Watch out for Wolves (Jude 11-13)August 14, 2022 | Brandon Cooper
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Well, good morning, if you wanna go ahead, grab your Bibles open up to Jude, it will be in verses 11 to 13. And this morning, Jude 11 to 13. As you’re turning there, I do have one more announcement. I want to bring you this for the men in the church in particular, wanted you to be aware, we are in the process of forming journey groups for this year, and I have a few slots left in the men’s group, I would love to see these groups full. So if you’ve been thinking about this, or if the Spirit is stirring in your heart, even now you’re interested in being a part of these high commitment, high reward discipleship groups, could you let me know kind of a s a p, these are more than worth your time. In fact, I heard a story just this morning, even as the journey group leaders were meeting together of the life change that we see regularly in Journey groups. This was someone sharing that their child was seeing them as a college student or whatever, watching these journey groups seeing the change happen in their parents life and thinking, I want to be a part of a group like that. And that was a huge part in this student’s own spiritual growth. So we’re talking not just change in your life, but generational change as well. That is certainly what we want to see. So as I said, just let me know if you’re interested in that these groups are forming even this week. So Jude 11 to 13. Let’s dig in. If you’re not there already, keep turning there. It’s very near the end of your Bible. I’ll say that just before revelation. You’ve heard comments like these maybe in the movies or TV show, maybe in real life. Watch out for her. I think she’s only dating you for your money. The new manager Yeah, he seems nice and all that but I heard he’s planning to fire all of us just as soon as he’s established and gets in good with the board. I thought this guy was my friend. Turns out though, he’s been hitting on my girlfriend this whole time. What all those have in common they are all that ubiquitous wolf in sheep’s clothing. charming, charismatic, Sly, manipulative, and dangerous, ever so dangerous, and always has been wolf in sheep’s clothing is not a new thing that didn’t happen in 20th century. You know, the phrase wolf in sheep’s clothing is actually Jesus’s coinage. He’s one who came up with that one, it’s Matthew seven. He’s talking about the false teachers of that day. He says this Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they’re ferocious wolves. By their fruit, you will recognize them to people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles. Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Now, this is not Jude’s language in our passage this morning, but this is very much Jude’s topic. In our passage this morning. This is his point. In fact, our main idea I’ve kept it as simple as I could as the title of that sermon. Also, watch out for wolves. Just watch out for wolves they are around and what does a wolf bring to a flock Exactly?
Nothing good. They’re only there to take and destroy in the process. And that’s what we’ll see. So let’s dig into Jude first point. Wolves want something we see that in Jude 11 Let me read it for us now. Woe to them. They’ve taken the way of Cain they’ve rushed for profit into Baylands error. They have been destroyed in Cora’s rebellion. So Jude is speaking still of these false prophets, false teachers who have secretly slipped in among Jude’s congregation, ungodly people who pervert the grace of God and to license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ are only sovereign. And Lord. What does he have to say to them, he opens with a Whoa. And whoa, the Hebrew word boy, is a prophetic sort of word. The fact that Jude says This means he is self consciously adopting the role and authority of an Old Testament prophet. That is, this section right here is God, Thus saith the LORD feel to it. And as he’s done, the four Jude references, three Old Testament passages, and by way of illustration, and that’s what we have in this first and he’s going to apply it to the false teachers in the verses to come. These are very short he did this once before three examples, but he took some time he kind of explained the background for you. There’s no background here. This is get out here, concordance, look up the verse kind of a list that he gives us. But what’s interesting about these three men that he mentions is all three are famous for being false teachers. And last week, we were talking about the fact that they were false livers like they lived immorally. This week, though, it’s the fact that they are false teachers and in so doing, they lead others astray. So first, they We’ve taken away of Cain. Now, Cain, we tend to think of as the first murderer more than being a false teacher, there weren’t that many people around to teach actually, there was four of them and he killed one. So, you know, it’s just his parents at that point. Yes, he was the first murderer. But among the Jewish commentators of that day, he was famous for being the first heretic as well. Why? Because think about what happens with Cain. So Abel brings his offering and the Lord looks on it with favor because it has his first and best. And then Cain brings his moon, whatever, you can just kind of have some lot of lessons to be learned about giving in that story, of course, but more important for us today is what God says next, God sees the NBN canes heart comes to him and says, this is again the Lord speaking directly to Cain, why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you but you must rule over it. That’s the word of the Lord to Cain, how does Cain respond? He promptly murders his brother didn’t get the message safe to say. So what just happened then that means he rejected God’s word, and sort of implicitly rejected the idea of judgment. So what if I don’t do anything about it? What are you going to do, then? Lord? He is the first example the story I shared last week of my one daughter, who when quite small, used to say, I do what I do. And that’s what Cain is saying here. Sorry, Lord, I do what I do.
