Jude 22-23

Jude   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Isaiah 55:6–7 (NASB95)
6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
Luke 5:31–32 (NASB95)
31 And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.
32 “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 4:17–19 (NASB95)
17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
Luke 15:7 (NASB95)
7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Luke 19:10 (NASB95)
10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Acts 3:26 (NASB95)
26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
Acts 17:30 (NASB95)
30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (NASB95)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
2 Peter 3:9 (NASB95)
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
John 18:9 (NASB95)
9 to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.”
Luke 15 - the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son
Jesus showed mercy by seeking and saving that which was lost. This is the work of God. The redemption of one from error to truth is the business of the Lord. Thus, it is our business as well.
This assumes that we understand that we have truth. That is, we have the Word of God and thus we have the truth. To waver and claim that the Word of God cannot be understood, or to allow for 2 (or more) different interpretations leaves room for a failure to rescue people from error.
Thus, in order to enter into the work of the Lord, we must recognize that people need to be rescued.
In context, we understand that apostates have entered into the church. They have been teaching for some time, at least long enough to have developed a following. Therefore, Jude is writing to the church collectively to "contend for the faith." That is, the church as a whole should rise up against this error and fight against it, and for the truth.
In doing that, the priority is given to maintaining ourselves in the love of God. We must protect and shield ourselves as determined last week. We must not, for any reason, venture outside of the sphere of protection as designed by God for His people. In doing this, however, we must, at times, seek and save the lost. We must desire to take steps to rescue those in the church who are being affected by the apostate. As James said, "My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20).
Our task is important. We are called to carry on the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a Shepherd and as such He sought after His sheep. So must we.
Today we will consider 3 kinds of people we need to rescue and how to do it:
Those who are doubtingThose who are burning.Those who are polluting.
Jude 22 (NASB95)
22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
"And" = significant. All the while that you are building, praying and waiting, be rescuing. Show mercy upon those who are getting drawn into the teaching of the apostate. This demonstrates a very important ministry in the church. We must rescue the confessing Christian from all that defiles. We are our brother's keepers.We must love our brothers and sisters.We must love God and protect His children. "mercy" = Mercy is the reaction toward the plight of another. Justice is getting a just recompense. Mercy is to express, out of emotion and heart-movement, a helping of that person, and not punishment. Mercy seeks to redeem, not condemn. It desires that a person is restored to righteousness, and not left in their sins. Mercy is motivated by love.
Ephesians 2:4 (NASB95)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Review of the idea of mercy:The first idea of mercy is that of Adam and Eve. God demonstrated His mercy toward them by not giving them what they deserved. They sinned.They should have died immediately.They lived to give room for repentance. In the Tabernacle, God gave instructions for Moses to construct the "Mercy Seat."This was where Moses would speak with God and God with Moses. Exodus 25:22 (NASB95)
22 “There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.
Numbers 7:89 (NASB95)
89 Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him.
Why call it a mercy seat? It was the very place where God dwelt. Thus, God is a God of mercy.Also, His judgments, given from His throne, would be mixed with mercy, as He wills.The Psalmist, no doubt referring to the instruction of God's mercy as demonstrated in the Tabernacle, rehearses God's mercy:Psalm 86:15; Psalm 119:156Psalm 145:8-9Paul rehearses the mercies of God in his writings:2 Corinthians 1:3, he calls God "the Father of mercies." Romans 9:15Exodus 33:19LXX uses eleew, = mercy.The idea is that He will relieve judgment upon whom He will, and He will enact judgment upon whom He will. It is His choice!Ephesians 2:4–6 (NASB95)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Titus 3:5–7 (NASB95)
5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Notice Jude 21.
Thus, Jude teaches us to express this mercy of God on behalf of those who are doubting. It would be best to understand that these people are from the standpoint of the apostate. They are doubting the teaching of the apostate, not doubting their faith. This would make more sense in light of the next two categories. They are doubting the error, questioning it but not able ot completely refute it.The next is not doubting, but accepting it.The last is completely receiving it, possibly even teaching it.
Example: John was wavering concerning Jesus-was He the Messiah, or not? v.22
Jude 23 (NASB95)
23a save others, snatching them out of the fire;
There is another group, the burning ones. These are those who, because of the influence of unsound teaching, they are headed the same direction, however they are ignorant of their plight. These do not realize that that apostate they are following is about to be burned, and they are next in line. This is serious."save others" = they are not doubting the teaching, they are accepting it. These folks are actually believing the teaching and moving in the same direction. What does "save" mean? It means to deliver, or to bring to safety from danger. The danger is the error that is damning these believers.The danger is the future judgment. "snatching them from the fire…"This is not a literal fire….yet.When a person is not doubting, but is fully engaged with the error of the apostate, and they return to the truth, then that person has been snatched from the fire. They are pulled out of the situation that is bringing them into the judgment of fire. See Mt. 25:412 Peter 3:7 (NASB95)
7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Those who are polluting: v.22b
Jude 23 (NASB95)
"and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh."
These are those who are closest to the apostate. They may even be teachers. Have mercy with fear = you too may be caught in their error.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
The sense here is Galatians 6:1-2Those brethren who are firm, should approach those brethren who are not. However, they should guard themselves (vv. 20-21) when doing that. These polluting ones are dangerous. It will not be easy.
hating even the garment polluted by the flesh."This is your perspective. You see the sin, error, and the effects of it. But you go in anyway. You need to make accurate assessment of their situation. They are polluted and everything they touch gets dirty. Go in anyway.
Zechariah 3:1-7
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