Sermons & Sunday Schools

Book of Jude

Contending for the Faith: The Characteristics of False Apostate Teachers, Part 4

In this sermon, Pastor Joe Babij pauses his examination of the book of Jude to consider more generally why God judges people at all and judges them so harshly. Many, especially false teachers, would like to dismiss the idea of judgment, but Pastor Babij explains using various Scriptures, why God’s judgment is justified in light of both general and special revelation:

1. God’s General Revelation
1a. All people have the witness of conscience
1b. All people have the witness of creation
2. God’s Special Revelation
2a. God acted to make Himself known in the Bible
2b. God acted to make Himself known in the person of Jesus Christ

Full Transcript:

Let’s take our Bibles this morning and turn back to the epistle of Jude. And also I’ll be looking at other texts this morning, Romans chapter 1. Let’s pray. Lord, this morning I do thank You for Your word. I thank You, Lord, that we’re able to open it up, see it with our own eyes. And I pray, Lord, this morning as we consider the subject of judgment, that You would just show us that because You are Lord and Creator, that You are also the judge of all men. And I pray, Lord, that today we would humble ourselves under Your mighty hand. Take us, Lord, and use us to understand the truth, to apply it to ourselves, and then to live it out in our life. And I pray this in the precious name of Christ. Amen.

Okay, we’ve been looking at Jude. Remember when Jude started writing, his original intention was to write on common salvation, but he heard about false teachers. And he thought that the church needed a word of rebuke and warning, and that’s what he does in Jude. So it’s a timely book even for us today. It’s a book that really shoots from the hip, and it really motivates Christians to be awake, to be discerning, to know their Bibles, to live their Bibles, to understand doctrine and what the Lord wants for them, because it is all in Scripture. So Jude really was calling the faithful to go to war, to go to war against intruders who have come to the church, to go to war with those who are false teachers and those who reject the truth and manipulate the truth and twist the truth. So if we are to be content with God’s Word and contend for the faith, then we must grow in our understanding of the truth.

And in these latter days in which we live, we should be able to successfully identify false apostate teachers whenever and wherever they show up. And the five characteristics of false teachers that I’ve been mentioning in Jude 1, verses 8 onward, was that we saw the pride of false apostate teachers. We saw the profound resemblance of these present-day teachers to Old Testament apostates because things have really not changed. Satan still has the same toolbox, and he still brings out the same stuff today, but he twists it a little bit. And then we saw the portrait of these exemplified and how they looked.

This morning I’m just going to begin to look at the punishment that they earn, the judgment, in other words, on the ungodly false apostate teachers. So the subject of judgment and punishment, again, is brought to our attention. And I will come back to this text next week, but this morning I want you to focus in on verse number 15. It says,

to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

And I want you to notice what it says there. Now, as we read this text, we notice that the word all is used and the word ungodly is used four times. Jude is stressing a point. Right now, this also gives us an understanding that false teaching leads to ungodliness, which leads to speaking against God.

Frequently, when Satan begins a renewed attack on biblical revelation, the enemy tries to persuade people to doubt whether God exercises judgment on people at all. The present-day idea that God would judge people is often rejected as being an archaic understanding of God, a view of God as an angry old man in the sky who judges people for no reason. This wrong understanding of God, however, ignores the biblical notion that God has personally, actively, and rightly been offended by His creation and holy law being defiled. That God has every right to respond to sin with His righteous judgment because He is a righteous God; that is His nature.

So behind the idea that God wouldn’t judge people is the belief of inherent goodness, inherent human goodness. The belief that humans are basically good people is a product of humanistic thinking. The Bible tells us that all people are born in sin and are enemies and hostile towards God. Like it says in Romans, “for while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God.” And then in Colossians,”although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds.” So God’s justice demands that sin be dealt with, which is why there is a real place of final judgment where those who have broken God’s law and remain unrepentant about it will go.

Biblical revelation teaches that salvation from our sinfulness comes only through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, and not through human effort whatsoever. We need to realize that once you get rid of the idea of judgment as a consequence of disobedience towards God’s word, then you can entertain absolutely anything: covetousness, theft, racism, abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriages, gender fluidity, woke ideology, social justice based on what society thinks justice ought to be, and which all of it does is leads to anarchy. And why? Because people believe there are no consequences for their actions. They are in a place where, as it says in the days of judges, in those days there was no king in Israel. Every man did what was right in his own eyes. Now, that is what the apostate scoffing false teachers were doing. Whether intentionally or not, they were convincing people of the promise of freedom from moral accountability and final judgment. As it says in 2 Peter 2:19, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption.

