A Vivid Picture of The Impact of False Teaching
The book of Jude is about living for Jesus when others won’t. It is a book that deals with the unpopular topics of apostasy and false teaching and how the people of God should recognize and respond to it. The purpose statement of Jude is clearly set out in verse 3: “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” The whole idea behind the writing of Jude is, There’s a time to fight when we fight right for what is right in the sight of God!
Jude deals with the matter of time (there’s a time to fight), attitude (when we fight right – WHEN and HOW we fight matter) and standard (for what’s right in the sight of God). Our day is a time of extremes when the biblical balance Jude exhibits appears in short supply. A serious struggle is being discussed in the book, and at stake is “the faith once for all delivered.” The problem is the presence of those within who teach by word and deed an alternative version of the faith (see Jude 4). Jude writes out of great love for the bride of Christ and the church’s health as well as out of deep respect for the truth of the gospel.
Jude 12-13 offers five powerful pictures of the impact of false and unhealthy teaching on souls. Collectively, they should grip our attention and motivate us in contending for “the faith that was once for all delivered.”
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Shipwrecked.
“These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves…” (vs. 12). Hidden dangers may lurk in harbors that on the surface seem safe because of self-serving and presumptuous people. See 1 Timothy 1:18-20.
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Dry.
“…waterless clouds, swept along by winds” (vs. 12). Few things can be so disappointing as to desperately need rain and to see clouds in the sky but receive none. False and unhealthy teaching makes bold claims and great promises but leaves one dry. See Proverbs 25:14.
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Empty and Hungry.
“…fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted” (vs. 12). If a teacher is recognized by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20), those who teach what is false and unhealthy are recognized for lacking fruit that truly honors God. Such trees are good for nothing except to be cut down. God will deal with those who lack “fruit;” God will deal with teachers who leave souls empty and hungry!
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Tossed and Ashamed.
“…Wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame” (vs. 13). Like a stormy sea that crashes and spews out foam and debris, such teaching leads people to be “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Much religious error promises security and self-esteem; however, it ultimately unsettles one’s soul and is shameful.
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Directionless and Lost. “…
Wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever” (vs. 13). Not all teachers are “stars” in the sense of helping others see God and His will so as to be able to get home to Him. Not all movement is progress toward God and our ultimate
home! When a person doesn’t hold to the light of Jesus and His gospel, they find only darkness.
Jude through inspiration draws a powerful picture, doesn’t he? Let’s emphasize the truth of God because it’s good, holy, healthy and complete.