, therefore missing the perfect will of God in their lives—the Promised Land of Canaan.
2. The angels who left their first estate and rebelled against the authority and person of God thus bringing upon themselves the eternal damnation of hell.
3. The sodomites of Sodom and Gomorrah who left their first estate, that which follows nature, going after strange flesh, that which God denounced as an abomination. Thus bringing upon themselves the eternal damnation of hell.
E. I want to deal with these three individually and then come back to those in verse 4 who have crept in and tried to destroy the foundations of our faith. Though God holds everyone responsible for that which He has given to them, the judgment of the child of God is different from the judgment of those who are not saved. Ours is temporal while theirs is eternal!
F. I want to make an application in Luke 12:48: “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
G. Jude now puts God’s children in remembrance of something that they already know and uses an Old Testament example from the Book of Numbers. Israel has come to the border of Canaan, sent out 12 spies, and gotten their report. All 12 reported Canaan as a good land, flowing with milk and honey. 10 spies also reported that Israel was not able to take the land as God had promised while 2 spies, Joshua and Caleb, exhorted the people to go in immediately and take the land. We are all familiar with the story but I want to look at some verses:
Numbers 14:26-35 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, (27) How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. (28) Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: (29) Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, (30) Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. (31) But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. (32) But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. (33) And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. (34) After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. (35) I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
H. The Old Testament saints saw the miracles of God and had the promises of God but still refused to enter Canaan. God chastened them by turning them back into the wilderness to die. Their judgement was a temporal one. They did not die lost; they died out of the will of God for their lives because they did not take care of the responsibility that God had given to them.
I. The application of verse 5 is to those who fail to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. As God promised Israel that He would bring them out and take them into the Promised Land, God has also placed us in trust of His promises of salvation and a victorious life in Christ through the faith once delivered.
1. God saved us through the efforts of others who earnestly contended for the faith once delivered. The price that was paid to bring the Word of God along with the gospel to us that we might be saved was horrendous! People died for the Word of God; people died for their confession of faith; people died that we may eternally live. We are debtors to our generation to contend for and to maintain a clear path for them to follow through our King James Bible. If the generation that preceded us gave their lives for the Word of God, can we do any less?
2. We are now responsible to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered that our posterity might know the truth and be gloriously saved. How shall they believe on Him without hearing about Him? How shall they believe on Him if the Word of God is not preached in all of its purity? How shall the Word of God be preached if we are not willing to pay the price of earnestly contending for it? As we have placed our faith in Christ Jesus through His Word, we now bring that same Word to others.
3. If we choose not to pay the price for earnestly contending for the faith once delivered, we will no longer remain in the will of God and thus bring upon ourselves the judgment found in the Word of God. We will remain saved because salvation is not the result of our personal merit but rather completely anchored in the finished work of Christ and the amazing grace of God! I fear that too many of God’s children are now dying in the wilderness instead of rejoicing in the faith that brings victory over the world.
Conclusion: Someone once said that Christianity is always just one generation from extinction. Let us pay the price for contending that others may hear and live.