The Jerusalem target, which was a famous commentary on genesis of this day, has Cain saying this. So this goes beyond what Scripture says. But it’s the idea of Cain, that he is going around afterwards saying, there is no judge, there is no future life, there is no reward for the righteous, and there will be no judgment imposed upon the wicked, and so he incites others to flaunt God’s standards. And there is some biblical warrant for thinking of Cain this way because a few generations later we get a descendent of Cain Lamech who also kills somebody who’s a bigger myths as well but he then murder somebody and what does he say if Cain was avenge seven times llama Colby avenge 77 times I’m a better than Cain when it comes to sin, he has been incited. So taking the way of Canaan means convincing people to sin without fear of judgment. And that is what our false teachers have done here, encouraging sexual immorality among the congregation second, then they have rushed her Prophet into begums error. balem story comes from the book of Numbers, he’s paid handsomely, by a king of the Moabites named Bayla, who pays him to curse the Israelites. And he’s going to be paid handsomely to do this. So you’re getting money for false teaching. So there’s the rushing for profit into Bay loans air now it is true if you’ve read this story, that he actually refuses to curse the Israelites. He keeps getting up there and he says, I’m just going to speak what God says. And so he keeps blessing the Israelites instead. So maybe this doesn’t make sense, except that later tradition has balem instructing be like, Look, I can’t curse them, okay. But if you want him to be cursed, all you have to do is get them to sin. Get them to fall into sexual immorality and idolatry. That’s it and so, in later tradition, he actually has him encouraging the Moabite women slug the prettiest Moabite women send them into the Israelite camps scantily clad or better yet not clad at all. And watch what happens. They will intermarry. And then the Israelite men will begin worshipping the Moabite God the bale of peyote again scriptural warrant for thinking that this is what happens. Here’s numbers 31 Verse 16. Speaking of those Moabite women, it says this, they were the ones who followed valiums advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the payor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. So to rush for profit and debate, alums error then as to entice God’s people to sexual sin and idolatry, for profit for money. Now, what money are these false teachers getting in Jude state? Well, they’re probably itinerant preachers, so they’re taking that freewill offering in the middle of the service kind of thing. So they’re getting paid for their services. And then they’ve been destroyed in Cora’s rebellion. Cora is the original schismatic, which matters because we’re actually going to hit divisive Nick’s divisiveness in our passage next week. So Cora is the one who, in those wilderness days denies Moses’s authority. And importantly, he does so right on the heels of the Israelites receiving God’s law. So there are many who think that he rejects Moses has authority because he finds the law of God to be burdensome and unjust. So it doesn’t like God’s law. What does he do? He rejects God’s authority, and the authority that God has placed over him and makes himself and authority instead. This is a really common tactic among false teachers, though, it is the leveling of divinely established hierarchy. And God established his hierarchy and all sorts of places. But this is the it’s the says who question, when in doubt, you know, if you want your view to prevail, instead of the authorities view says who? Who are you to tell me what to think or how to live? This is an especially tempting tactic for us today. Because we live in an egalitarian society. We live in a democracy, alright. And so there is not a sensible The King is actually better than we are quite the contrary. And it’s everywhere in our society, like we’ve seen in just recent years, even the death of expertise, because there are no experts anymore, because Google was the only expert you need. And so long as you read one article that confirms what you already think you are now an expert in that field. You remember in 2020, when everybody was an epidemiologist? Yeah, I got news for you. None of you epidemiologist. Okay. So like, but that’s the problem. We all think that way, right? Now, everybody knows about how to classify documents and how to retain classified and top secret documents, right? We all learned that this week. We are now all experts in that field of law. Because it showed up on my Facebook feed, the depth of expertise, the mistrust of institutions that comes along with that you trust the government much you trust media much? What about the church? Lots of reasons not to trust the church to so each of us now believes whatever is right in our own minds. But God establishes authority for a reason not perfect authority, not by any means. But this is this is just a good reminder for us a reminder about authority. Can I speak to young people, especially because young people always have a problem with authority. It’s just part of growing up in some ways. Like how many times you’re tempted to go to your parents and say, you know, so and so said such and such, that contradicts what you just told me. So I don’t need to listen to you, as my teacher said this, or I read this somewhere, or whatever else it is. We don’t really outgrow that mentality, though. Do we? Like I know, we make fun of teenagers. We’re all just teenagers with gray hair, aren’t we?
