This teaching was given by pastor Barry Forder on 14th March 21 as part of Calvary Portsmouth’s on-line family service.
Jude has been detailing the characteristics of the apostates who have crept into the church.
In the previous study he has explained they have no regard for authority, and then how they are like Cain, thinking they can come to God in way they choose, and in so doing they reject His Word.
They have run greedily in the way of Balaam, seeing ‘ministry’ as an opportunity to gain whatever material pleasures they desire; and they have sought position and recognition from man in the same way as Korah.
Now Jude builds on this and tells us they are also like hidden rocks under the surface of the water, who by their conduct damage others morally, making shipwreck of their faith.
They also care nothing for others, but rather seek to cherish and serve themselves; their fleshly appetites governing their actions.
They are as clouds without water, drawing people to them, but never able to satisfy.
They are carried about of winds, blown to and fro with every wind of doctrine – Eph 4:14
They are as autumn trees whose fruit is withered, always taking in but never producing fruit.
They are dead to the things of God, having been plucked up leaving no root to go down into the soil of God’s Word.
They are loud and brash like a roaring wave, but accomplish nothing of value. Instead, they ‘foam out’ shameful deeds.
Like a meteorite that shines brightly for a moment they are here then gone, not able to remain in a fixed orbit and held by the gravity of the Sun.
Jude then brings our attention to the fact that these apostates are not new. They existed in the days of Enoch before the Flood, when men began to turn away from God. In response, God raised up a prophet, Enoch, a teacher of righteousness, to prophesy of their end. Enoch’s prophecy is one of the oldest in Scripture and prophesies of the second coming of Jesus, when He will return with a heavenly multitude to bring judgment on this unbelieving and Christ rejecting world.
These apostates are murmurers, complainers who walk after their own lusts. They speak ‘great swelling words’ to impress men, but they do not have the Spirit of God within them – so in the words of Jeremiah, ‘what wisdom do they have?’ (Jeremiah 8:9).
So, what to we do with this comprehensive list?
We use it to look in the mirror to see if any of these things can be seen in us, and if so, come repentantly before the LORD and seek his mercy (to forgive us) and grace (to impart in us the Fruit of His Spirit).
…and of course, with this list we will be much better equipped to spot the truth from the error and the wheat from the tares!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.