Now, if there’s one thing that has already been clear in the epistles of Peter and Jude, it is that judgment has fallen in the past and will come again. That is very clear, and that is actually stressed in both 2 Peter and Jude. Now, right now this morning, I would like to step back a bit and answer the question as to why are false teachers and those who follow them judged with such severity. Possibly the two great mountaintop sins of our nation are moral degeneracy and religious apostasy. These sins have found their way into the church, and the vehicle for entry has been for the most part, false teaching. Apostate scoffing false teachers were the problem then, and they are the problem now. And as we come to a passage that once again points to the punishment that false teachers deserve, and yes, their judgment they have actually earned, but what we often do not quickly perceive is this – why they are under such severe judgment from God.

Now, I’d like to just highlight the term apostate again. It’s used because these teachers have moved away from the teaching of the Bible. They have moved into other areas of teaching. And by definition, the word apostate in the Webster’s New World Dictionary says this, it defines apostasy as abandoning of what one has believed in as a faith, cause, or principles. See, apostasy is to fall away from the recognition and submission to fundamental biblical truths and principles. It assumes that a person has been in a practice and mindset which has departed, falling away from the principles revealed in religion, or at least in the word of God. And God hates when people turn away from the light and the privileges that have come to mankind, whether that is the light of God’s general revelation or God’s special revelation.

In order to understand this better, it’s helpful to take a look this morning at judgment through the lenses of general revelation and then that of special revelation.

So the first thing is that God’s general revelation has been given to man. God holds all people accountable for certain basic truths and the deliberate rejection of these truths in unbelief that they have and they will be judged. Scriptures emphasize mankind’s accountability for what God has revealed. And people are judged guilty because of their rebellion against the truth they know about God. Now, to underline this, I would like you to take your Bibles and turn to Romans chapter 1, because there are two kinds of general revelation that has been given to us. The first one would be the revelation that all people have the witness of conscience. In other words, God has given internal evidence of who He is. And so if you look at Romans 1:19, you’ll find this:

Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

See, God tells us that He has created each human universally with an innate known truth about the character of God, a basic knowledge of right and wrong, and a sense of good and bad. But sinners have successfully hushed their own conscience. How? Well, by foolish speculations, verse 21 of Romans 1, by the death of common sense. Not so much common sense today, is there? Or by corrupt religion or the self-deification of the human being, or uncontrolled lust and sexual perversion. That’s all a description of a deadened conscience.

And if you notice in verse 28 of Romans 1, it says,

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer,

There it is, that the biblical God does not fit their lifestyle. He does not even fit into their thinking or their reasoning or their decision-making. None of it comes into their mind.

Now, if you’re right there in Romans, just turn over to Romans chapter 2. Notice verse 14 and 15, where it says this,

For when Gentiles who did not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

So the conscience, we all have one. It doesn’t matter where you live on this earth. It doesn’t matter when you were born. We all have a conscience. And who put it there? God put it there. He’s given us internal evidence, and that internal evidence actually points to Him. Everybody knows there’s a God who created the heaven and the earth. Everybody knows. Everybody also knows that they are responsible to Him. Why? Because God made it evident within them. God did that.

The conscience entreats us to do what we believe is right, or it restrains us from doing what we believe is wrong. The conscience is not, though, to be equated with the voice of God or the law of God. It literally means co-knowledge. Conscience is really knowledge together with oneself. That is, conscience knows our inner motives and our true thoughts. You can hide your outward exterior from people, but your conscience tells you who you are and what you’re doing wrong or what you’re doing right.

Now, the conscience is not infallible because it is informed by many things, different types of traditions, different cultures, philosophies, religious doctrine, whether it’s true or false. The conscience, to operate fully the way God intended, in accord with true holiness, must be informed by the Word of God. That’s what happens when we become believers. We have now the Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Spirit of God starts forming our conscience to think and understand and judge and act in a way that is holy.

So on the day of judgment, your conscience will side with God, the righteous Judge, and the worst sin-hardened evildoer will discover before the throne of God that he has a conscience which testifies against himself, even if that conscience was seared or became like calluses on your hands where no evil ever convicted him of anything. He still has a conscience, and that conscience is going to bear witness against him.