You don’t like your pastor, which I completely understand, by the way, like you are justified in that. You don’t like your pastor and fine again, just get on Google, you will find somebody to dispute everything I’ve ever said to you. No problem. But the issue, of course, is that God is not a fan of this. He makes very clear to the Israelite community that Moses is his guy. How clear? Well, it’s this spectacular judgment on Quora, which is why Cora’s judgment is mentioned specifically, we don’t talk about what happened to Cain, or balem. But we mentioned the judgment on Quora because the earth swallows him up. And so it is, again, this example of the judgment to come. We’re gonna see this some more in the next section, but it’s clear already, right? Wolves want something. Wolves have an angle. They’re not disinterested. They’re definitely after something that you have money, sex power. More recently, and we can certainly think of some famous scandals in the Evangelical Church recently fame. Is that idea building a platform, that sense of significance that attaches to but imagine looking at your congregation as though they are a means to you making your name. Great. That’s wolfish, isn’t it? But that’s what we see over them. Like I heard this story recently. Some of you probably did, too, because the podcast was like top 10 podcast in the country for a while about a guy who wanted to have the biggest church in the country so that when the next president got inaugurated, he’s the one who’d get to say the prayer does not have good reason to be a pastor. And scarily, he’s still pastoring. There are wolves among us. Would balem have acted? If he weren’t greedy? No. Why would he have gotten up and the donkey kept stopping anyway, like, forget it. This isn’t worth my time. You think Cora didn’t have someone in mind to lead next? I don’t think Moses should be in charge. But I know somebody who would be good at this. Even Cain acts out of envy. He hated that God looked on someone else with favor. He wanted approval. It’s important to see this upfront, by the way, because it helps level the playing field. Because we tend to want the same things don’t we? Like I can speak very openly here. I got no problem. say this in front of you. I felt envy for other pastors, for sure. Bigger churches, bigger platforms, all those kinds of things. I don’t think there’s ever been a moment in my life where I thought I deserved earn more money living on the mission field in particular. Yep, had that thought. And all those times when I wasn’t the senior leader, I was pretty sure I would be a better leader than whoever was in charge. Like this just happens, right? So here’s what I’m saying. Watch out for wolves. Yes. But watch out for the lupine tendencies in your own heart. Also, he says, Pogo famously said, we have met the enemy, and it is us. Wolves want something. Second, though, they want something they bring nothing. That’s verse 12. Let’s keep reading. These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualms shepherds who feed only themselves, their clouds without rain blown along by the wind, Autumn trees without fruit and up rooted twice dead. So here’s the thing at this point in history, we are mostly cynics. And for good reason. We know the wolves want something. So why do we keep opening the door to them? It’s because they promised something. And that’s something sounds really good. Like you watch Khan Movies ever Ocean’s 11, the sting or something like that, you know, they always talk about the unsuspecting mark. But there is a rule among con artists that the mark is never unwilling. The mark is always a willing participant in the con. Why? Because something’s being promised. Like you know, somebody that young is not interested in you romantically. But it’s still kind of thrilling. Or let’s take a spiritual example. You know, the faith healer is a charlatan.
