Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Compassion That Makes A Difference

Temple Baptist Church - 7-6-2016

Jude 22-23


A.  As a general rule, these verses are too often preached out of their context.  They are used as “soul winning” verses though nothing in the Book of Jude alludes to winning the lost to Jesus Christ.  I actually have no problem with a preacher making a spiritual application of these verses as long as he makes a Biblical interpretation (which is what I am going to do tonight).

B.  With that said, let us notice the people that are mentioned in Jude:

1.  Those that are saved but not contending.  Jude 1-2  Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (2)  Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

2.  Those that are saved and willing to contend.  Jude 3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

3.  Those that are lost and destroying the “faith once delivered.”  Jude 4  For 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.

C.  Jude gives Old Testament examples of those who “left their first estate” or, to use a modern term apostatized.  Again, the word “apostasy” simply means, by my definition, to “stand away from a former position.”  They once stood for truth and the faith once delivered but now have becomes the enemy of the truth and the Bible.

D.  Jude gives the Old Testament of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesying the “falling away” of his day and the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the final, eternal judgment of the ungodly.

E.  I see no place in the Book of Jude where we are to sympathize with the apostate or try to win them to Christ as they are under the eternal judgment of God.  Apparently, according to Jude, they have “crossed a line” with God!  At this point, let me say that I will witness to anyone anywhere as I do not know who has crossed a line with God of the difference between the true apostates and the ignorant believer who is led astray by them.

F.  There is no mention of the unsaved in general in the Book of Jude nor of the Great Commandment or Commission to win the world to Christ.  Jude is all about contending or not contending which brings us the context of verses 22-23.

G.  Verses 20-21 are the mature Christians who are self-starters, self-feeders, and walking with the Lord.  Walking with the Lord is walking with and in the Word of God.  Jude now admonishes the mature Christian who is earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to help those who are not!  Too many churches run off the people who do not “conform” instead of trying to be an encouragement to them and help those who get into trouble.

H.  I believe the two questions found in Genesis 4 can be applied at this point.  Genesis 4:9  And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

1.  The Lord asked, “Where is Abel thy brother?”  I understand the interpretation but, by way of application, I believe that we are responsible to know where our brother is spiritually!  I believe that it is important that we watch, not in a critical way but in a loving compassionate way, over our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Why?  Because sometimes they cannot see the forest for the trees.  When they get involved in things that they should abstain from, they see through clouded eyes.

2.  Cain asked, “Am I my brother's keeper?”  We live in a day where “what I do is my business” or “MYOB!”  We are each other’s business spiritually.  Now, by that statement, I do not mean that you are accountable to me or report to me but what each of us does directly or indirectly affect others.  Plus, we do love each other and want the very best for each other.  

James 5:19-20  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  (20)  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.  (In order to convert the sinful one, we must be able to observe their error.)

2 Thessalonians 3:13-15  (13)  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.  (14)  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.  (15)  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.  (In order to “note that man,” we must be able to observe that man.)

I.  Now, I want to look at three points found in these 2 verses.

1.  “And of some have compassion, making a difference”  Not all Christians are the same and not all grow at the same rate.  Some reach a plateau of spirituality that they are comfortable with and want nothing else. Some are in good, fundamental churches.  They are taught by good pastors for many years and fail to grow spiritually.  Saved 50+ years and, when they should be teachers, still have need of the milk of the Word instead of strong meat.

2 Timothy 2:24-26  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  (25)  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  (26)  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.  (What do you do for them?  Be compassionate and loving with them.  Be patient and gentle with them.  If they never grow, just love them!)

Hebrews 5:11-14  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (12)  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  (13)  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  (14)  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  (Leave their spiritual state between them and the Lord but be there with them and for them.  I am so glad that God never leaves us nor forsakes us!)

1 Corinthians 12:25-26  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  (26)  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  (Make sure that they are as loved as the most spiritual or most talented member of the church.  Compassion can make a difference!)

1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, becourteous:  (The “Golden Rule” was taught to this pastor long before I came to know the Lord.  “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”)

2.  “And others save with fear … hating even the garment spotted by the flesh”  When we see a brother/sister walking in a sinful condition, we need to be careful while restoring them.  At this point, we need to be assured of our own personal spiritual state before making such a move.  A good “rule of thumb” is to alert the pastor with your concerns and allow him to assess the situation.  Pastors have to be careful at this point also as they too are susceptible to sin also.

Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  (We who offer help to the fallen need to “hate even the garment spotted by the flesh.”  True hatred for sin is a necessity for restoring a drifting or fallen brother/sister.)

Romans 15:1  We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (“We that are strong” does not mean that, if we think that we can handle sin, then we can sidestep “abstain for all appearance of evil” and get involved.)

2 Corinthians 12:10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.  (Spiritual strength is show when one realizes that, without Christ, they are as weak and susceptible as anyone else.)

1 Corinthians 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  (Be careful and scriptural when trying to help some who has spiritually stumbled!)

Proverbs 16:18  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

3.  “pulling them out of the fire”  We save them by pulling them out.  We have to pull them because they either will not come out or cannot help themselves.  Too often, God’s children drift to the point of “jumping from the frying pan into the fire.”  Eventually, there sets in a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.  At this point in time, we MUST be there to help and encourage them!  They have no one else.

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15  (14)  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.  (15)  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

a.  Note them – watch, in a right way, those who sit around you; watch, in a right way, when we shake hands before the preaching!  When someone misses a service where they had been faithful before hand, tell them that you missed them and are praying for them. 

2 Thessalonians 3:14  “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man …”

b.  Keep yourself clean and on a high spiritual plane.  This does not mean that you avoid them.  Notice the word “company” that the Holy Spirit used.  It means to mix and mingle.  Company is when someone comes to our home.  “We have company!”  Evil communications still corrupt good manners! 

2 Thessalonians 3:14  “and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” 

Galatians 6:1-2  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

c.  Love them!  He/she is not your enemy but you brother/sister in the Lord!  Charity covers a multitude of sins.  Charity thinketh no evil!  Charity is longsuffering!  Charity is kind!

2 Thessalonians 3:15 “Yet count him not as an enemy

d.  Admonish them!  To caution or gently reprove.  It does not mean to rebuke them as that comes under the heading of church discipline.

2 Thessalonians 3:15  “but admonish him as a brother

e.  Pulling them!  Not pushing them but pulling them.  The Bible is always perfectly correct.  In order to pull someone from a fire, you have to keep the fire closer to them than it is to you.  They are between you and the fire.  The closer to the fire and the hotter the fire, the longer the rope!  Keep a safe spiritual distance from all types of sinfulness.

Jude 23  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

d.  Disciplining them!  This is always a last resort and is to be beneficial the the sinful and as a protective measure for the people in the church as well as for the protection of the church’s testimony.  The Bible clearly names the sins that, when not repented of, bring about church discipline.  Church discipline is always to be done Scripturally, in love, and with repentance/restoration/reconciliation in mind!

1 Corinthians 5:4-7  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,  (5)  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  (6)  Your glorying isnot good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?  (7)  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:  (Sometimes, you just have to let the fire either purge the sinful or destroy them!  Chastening is a sign of sonship and love.)

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