So, you know when people say –  what about the pygmies in Africa, or what about this group of people in Indonesia, or what about that group of people? They’d never heard about God. Wrong. They have a conscience, and God put it there and made things evident to them.

It’s what they do with that knowledge that is going to be determined by God. And I say that for this reason, that false teachers relate in their teaching that there is no consequences for actions because they are free in Christ, falsely actually smoothing the conscience’s guilt, hindering the conscience to develop with true reverence for God and holiness. That’s what their teaching produces. So because of that, they’re under judgment of general revelation from God.

The second kind of general revelation is that all people have the witness of creation. They have conscience, but they also have the witness of creation. Now God, from the foundation of the world, has openly manifested Himself to people by the works of His hands in which His everlasting power and divinity are clearly seen. They’re not clouded. They’re clearly seen.

Now, if you’re right there in Romans, again notice Romans 1:19-20. It says this,

because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made,

And what’s the result of that? “So that they are without excuse.” So that God has made it that, listen, every day we walk out of the house, every season we pass through, it’s slapping us in the face every day, that God has created those things. That general revelation is God’s reality known to everyone. Nobody can say, well, I didn’t know. Nobody could say that. And, of course, when you go back to Psalms, like Psalm 19:1, what does it say?

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the works of His hands.

It was J.I. Packard who said that general revelation is so called because everyone receives it. Just by virtue of being alive in God’s world, we receive it. God actively discloses these aspects of Himself to all human beings so that in every case, failure to think and serve the Creator in righteousness is sin against knowledge that God has clearly given. That means that the whole human race is guilty before God for failing to serve Him as they should. And they will be judged based on conscience. All people will. And they will be judged based on creation, what they did with it.

I remember when I was a kid, my friend’s father used to work for the water company, and he had this crew that worked with him. The water company gave him this gigantic truck, and in the back was a crew cab. And so we would get up in that crew cab at night, and right on the top of the crew cab, you could see through. It was like clear glass. And we would sit there, and we would look at the stars with binoculars, especially when it was cold out, and we would talk about, I wonder who created those. Like, look at the world. It’s amazing. Like, what’s the deal here, you know? I was just a little kid then. We were just little kids. But we would talk about those things because it would slap us in the face. We would have to deal with it. We would have to think about it. And that’s the point. The point is that you cannot get away from it.

And then when my wife and I went to Algeria to preach to imams in the desert, I mean, you’re in the desert. There is no light pollution in the desert. We walked out of our little tent there, and you actually go like this because it feels like the heavens are right on top of you. And I had never seen so many stars in my life. And it just reminds you of, wow, God must be awesome. He must be incredible.

So the evidence God gives about Himself, He did not hide in a cave. It does not need a special code to unlock it. No, it is right in front of everyone’s eyes every single day of their life, the information is available to all under the heavens, men and women, boys and girls, truths about God, that He exists, that He is powerful, that He is good, that He is a grand, glorious God, that He made so many beautiful things, and all with such care and detailed creativity. To say that we’re a product of evolution and this world came about by some big, random Big Bang theory is just foolishness, and that’s exactly what the Bible calls it. It’s foolishness. I say I believe in the Big Bang theory. God said it, and bang, it happened.

See, apostate humans, they suppress the truth. In other words, they smother or quench as far as they can the awareness of general revelation about the transcendent God, creator judge, which in turn, what does it lead to? It leads to drastic moral decline. That’s what we see in our country. It leads to the misery of judgment. It leads to a sense of God’s wrath against human apostasy.

There is no better passage that expresses God’s hatred for those who apostatize from general revelation than in Romans chapter 1. Notice verse number 18, it says,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

People at large have not retained God in their knowledge or served Him as they ought to, and that is due, therefore, to a failure on their part, not God’s part. They have darkened the reasoning of their senseless heart by sin, and they live in vanity because of their sin-deflected reasoning. And what does God do? Look back at Romans. Look at verse 21. It says,

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Therefore, what did God do in verse number 24?

He gave them over in the lust of their own hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.

So by means of which they have replaced the truth of God for a lie. People would rather believe a lie than the truth, and that’s what they do. And they do it precisely because of their sin. They have held down the truth in unrighteousness and have refused to have God in their knowledge. That’s why there is an attack against the church. That’s why there is an attack against biblical Christians. That’s why things are happening today, because God has been thrown out. Conscience has been seared. God is no longer the Creator of the world. We’re the creator. We make our own destiny, not God. And so what you have is you have what you’re seeing. And you know what? I don’t think we can be rescued from it. I think it’s time that God moves forward with His program, right?

