What We Should Do About Apostates?
Take your Bibles with me again to the book of Jude. Tonight we are going to finish up this book and go through verses 14-25.
Remember, Jude is all about earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. It is about standing up for the truth against what this little book describes very vividly: apostasy.
Just because someone claims to be a Christian doesn’t mean that he is. Churches are filled with apostates, people who have rejected Christ and don’t really believe the Bible but are still pretending. These people are like Trojan horse terrorists in churches and God is going to judge them.
Most of this book, verses 8-19, do nothing more than describe apostates to us. We’ve looked at these descriptions in detail. Tonight we are going to take one more look at one more description of apostates and then we are going to close up this book by finally talking about what we should do about it.
Let’s get started by reading Verses 14-25
”[Jde 1:14-25 KJV] 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. 17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
This really should be two messages. Verses 14-19 go together and give us one more description of the apostates and verses 20-25 give us some parting instructions. The problem is both of these sermons would be really short by themselves so we are going to look at both things tonight.
First, let’s look at...
One last look at apostates
Verse 14 quotes Enoch, the seventh from Adam. The book of Genesis tells us about Enoch, but doesn’t give us any of his quotes, so where does this come from?
Enoch actually wrote a book. It was called “The Book of Enoch.” And it was very highly regarded by the Jews in the Old Testament and the early Christians. It’s important that we understand that it wasn’t scripture. But it was a book that God used to help people and a book that Jude and his audience knew.
So what did Enoch say in the book of Enoch that Jude quotes? He said “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment up all , and to convince all hat are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed and all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Enoch was a preacher! So what is Jude saying here? He is just reminding us again that these apostates are headed for God’s judgment. He did it in verses 5-7 and he does it again here. They are headed for judgment.
Then in verses 16-19 he gives a final description of these guys. Five final characteristics to look out for. To help us remember, I’m starting them all with the letter M.
First, they are...
1. Murmerers and complainers
Verse 16 says ”These are murmurers, complainers.”
In other words, they are whiney critics. They are nitpickers. They are constantly complaining.
We were talking about murmurers and complainers this morning in Sunday School. Remember the children of Israel who were dissatisfied with Moses and who were murmuring about him - God sent a bunch of snakes to bite them and give them a deadly disease. At one point they complained about the manna and God sent them quail but made the quail taste rotten in their mouth. Another time they murmured and rose up against Moses and God literally sent fire down from heaven to burn them up.
The lesson is clear - God is not big on murmurers and complainers.
As patch the Pirate said
Nobody likes a grumbled, who can’t control his tongue. Nobody likes a grumbler, however old or young, nobody likes a person who will grumble and complain, nobody likes to hear someone who sounds like their in pain.
Being a grumbler and a complainer is a characteristic of a apostate. It isn’t good. So if you are someone who is always criticizing and grumbling and whining about what God has given you then you need to check yourself because that’s not a sign of godliness.
So they are murmurers. Second, they are
2. Moochers (Flatterers)
The second half of verse 16 says:
”and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”
I never understood what this phrase meant until I studied it. It’s simple really, it’s talking about people who mooch up and kiss up to rich, powerful or influential people.
Have you ever met someone who talks completely different around one crowd of people than they do around another?
Oh...I hate this. As a pastor, sometimes I’ll be talking to someone and they will find out I’m a pastor and immediately they start being very fake and phony and talking very religious and it’s like “Dude, you were just talking cussing and bragging about a party, now there is a pastor isn’t he room and you are a holy Joe?”
It’s sad. Don’t put on airs for people. Don’t put on a religious air to go to church. We aren’t a club for moral people we are a clinic for sinners. Just come as you are. Be the same on Monday as you are on Sunday.
Don’t be a moocher. Don’t be a kiss up. Don’t flatter people and change your language to score points with people. Just be who you are.
The third characteristic of apostates here is that they are...
Verse 18 says ”how they told you there should be mockers in the last time.”
These apostates have a tendency to mock true believers. To make fun of them.
2 Peter uses the same Greek word here but calls them “scoffers” instead of mockers. The idea is the same, they are people who make fun of those who walk the truth and teach the truth.
The fourth characteristic is
4. Materialists (walk after their own lusts)
3 times in these verses it refers to this. In verse 16 it says “they walk after their own lists” in verse 19 it calls them “sensual” and in verse 18 it says they walk after their ungodly lusts.
In each case, I don’t think this is talking about sensuality here in the way we think of it. I don’t think this is sexual. That’s already been covered. No I think wheat it is talking about here is that these people don’t live spiritual lives, they live soully lives. They are dominated by their desires.
The motto of these people is “if it feels good, do it.”
Lastly, they are...
5. Mavericks (they separate themselves)
Verse 19 says “they separate themselves.” This is interesting. It’s the only time this particular word is used in the whole New Testament. The idea seems to be that they think they are too a good for other Christians and so they make up their own little cliques that only they are good enough to belong to.
So these are the apostates. I’ve been talking about them for two months and frankly, I’m tired of talking about them. So the question is what do we do about them?
What we should do about them:
Do we launch a crusade? To we have a tribunal and put people out of the church? Do we walk around suspicious of everyone else in the church? What are we supposed to do?
Actually, the answer isn’t to look after