But you got that moment of hope that that chronic pain is gonna be over at last. And so you show up and you give your money still. That’s why we open the door because wolves promise but here’s the thing. Merritt already said it for us wolves over promise and under deliver. That’s part of what makes you a wolf in the first four metaphors for these false teachers makes that clear. So let’s look at them one at a time. First of all, they are blemishes at your love feast eating with you without any qualms two questions upfront about this one, what exactly is the translation here? And two, what is the love feast? Anyway? I mentioned the translation because about three quarters of you are really happy with what I just said. And a quarter of you are looking down at your Bible, which is a different translation going. It doesn’t say blemishes. It says who’s got it. Anyone in the ESV? Hidden reefs Thank you hidden reefs. So is it blemishes or reefs because those are not the same word that’s not translating the same thing or anything like that. There’s a reason for this, the word that’s used is in fact hidden reefs. So why blemishes they sound really, really similar. And I haven’t gotten into this because this is a sermon series in Jude and not a class on Jude. But Jude and Second Peter overlap significantly, like Second Peter either quotes a lot of Jude or Jude, like condenses a lot of Second Peter, they’re borrowing from each other some how. And in second, Peter, the word is blemishes, you kind of go it sounds like that. And then second, Peter is this let’s go with this one. Good arguments, most commentators think that hidden reefs is actually right, again, both makes sense. There’s something bad at your love feasts, we can agree on that. I do think hidden reefs is probably the better translation because again, that’s what the word means. And it’s that whole idea again, of over promising under delivering because you’re sailing into the bliss of this safe harbor. And then all of a sudden your ship runs aground and you sink within sight of shore. So that’s the translation piece. But then second, what are love feasts? translates a GAAP AES literally. So you’ve heard the word of God, they probably Greek word for love, usually used of God’s love God so loved the world, he so agape did the world. So at your agape bays, what exactly is that it’s your communion service, the time where you break bread, and drink wine together. But here’s the thing, and this is proof, by the way that the early church were, in fact, Baptists, this was a full meal back then. So if you’re gonna take communion, this needs to be a potluck. Okay? So that’s how they did it. But that does mean there are some potential issues there. If you kind of turn this into a feast, Paul mentions the sorts of issues that happen. Here’s First Corinthians 11. So then when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers as a result, one person remains hungry, and another gets drunk. Proof by the way, that they were reformed Baptists and not the other kind of Baptists because there’s no wine at a Baptist potluck. Can you get an amen? So you put these two ideas together, though, what do you have? So there are a hidden danger at communion services because they are enticing others to sensual indulgence, right at the moment when you’re supposed to be confessing their sin. and being nourished by the grace of God rehearsing gospel truths. Maybe they’re getting drunk. Maybe they’re hitting on the ladies present. I don’t know what’s happening. It doesn’t say we just know something is happening at these love feasts. And whatever is happening as they’re rehearsing gospel truth, their conscience is not pricked, because their consciences at this point have been seared. They don’t feel anything anymore. And that’s a grave danger. It’s a grave danger, though this is the reef part. It’s a grave danger for those around you also, because seeing others sin without fear of judgment, makes it easier for us to sin without fear of judgment to this is the middle school boy phenomenon, right? So you go to throw rocks at a factory window or something like that, you would never throw the rock. But somebody else throws it first. And then somebody else throws the second one. Then there’s the third one, the by the fifth one, you’re like, well, whatever Windows already broken, might as well participate. That’s what’s happening at these love fees, blemishes, hidden reefs at communion. Second, there are shepherds who feed only themselves by late shepherds who feed only themselves, we could just call that a wolf, right? So that’s where the wolf language is coming from here, because they’re not there to attend the flock, but to take from the flock. They’re not pouring themselves out, but instead are gorging themselves on the sheep before them. A shepherd scripturally speaking has a job description. It’s all throughout Scripture. Like you’re supposed to lead the flock, feed the flock, protect the flock care for the flock.