So see, dear people, God himself tells us that nobody can plead ignorance because He created external and internal evidence and put it on display, and it testifies to a universal audience. I like what it says in Isaiah 40:26. You don’t have to turn there. Listen to what it says:

Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,

God calls all the stars by name. What a task that is. It’s like taking the grains of sand on the seashore and giving each a name. You would never finish that, but God does it because He’s eternal, right? So you see, this is what the Judge says to those who say I did not know – you are without excuse. What all this reveals is that man is so blinded and depraved that they take what God has made clear and twist it until it is comfortably ignored. It’s comfortably ignored. And I say that for this reason, because people know God exists, but they do not want to know God or honor Him as God.

And so again, false teachers deny the God of creation. I already said that in 2 Peter 2:16, even denying the master who bought them. So that passage is teaching that these false teachers are denying the Lord, their Creator, who made them, and as Creator He owns them. Apostate teachers aid people to comfortably ignore the revealed truth about God given in creation and given in conscience so that they are under severe judgment from God.

That leads me to the next type of revelation, and that’s God’s special revelation. Now, without special revelation, general revelation would be for sinful man incomplete and ineffective.

Without general revelation, special revelation would lack that basis, that basic, fundamental knowledge of God as the almighty and wise and righteous and good Maker and Ruler of all things, apart from which the further revelation of this great God’s intervention in the world for the salvation of sinners couldn’t either be intelligible or credible or even operative to us without special revelation. We need more information than creation and conscience. And God gave it, and one of that is right here, right? He gave it. He didn’t give us videotape. He didn’t give us machines or CDs. He gave us the written word, the written word, and He locked it up for us so we can’t really change its meaning even though people tried to do that.

So special revelation has two facets to it. The first one is this, that God acted to make Himself known in the Bible. God acted to make Himself known in the Bible, that Christianity is a religion that rests on revelation. No one would know the truth about God or be able even to relate to Him in a personal way had not God acted to make Himself known, and I’m so thankful that He did. So God acted, and He acted in the 66 books of the Bible, 39 written before Christ came and 27 after. They are together the record, the interpretation, the expression, and the embodiment of His self-disclosure. And when God discloses Himself, He does it clearly. He does it in a way that we get it. So what scripture says, God says. The Bible is both fully human and fully divine. So all its contents should be received from God, and what all the Bible writers teach should be revered as God’s authoritative instruction for all life and godliness, and it’s right here in our hands. And all the people that have gone before us to make sure we have the word of God lost their lives, were tortured, and put to death so we have the word of God.

And false teachers, they twist and pervert God’s word and cleverly teach destructive heresies, like it says in 2 Peter 2:1,

who will secretly introduce destructive heresies.

These teachers bring in subtle deviations from the truth. Their words do not square with the Bible. The term secretly has the idea of creeping under some sort of cover, packaged in Christian lingo with different meanings. They add to or they take away from or they twist from what is already written in scripture. They are syncretistic by blending different sources of teaching alongside of scripture, including their own dreams and visions as we already saw in Jude and in the Old Testament. And they become what? They become positive thinker speakers. They become motivational speakers. They’re good with words. And what they introduce is not healthy because their teaching aims at denying essential doctrines like the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, the resurrection, and the return of Christ. They deny those things.

So conscience, creation, the word of God. There is a second aspect of special revelation, that God acted to make Himself known in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the ultimate revelation. All that is, except the culmination of revelation, not through but in Jesus Christ, as in His person in which dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He rises above all other things so that all revelation is really accumulated in Him and stands outside all else. Everything else stands outside of Him. So He does not so much make a revelation of God as Himself is the revelation of God. He does not merely disclose God’s purpose of redemption. He is unto us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Nevertheless, though all revelation is thus summed up in Him, we should not fail to note very carefully that it would be also sealed up in Him without the word of God. The entirety of the New Testament is but the explanatory word accompanying and giving its effect to the fact of Christ. From Genesis to Revelation, it is about Christ. All scripture points to and it culminates in Jesus Christ. No better passage that stresses that than Hebrews 1:1-3. Listen to what it says. It says,

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoke to us in His Son.

