Lifelines:

Jude had his pen prepared and thoughts together when the interruption came. He fully intended to write about their common salvation when a more pressing matter disrupted his plan (Jude 3). The faith was under assault. If its purity was lost the whole plan would begin to teeter and eventually fall. It must be protected.

There had never been anything like it before, and its equal would never be seen again. It was complete and final. It was a once-for-all delivered body of beliefs that must be defended at any cost. There is no need to look for more, and that which we have is deserving of vigorous protection. Christians are to contend for the faith, and it was being undermined.

They were a secretive bunch (Jude 4). They snuck into the church with a plan to destroy her foundations. Their future condemnation was certain, but their immediate impact could be devastating. They were ungodly people who intended to upset the whole apparatus. Left unchecked, they would accomplish their mission. They still will.

They attacked the church from within on at least two fronts; ethical and doctrinal. They took the amazing grace of God and turned it into a license to sin. More sin equals more grace, right? It was a problem that Paul sniffed in the Roman air (Romans 6:1), and addressed. Unwelcome restraints were cast aside. Whatever they wanted to do, they did and taught others to do as well. They were influential and unidentified. No one noticed. Like termites in the basement, the damage was being done undetected.

These stealth missionaries of Satan propagated their destruction with false teachings, too. They denied the Lord. It opens a door that must be kept locked when authority is rejected. The last verse of the book of Judges captures it, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Solomon was exactly right; there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

The same adversaries that threatened the once-for-all delivered faith in the first century still exist. Proponents of new morals and teachers of human doctrines will overthrow any congregation of the Lord’s church if they are not identified and corrected. We must keep both our eyes and our Bibles open to recognize that which endangers the faith that Jesus died for and we live for. Does the faith mean enough to us for us to fight for it?

Call to Praise Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

His word on it: Acts 20:35

Sermon: “Living a Life that God Loves”