Jude wrote this letter to warn believers of false teachers (Colossians 2:4) that were teaching the Christians that they could do what they wanted without fear of reprisal from God. Many believers in todays churches may still act in this manner. We need to heed the warning of these false teachers and of living a false life. Jude 1:1-16 discusses the danger of false teachers. Jude 1:17-25 discusses the duty to fight for God’s truth.
This letter was to encourage believers to action. The Christians needed to recognize and defend themselves against the teachings from these false teachers. How true it is today that believers still need to watch out for false teachings? I want us to focus today on verse twelve of the book of Jude.
“These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear.”
Before believers celebrated the Lord's Supper in the early church, they ate a regular meal prior to communion. This meal was designed to be a sacred fellowship time as the believers prepared their hearts when they partook of the communion. That is why it was called the “feasts of charity” or love feasts. It reminds me of a fellowship dinner on a Sunday afternoon after morning service. Unfortunately, many false teachers joined in these feasts causing the feasts to turn into gluttonous and drunken parties. Many ate most of the food while others went hungry (1 Corinthians 11:20-22).
These people claimed to be Christians but did not live the life of a believer (Philippians 3:19). They were only concerned with their personal desires and not the needs of others. It was as if these false shepherds were more into feeding themselves in lieu of ensuring the flock was fed (2 Peter 2:13). While at these feasts, which were for promoting love and unity among the believers, the false teachers gossiped and slandered any who opposed them. These people were guilty leading others away from God (1 Corinthians 11:27).
These spots can be translated as hidden rocks. And hidden rocks cause many a shipwreck of the faith (1 Timothy 1:19-20). They did not treasure the faith, nor did they did not keep their conscience clear. This led to hardening of their hearts.
“Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds.”
False teachers might look like they are filled with God’s Word, but they are only dry and empty (Proverbs 25:14). They may be dressed in fine clothes, appearing to be pious and they may be eloquent of speech. But they are only pretty and drifting clouds going across the sky (2 Peter 2:17). They appeared to be filled with water but never gave any. Do not get caught up in the ‘wind’ of the false teachers, where we can get carried about in false doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). How many are like Jeremiah, sunk in the mire of a dungeon, where there is no water? (Jeremiah 38:6) A well without water is a dry well. If there is no water, then there is no life. A dry well is a danger to others. We should always look to Christ, the Living Water (John 4:14).
“Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.”
Christ gave a warning about false teachers (Matthew 7:20). Every plant that is not planted by God will be rooted up (Matthew 15:13). If the plant is not fruitful, it will be cursed (Mark 11:12-20). These men were spiritually dead, having returned to their transgressions after knowing of the truth (Luke 9:62). The apostates are dead in sin, and whose bodies will also die. To put it another way, when a person is born once (naturally), that person will die twice (naturally and spiritually). But when a person is born twice (naturally and spiritually), that person will only die once (naturally).
How much do we value the Word of God, church fellowship, and obeying Christ? Numerous false teachers are out there waiting to break down the credibility of the Word of God, the unification of the church body, and our own life which is centered in Christ. We must not allow church functions to be an event to where selfishness, disorder, gluttony, or any sins, to come in and dismantle our church unity or to interfere with the purpose of any church assembly.
The church needs to be reminded of the need for continued vigilance, to remain strong in the faith and to defend itself against heresy.
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