And then it says this about Him,

whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

That is Jesus Christ. And He’s our Lord and our Savior. It’s just like when He makes the seven declarations of His I am, His being God, in the Gospel of John where it says, I am the bread of life, the one giving spiritual food. I am the light of the world, banishing darkness to all who come to me. I am the gate for the sheep, giving access to God only through me. I am the resurrection and the life, overcoming our greatest enemy, death. I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. No one goes to the Father but through me, guiding us to fellowship with the Father. And I am the true vine, nurturing us for fruitfulness.

See, false teachers slander the way of truth. And the way of truth is Jesus. That’s what it says in 2 Peter 2:2. And because of them, the way of truth is maligned. It’s blasphemed. See, the way of truth is synonymous with the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, specific truth that leads to true faith in Jesus and a godly life. They cloud the way because these false teachers have actively abandoned the Gospel. That’s why they’re apostate. So they cloud the way of salvation. They cloud the person of Jesus Christ. They cloud the God who is the Creator. They cloud even their own conscience. They diminish the voice of conscience.

So then, if God detests apostasy from general revelation, in which God gives people over to the lust of their hearts, leading to the destruction of their body, how much more does God abhor the turning away of special revelation and the turning away from Jesus Christ His Son, who is the final revelation and final sacrifice for sin? See, not merely turning away from the light of creation stamped upon the consciousness of people made in the image of God, but turning from the light of the Word of God brought to men by prophets when they lived and by apostles when they lived and by Jesus Christ when He lived.

And the prophet Jeremiah gives testimony to this, his prophecies given to Israel who were given the light and privilege of God’s special revelation. And what did they do? They turned from it. The passage we read this morning, I want to highlight some of the things that were said there. Twenty-three years, the prophet Jeremiah preached to the people. And what happens? This is what it says. What did he preach? He preached the Word of the Lord. I have spoken to you, it says, again and again, but you didn’t listen. And then it says there,

The Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened or inclined your ear to hear.

And what happened? You went after other gods and served them and worshipped them, and you provoked Me to anger with the works of your hands, and I will do you no harm. Yet you have not listened to Me, declares the Lord, in order that you might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to do you, to do to your own harm. And then what happens? They go into 70 years of captivity under the Babylonian Empire because they just didn’t listen. And what did God do? He takes away the voice of joy. He takes away the voice of gladness. He takes away the voice of the bridegroom. He takes away the sound of the millstone where they grind grain for food, and He takes away the lamp of the light, and He sends them into desolation. It says in the Bible it’s a horror, and they serve the king of Babylon 70 years.

See, Israel apostatized from listening and obeying to God’s special revelation, which led them into the Babylonian captivity. Wrath came upon them because they turned from God’s special word, and He was sending it to them to call them back. This gives us a sense of the horrible nature of religious apostasy, the turning of one’s back on God’s revelation. If we turn our back on God’s revelation, there’s nothing left. And that’s exactly what Jeremiah said. You know what Jeremiah said to the people? If you’d like to take your Bibles, you can turn there. He says, listen, let’s face it in our nation. In our nation, we have been blessed with megawatts of special revelation. And what happens to those who turn from God’s special revelation? What are we left with? I believe that we really get an example from the prophet Jeremiah of the results of when people apostatize from God’s special word to them. Jeremiah 2:11-13, it says,

Has a nation changed gods, when they were not gods?

Now let me just explain that. That’s a question. He’s saying this to the people of God, that the idolatrous nations surrounding you, Israel, were more faithful to their false gods than Israel has been to the true and living God of the universe. They don’t change their gods for other gods, but you do. There is less inducement to change their gods because their gods are just like themselves. And that’s what idolatry is. Idolatry soothes the conscience that I can be religious and I can feel good about myself, and yet I’m under God’s judgment because I’m believing what is false. See, they’re comfortable with their gods because their gods are carnal. They have sinful minds, and they make things from their sinful minds into things they could worship. So look again at the passage. It says,

Has a nation changed gods, when they were not gods? But My people have exchanged their glory for that which does not profit.

You change, but they don’t change. And look at verse 12. It says,

“Be appalled, O heavens, at this. And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord. For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

So here it is. A cistern was a container that was specifically carved out in order to hold some liquid, in this case water, and the life-giving liquid that we all need for life, which is water. But here the picture is God is the fountain of living water, and the people turn from the fountain that provides life-giving water, and they stop it up. Then they turn to chip away their own little cisterns, forsaking the living pure water for a cistern that can hold no water. That is religious apostasy. And what are the two idiotic evils, the enormous crime by God’s people against God? Simply this, rejection of the source of life, and also a forsaking, forsaking their living true God and exchanging God for an imaginary God, and that’s what idolatry is. It’s just formed in the mind. It’s however God I want to be, phantoms without being, that bring no help or profit to its worshippers. So the rejection of truth, and then if you don’t have truth, there’s no such thing as a vacuum. What’s going to fill that vacuum? Error.