But wolves aren’t doing any of that. You bring enough and they’re just taking. So Ezekiel 34, which Jude almost certainly has in mind as he’s writing this, he knows the Old Testament very well, we’re gonna see that. Throughout this morning, he writes this, this is his eagle. prophesying again about these false shepherds at this time, whoa, to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves. You’re almost quoting this right? Should not shepherds take care of the flock. You eat the Kurds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. So the sheep are just a means for your gratification. And as a result of the passage that Kyle read for us earlier, God promises to save the flock himself and descend a better Shepherd, that son of David to care for them. Here’s the thing. The false teachers that Jude’s talking about, they know who Jesus is, like, they should know that he is the good shepherd. And they know how Jesus shepherded his people that he spent himself for their sake, to care for them, and that we’re called to follow him but none of that, none of that for them. They’re there for themselves. Two more metaphors. These next two especially show the broken promises again, it’s that you go to the faith healer, you put your offering in and you walk away, you’re still in chronic pain or you you send your seed money to the televangelists on TV and you’re still broke a year later, when you get into the person who’s been talking to you this whole time and have sex outside of marriage only to discover you feel less loved than you did beforehand. That’s the broken promises we get here clouds without rain blown along by the wind blown along by the wind is never a good thing in Scripture. That means you’re not grounded in the face. Paul talks a lot about this like you get tossed back and forth like waves every passing breeze that’s not what you want to be. But the clouds that rain it’s a little tricky for us because most of the time we want clouds without rain, don’t we? We want blueberry picking on Wednesday hit the beach afterwards. We’re checking the weather. You know what we were hoping those clouds didn’t have rain in them. What’s the one time you actually want the clouds to have rain? When your grass is brown, and your gardens dying. So like yesterday was a good example. But I got a garden. And so I was thinking to myself, clouds all day disappointed at the end of the day never rained in Lombard and ran on what it did here. So now I gotta go out and water. Okay, so what I’ve got some pot, we got some cucumbers or some like this is just fun for us. Now imagine that your life literally depended on whether or not your garden grows. Like imagine that you live in an agrarian culture on the edge of a desert. So if moisture laden wind doesn’t blow from the West, and instead it’s coming up from the southeast, which is off the desert. There’s no rain. No, there’s no rain, there’s no crop. And if there’s no crop, you’ve got a short bit of time until you are in famine conditions. And that’s devastating. And there’s no 401 K to save you at this point. By the way, just contrast that with the Word of God. Passage Merritt actually prayed us through Isaiah 55 God’s word His thoughts are above our thoughts is where you know all that. It says his word is not Turn to Him empty but fulfills the purpose which He sends it. You know what that purpose is? You keep reading and it’s this image of the desert bursting into bloom. What happens when the rain actually falls? But that’s not what we have here. Dude, he knows his old testament well, so he’s drawing from Proverbs 25 Verse 14, like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given. You said that another way over promise and under deliver. That’s what’s happening here still happens, doesn’t it wolves among us, I think of Elizabeth Holmes and thrown us this company that had promised something amazing, revolutionary new blood testing, just a finger prick is all you would need, and it was going to detect the diseases early on, it was going to save lives. Investors got really excited patients who were suffering got really excited, except it was all a lie. None of this technology existed. That’s a wolf. That’s a cloud without rain, defrauded investors of money and patients of hope.
