Scripture Text: Jude 1: 12-19
Introduction: A virus as we’ve seen with the coronavirus pandemic, can start unexpectedly and largely unnoticed at first. Then, the infection spreads from one person to another and then to another, causing illness, panic, and death. It id s dangerous thing requiring study and action to stop its destruction. Viruses of a slightly different sort, but with equal danger, can make their way into churches as well. In fact, such things happen in churches more often than you might expect. Churches, once infected, can become ill, crippled, and, in some cases, die. The book of Jude is written to address the matter of apostasy, false followers who spring up among the faithful, threatening the church with just such as epidemic. This morning, vss. 12-19, we will discover what the virus looks like so we will know it when we see it.
I. A Church Virus Starts Among Those Who Offer Nothing Good To The Body. (vss. 12-13)
A. Jude lays out 5 illustrations form nature that depict those who expose the church to the virus.
- “Dangerous reefs”: A reef is a “shelf of rocks, coral, or sand lying just under the water upon which a ship can be caught and damaged. ( additional scripture references: Acts 2:46, I Cor. 11)
- “Waterless clouds carried along by winds” : where the winds carry away clouds without dropping rain, especially in a drought( additional scripture Prov 13:12).
- “Trees in late autumn” : the leaves look pretty but are actually dying, producing no fruit.
- ” Wild waves of the sea, foaming up their their shameful deeds.” :
- “Wandering Stars” : a wandering star is a reference to a star that has forgotten its place.
B. Notice all these things appear to be something good, but ends up delivering nothing os value at all. There are those who come into churches promising to strengthen it, to offer their gifts for its ministry, but they do not have gifts, and they only bring disappointment and tasks left undone.
II. A Church Virus Is Doomed To Judgement. (vss 14-15).
A.At the time of final judgement the “posers” or liars would be harshly judged for their ungodly works and the misrepresentation they had made about God.
B. Those who trouble the church will be revealed and destroyed.in this passage, Jude is both comforting the church and warning the deceivers. We must be very careful that all we do in the body of Christ edifies and leads to truth rather than to mislead people and bring distrust and trouble. Otherwise, we open ourselves up to judgement and conviction.
III Church Viruses Are Most Often Spread By Ungodly Conversation. (vss. 16-18).
A. In these versus Jude sets out 4 types of dangerous conversations within a church.
- Discontented grumblers” : Grumbling can also be translated as murmuring or complaining and God hates it. (additional scripture Phil. 2:14).
- “Utter Arrogant words” : They speak with pride – the pride that they believe what they are saying is better than what others are saying and they have a right to say it. It is an attempt to show their superiority.
- “Flattering people for their own advantage” : The arrogant people are willing to convince others that, they too, are better than what is being offered.
- “Scoffers” : It is somewhat a repetition of all those already mentioned. It means to insult someone through bitter and ridiculing words. Its is to cast dispersions on someone else’s ideas or actions.
B. Grumbling or complaining in churches takes all these forms – and it always hurts someone!This does not mean you cannot disagree with others or offer other ideas. It means that disagreeing just because you don’t like something or you don’t want anyone telling you what to do or calling you to accountability, is wrong.
Conclusion (vs. 19): Note 2 results of the virus, one bad, one good.
- Divisions: people can’t get along.When any group, family, nation, or church loses unity, it loses power to accomplish its purpose.
- Unbelievers are unmasked: Those people who perpetuate this evil become evident. And the reality that they have worked outside the Holy Spirit is sadly recognized.
Now here is the challenge Jude is setting before us. The church must not excuse such behavior and allow it to continue. They must confront and address it. They must not excuse such behavior and allow it to continue. They must confront and address it. They must humble themselves before God and seek to reunify the body. To run from the body is cowardice, it is leaving a wounded soldier to die rather than nursing it back to health. Then they are to publicly denounce and demand that the troublemakers either cease their grumbling or leave the body. They are disease carriers.
If you want to be a leader in the church, you must pay attention and defend the church carefully, but with a firm hand.