So here’s the second thing, the reception of error. If you reject truth, you must accept error. There’s no in-between. So they replace the true God with false idols, and the best they can get is stagnant water. And the worst of all the water seeps out and provides no nourishment at all. In fact, the point of Jeremiah is this, dead idols cannot impart life. Only God can impart life. So this is what the apostate teachers do. They stop up the living, life-giving water of God. They stop it up. And if you stop up the life-giving water that comes from God, the living, the active, the refreshing Word of God, and you replace it with something else, and what do they replace it with? Their own ideas, their own opinions, their own thoughts, their dreams and visions, and then they make that authoritative, and that’s what they bring to people.

That’s why false teachers are under such judgment. So it will end up giving no life to those who attempt to drink it because the human containers are full of holes, and they can’t hold no water. Therefore, with no life-giving water to sustain life, there’s nothing but death and darkness. We have a bunch of broken cisterns in our religious teaching today. We have the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel. That’s an empty cistern. We have the cistern of adding rules and things in order to be saved and sanctified, like if you’re going to be speaking in tongues, then you have to be baptized, baptismal regeneration, or you have to be circumcised, or you have to receive the sacraments. All those things are cisterns that are broken, that are just leaking water out of it. And the cistern of the hyper-grace teaching, which leads people to believe that they can live any way they want because they are forgiven.

False teachers will say, God will accept you the way you are. No gospel, no being saved from anything, no savior, no sin, no substitutionary atonement, no heaven, no hell. See, they understand Christian freedom is God loves you and wants you to be happy, so do what you feel is good and right for you. False teachers say that God accepts us even if we live like the devil and live after the world and the flesh. False teachers say that faith exists without ever producing fruit. But if you’re drinking from cisterns with no water, it produces not life or fruit, it produces death. So that person, they say, can believe in Jesus without repenting, without changing his life or her life, without separating from the world, without denying and controlling the flesh, without following Christ. False teachers say that God’s love and grace are so inexhaustible that a person is free to sin just so he believes in Jesus the Christ. These are all cisterns with no water.

So this morning, to answer the question, why are these false teachers under such judgment? Well, because they reject God’s general revelation in conscience and creation, and they reject God’s special revelation in the Word of God by twisting it and in the person of Jesus Christ who is the way and the truth and the life. And they distort the truth which enables people to come and actually be saved and be forgiven and be cleansed and receive the Spirit of God and learn the Word of God to live a holy life. See, that’s what they cloud. And because of that, God will hold judgment.

Now, that also means that we have to be careful that we know the Word of God, that we’re not being deceived. And whatever teacher you’re listening to, you better make sure that teacher is in the Word of God and they’re handling it correctly because very easily can you be deceived. Right? So that means discernment is paramount for a believer. Paramount. So next week I’m going to get back into Jude and we’re going to unpack the rest of those passages. I just wanted to answer that question and give it to you this morning.

So let’s pray. Lord, thank You again for the Word of God. Lord, it is amazing to look out of our eyes and see creation. It is amazing to know that we have a conscience that has been given by You that does convict us of right and wrong, good and bad, because that standard came from You. And we thank You, Lord, that You’ve given us the Word of God written, preserved, and protected, and it’s in our hands and we can know Your mind and what You want. We can know how to be right with You. Thank you for that. Help us never to cloud that message or be in the way of that message. And Lord, we thank yoY, Father, that You’ve given Your Son to come into this world, to be the sinless man of God, to then to go to the cross in obedience to You and die in the place of people like us, the just for the unjust, and then to take the full wrath and pay the full penalty, and then to take our sin and nail it to the cross and put Your righteousness on our account, knowing, Lord, that the only way we can be saved from Your wrath is to have the righteousness of someone else on our account, and that someone else is Jesus Christ. Thank You, Lord, that He defeated Satan in death, He rose from the grave, He ascended into heaven, He’s seated at the right hand of the Father, and He’s preparing a place for those who know Him. He is praying on our behalf, interceding for the saints, and He is preparing to come back again and get us. Thank You for that. We praise You for it. Now, Lord, let us lift up our voices to worship You because of these truths. And I pray in Christ’s name, amen.