Do you think about it again, the investors lost money. This is money. Like it’s not like it’s not a big thing that might be people’s security. Sure, but there’s money. Even these patients were talking about life, physical life, but here what Jude is talking about as souls, he’s talking about eternity he’s he’s got people speaking in the name of God, purportedly not actually Of course, promising the gifts that only God can give like change and blessing and hope and joy. And nothing comes in been defrauded of spiritual life. And in that they’re like trees without fruit. Trees without fruit are useless. They’re good for nothing. So again, more gardening stories for you. I blame the heat in June and the fact that we’ve had a lot of clouds without rain this year. I got no blueberries and no raspberries this year. Gran mattina hooked me up thankfully with some new raspberry bushes hopefully next year I’m gonna be doing better but again, this doesn’t matter. Right? It means after mowing the lawn I couldn’t just walk over to my raspberry bushes and get you know that sweet tart. Something to sate the thirst from and if I really want raspberry then go to Aldi. If Aldi isn’t ham, I can go to June July and I got pizza I got Mariano’s. I got Whole Foods. I’ve got raspberries available to me, I don’t depend on my garden to feed me. But if I did, what do you do with a tree that doesn’t bear fruit? At a certain point you go take it out, chop it up, I’m gonna burn in the fire and we’re putting in a tree that hopefully will bear fruit. It’s exactly what Jesus says we already quoted Matthew seven. They’re like wolves in sheep’s clothing, right? And you know that the good tree bears good fruit, the bad tree bears bad fruit. And then he says this just a verse later, every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. That’s why they’re being up rooted. So they can be burned so you can plant something else in their place. It’s also what the phrase twice dead gets out there, which also comes after up rooted in the original texts. So trees without fruit. twice dead, uprooted. twice dead, meaning they die twice a day physically, yes, we all do. But then they die spiritually as well as they’re judged at the end of time they die eternally. So this should warn us this is the passage of warning us of judgment. But I’m looking out at the congregation and very few of you are false teachers. Because you’re not teachers for the most part. So what exactly do you care? What’s your so what here if you’re not a false teacher currently, I think they’re two things before we move on to the last point. First thing to take away from this is don’t participate in the con. Don’t be a willing mark. Because you want what somebody is promising you go ahead and listen to what Jesus promises you because it is actually better. We just sang that. I don’t know if you meant it or not. Jesus is better. Now Jesus promised us some rough things in this world. You will have trouble promise of God cling to that one. Like he said, the road is narrow. It’s often uphill. It can be difficult there will be suffering although that suffering will do some good in your life. Listen to what Jesus promised and if somebody else is promising you something else. It’s a wolf. It’s a wolf. Okay, so if they’re promising you see, you know, like short, fast, easy and the blessings of the next life in the here and now in their fullness, things like health and wealth. Ron, don’t be a willing, Mark. Second thing for you, is even if you’re not a shepherd, this is important. You are still called to feed this flock. Because this is your church, you have been called to serve the people in this room like Ephesians four right after Paul says we’re not going to be blown about anymore like a cloud without rain. What does he say? Instead speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become an all respects and mature body of Him who is the head. Jesus Christ then goes on to say, the whole body grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. This is important because you know, the language we often use about going to church. It’s cheap language. I came to get fed. And so why do people leave churches? I felt like it wasn’t getting fed. Okay. And that’s significant. Like it is my job to feed you for sure. If you’re not getting nourished by the Word of God, fire me, please. But you also come to feed each other, to encourage one another to serve one another to minister to one another.
All right, so wolves wants something they bring nothing. And then lastly, wolves destroy everything. Verse 13. Let’s finish up the passage. They are wild waves of the sea foaming up their shame wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved for ever. So I said in the last section that the wolves bring nothing but that’s not actually true. The wolves bring something it’s just not good. They bring death and destruction, sorrow and suffering. We see that these last two metaphors, they are wild waves of the sea. dredging up filth. The word that’s used here is not shame. But shames which we don’t really use in English is why it’s not translated that way. But But shameful things is the idea of wicked deeds. In fact, that’s exactly what the passage Judas drawing from a says This is Isaiah 57 Verse 20. Again, Jude knows his old testament Well, here’s what he’s thinking of as he writes this, but the wicked, the wicked, are like the tossing See, which cannot rest whose waves cast up mire and mud, the fruit of wickedness. The point here is you can’t hide it forever. Eventually, that filth lands on the beach, where spiritual vacationers are seeking rest and restoration. And instead, they got to pack up their bags because that stuff stinks. Even worse, these false teachers are like wandering stars. And why is this so bad? Because in the days before GPS, you use the stars to locate yourself. In so many ways, we are adrift on a spiritual ocean, in this world desperate for guidance. How am I gonna get my bearings? If I can’t see land? If there’s no you look up, you look at the stars. This is why the ancient world was adamant that stars should behave themselves. And they do of course, the stars move in very regular patterns. And they figured those patterns out early on, but they couldn’t account for the planets. Because the planets of course, a lot closer to us also orbiting the sun. And so they move in weird ways. You know, it’s so interesting, actually, I should qualify that. This is really interesting to me. I don’t know if this is interesting you the word wander in this passage is plan a tie. As in, we get our word planet from the Greek word for wander, because the planets don’t go where they’re supposed to go. So that’s the image that’s being used here. Now by Jude’s day, they understood this, the ancients were not stupid. They were every bit as smart as we are. They just had 2000 fewer years of accumulated knowledge and wisdom to work with. They’re alive today. They’d be founding Tesla also, okay, like they were bright people. They figured out what the planets were doing eventually, but there’s a lore had still grown up around them and both pagan and Jewish cultures that it was evil angels are evil deities that were messing with the planets and fast. In fact, first Enoch, which was a very popular one work from around this time. We know Jude knew this work, for reasons you’ll see next week, NACA spoil for you, okay. But in first Enoch, these evil angels get judged by being held in blackest darkness forever, basically, why? It’s because they didn’t arrive punctually. They weren’t where they were supposed to be in the sky. That’s the image that’s being used here. Exactly. But anyway, all that background information, the idea is clear. People are looking to these teachers for guidance, and instead they’re being led astray. They’re not where they’re supposed to be. They’re not pointing where you’re supposed to go. And so they’re being doubly judged because not only are they walking in the wrong direction, but they’re leading others behind them. You know, you’re at the National Parks. You see the ranger with the hat and the badge and everything like that. He says, The trails this way and he leads you right off a cliff. Like that’s what’s happening here. But this happens, certainly, today. When you go to people for spear To guidance, not everyone speaks truth. You go to someone easily today and say I’ve got these urges. I don’t know what to do with them. And you will hear from many people just given. If it feels good, do it. Whatever makes you happy, right? God wouldn’t give you desires if he didn’t want you to live them out. Of course, that doesn’t account for the fact that sin has twisted our desires like everything else in us. And how contrary that is to the words of Jesus who said things like, deny yourself, safe to assume that includes desires you get that wolves are here.
It’s not just teachers, though it is all of us who are called to be the opposite. We didn’t flip Ian’s this spring, wood impulse and Philippians were supposed to shine like stars in the sky, as we hold firmly to the word of life, and hold the Word of Life out to others. Why? Because it’s the guidance. Here’s the direction, here’s where you go. Daniel 12 three, which is what Paul’s referencing in that passage. And Philippians it says this, this is this is our goal. Those who are wise, will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, leading guidance, like the stars forever and ever. So it’s leading others in the path of righteousness that makes us shine like stars. That’s not what our false teachers are doing, though. Wolves promise a lot, but they deliver absolutely nothing good, only evil all the time. They are charming. They whisper sweet nothings and spiritual sounding mumbo jumbo and they smile broadly. But in doing so they bear their fangs. They don’t love you. They don’t want what’s best for you. They’re after something. They have an angle. Why does this matter? Why are we talking about this? Why are we injured because wolves are still around today. And not just in the church. I’m happy to talk about the wolves in the church. I’ve hit some already, but they are everywhere in our culture. And so here’s my question for you guys today. Like this is the question I want you to leave with who is shepherding you really? Who is shepherding? You really? Are you a willing mark? Are you eagerly listening maybe even paying for what will destroy you? I could ask it another way. Are you being discipled by culture instead of the church? Because let’s just stack up time here for a moment. Let’s say you show up every week to this service, which is not true of most of us in this room. But let’s say we we never met two weeks of vacation nothing else we’re here all the time. That’s a good 100 minutes let’s say and let’s say you are in the Word of God 20 minutes every day without fail McCown parents ever talk about your time in the word right? 20 minutes without fail. That’s awesome. That is 240 minutes of the Word of God. You watch that much TV in a day possibly. Throw in social media. Radio, what you read all that kind of stuff like it doesn’t even compare think about how much time you spend in front of TVs, social media, TV, music ads, nevermind the influence of the people around you who are not following Jesus at school? At work? Who’s discipling you when it comes to politics? Is it daily wire and Fox News or MSNBC and Axios? How do you come to the Word of God first, and then sift all that through the filter of the word which by the way means they’re missing about half the stuff you need to be thinking about and any issue just about guaranteed? What about sexuality? Are you just absorbing this like by osmosis from the music you listen to? And the media you pop yourself in front of? Are you getting your vision of the good life from Proverbs and the lesson of Ecclesiastes and the epistles are from the billboards you drive by on your way to work and the ads that pop up all the time on your phone? And why does it matter so much that we ask these questions because the world cannot deliver on its promises? You don’t want to be like that bankrupted and still unhealed guy. The world promises you peace with low low price 2995 a month. But that peace is dependent on circumstances. Circumstances over which you have almost no control. The world promises love and then it teaches you that love is quid pro quo. It’s contractual, not covenantal which means that person that you love as soon as they get a better bid from someone else they’re cancelled. In the contract and moving on, and you will feel even less loved than before the world promises significance if you’ve got the talent, experienced the education, the mind, and also, by the way, the opportunity because there are plenty of people in the world who got sharper minds than we do, who have no chance of living the lives we have. So it promises you that significance, but only until your husband tell you’re not keeping up with the technology anymore. Till your music is out of style. I always find obituaries fascinating.
Because they’ll tell you what somebody did. And we live to a ripe old age and you realize, I don’t care about any of this. Like I remember reading obituary once for a guy who was the best selling author, I’d never heard his name. Like he was still alive in my lifetime. There’s your significance that the world offers you the world promises salvation, sure, but you have to earn it. You better measure up and you certainly better not mess up. And if you do God who doesn’t exist help you if you mess up, because there’s no hope of redemption, you’re gonna have to do that on your own. Also, the world promises hope, a fresh start a second chance. Problems, that’s only a feeling. There’s no power for change in that, because you’re still you and that hope is grounded in nothing. The world is clouds without rain and trees without fruit and will break your heart and kill your soul. Pie because the thief the wolf comes to steal and destroy. But there is another option, thank God. Here’s Jesus again, John 10. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy I have come that they may have life and have it to the fool. There’s a promise. pet is a cloud packed with rain, a tree that is bearing immense fruit, the Good Shepherd. He says I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. It doesn’t take he doesn’t destroy he gives and he’s willing to be destroyed for the sake of the sheep. You want guidance. Here’s the one who said I am the way and the truth and the life you want fruit. He sends His Spirit to indwell you that you bear the fruit of the Spirit love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. You want water? What does he say to the Samaritan woman drink this water you’ll never thirst again. hope, joy, peace, love salvation are secure in him. It’s guaranteed, because he’s already one heaven for us at the cross and the empty tomb. life might be hard. Now sure. It’s true in this world, you’ll have trouble. But Jesus says, you carry your burden. Come to me because my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. You know what’s fascinating about a yoke, it rests across two oxen. You know, Jesus is saying if the burden is light, the yoke is easy because he is carrying it. Like you’re just strapped in for the ride kind of thing. He carries that burden to the cross he gets the punishment, we get the joy. So let me give you the graphic image just as we leave the choice that is before you even today. On the one side behind door number one, you got the guy in a weird mask, kind of Little Red Riding Hood style like really long and sort of hairy snout. He’s got blood dripping from his mouth, and your friend is laying dead at his feet molded innards ripped out. And the guy is they’re gonna have no idea what happened. It’ll never happen again. I promise. Next to him is Jesus. arms outstretched. And you know what, there’s blood dripping from him to put it’s not your friend’s blood. It’s his it’s dripping from his brow in from his hands and from his feet. Why is he did that for you? Because he doesn’t need anything from you. He’s not here to take anything from you. He is here to give you everything. Watch out for wolves who will destroy you but embrace the Good Shepherd instead. embrace Jesus, let’s pray. Father, we are all too aware that there are many in this world who would seek to destroy us maybe not even intentionally, but just while trying to feed themselves and win for themselves the happiness they seek who will happily destroy those around them. exploit them, use them abused them. It’s true. Among authorities, it is true even in the church, Lord, and so open our eyes to see when wolves are here to prey upon us and open our eyes to see the good shepherd instead. All that he offers and remembering that he delivers on all of his promises all your promises. is our yes and amen in Christ Jesus and help us to choose wisely each time that choice is before us we ask in Christ’s name amen
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