Sermon #20 Jude Sermons
Title: Blasphemy in the Pulpit
Text: Jude 1:10
Date: Tuesday Evening — March 8, 2005
Tape # Jude #20
Readings: Bob Duff and Larry Brown
The most likely place in the world to hear men blaspheme God and seek to repudiate the gospel of his free and sovereign grace in Christ is in church. I know that that statement is shocking to some, confusing to others, and offensive to most. But, if you take the time to read the Book of God and God the Holy Spirit will give you grace to understand what you read, you cannot fail to recognize that it is so. I do not hesitate to assert that religion is the most pernicious evil in the world. Either that is so, or this is the most dangerous and most abominably evil place on earth in which you could be found tonight. There is no in-between ground.
The title of my message tonight is Blasphemy in the Pulpit. Our text will be Jude 1:10. As always, we must remember the context of any passage, if we are to rightly interpret the passage. Jude is describing false prophets, religious teachers and preachers who slither into local churches, pretending to be the messengers of Christ and his righteousness. But they are, in reality men who turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness, preaching for righteousness the works of men and denying the only Lord God, our Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 3-4).
(Jude 1:3-4) "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."
Having stated the danger of false prophets in our midst, Jude begins describing them in specifics in verse 8.
(Jude 1:8) "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities."
Now, notice the last thing Jude says in verse 9 about these false prophets he calls “filthy dreamers.” They are men who “speak evil of dignities.” Then he gives us a familiar example of Satan speaking evil against Joshua, God’s high priest in the days of Ezra. It is recorded in Zechariah 3:1-5. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is Michael the Archangel silenced the devil’s accusations against Joshua, pointing to his own sacrifice and blood as Joshua’s Surety and ours, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.”
In our text tonight, Jude is still describing these filthy dreamers who fill the pulpits of this world, identifying them by the blasphemies they proclaim.
(Jude 1:10) "But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves."
The word translated “speak evil of,” in verses 9 and 10, is “blaspheme.” The word “dignities” is “glories.” In other words, Jude tells us that these men, in the doctrine they preach (freewill, works salvation), blaspheme all that concerns the glory of God. They speak evil of Christ, who is the revelation of the glory of God. They speak evil of the gospel of Christ by which the glory of God is revealed to us. Let me show you how they blaspheme the glory of God. But before I do so, let me give you a brief explanation of this verse.
“But these speak evil of things which they know not.” — All blasphemy against God reveals the ignorance of lost men. False teachers criticize what they don't understand. They do not have a clue of an idea what truth is. They are totally ignorant of all things spiritual, of all things related to God, his Son, his Spirit, righteousness, grace, salvation, and eternal life. That is why it is so difficult to talk to unregenerate men about the gospel. They just can’t get it. It is like trying to communicate with someone who is talking in his sleep.
The natural man, no matter how religious, no matter how well educated, simply cannot understand spiritual things because he is spiritually dead. Before anyone can understand the things of God, he must be born again (John 3:3; 1 Cor. 2:14-15).
(John 3:3) "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
(John 3:5) "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
(1 Corinthians 2:14-15) "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."
Just as it is natural for men to speak evil of things they do not understand because they feel threatened by them, lost religionists blaspheme the things of God because they feel threatened by that which they cannot understand (2 Pet. 2:12).
(2 Peter 2:12) "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption."
Look at the next line. — “But what they know naturally.” No man knows anything spiritual. Yet, there is a sense in which every fallen man has some knowledge by nature. The Holy Spirit tells us this plainly in Romans 1 and 2. Every man has a God-consciousness from which he cannot escape. He may refuse to acknowledge it, but every man knows that…
· God is.
· God is his Creator.
· God is both holy and powerful.
· God demands righteousness of him.
· God demands atonement for sin.
· God will be his Judge in the last day.
But, Jude says, these are “they know naturally, as brute beasts,” as dumb animals. What an insult to your dog or mule! In other words, false prophets, the men who fill the pulpits of most churches, are nothing but ignorant animals whose only goal is to fulfill their own lusts. Immortal souls are nothing but numbers, pieces of merchandise to them. They are oblivious to God's truth. They live in their own religious dream world, making merchandise of the souls of men and prostituting themselves out for hire to men with itching ears! The gospel they preach is no gospel at all. It is nothing but the dream of their own filthy flesh. But Jude is not yet finished with his description. Read on…
“In those things they corrupt themselves!” — All preachers of freewill/works religion corrupt themselves with their doctrine and corrupt those who hear them. But how do they corrupt themselves? The word here translated “corrupt” does not simply mean corrupt as in the sense of “make dirty,” though that is certainly included. The word is much stronger. It means “destroy.” In fact, we see this exact word translated both “defile” and “destroy” in 1 Corinthians 3:17.
(1 Corinthians 3:17) "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Blasphemy in the Pulpit
By what means do these false prophets destroy themselves and destroy those who follow them? Jude tells us in the opening words of our text that it is by “speaking evil of (blaspheming) those things which they know not,” or, as he puts it in verse 9, by “speaking evil of dignities,” by blaspheming the glory, by blaspheming the glory of God revealed in the gospel. The word dignities in verse 9, about which all false prophets are totally ignorant, is “glories.” They are totally ignorant of and pervert the glories of God revealed in the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-6).
(2 Corinthians 4:3-6) "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
It is always my intention to be crystal clear. I don’t ever want people to walk away from this place wondering exactly what I have been talking about. So let me show you from the Word of God five blasphemies of all freewill/works preachers by which they destroy themselves and destroy the souls of men with blasphemous religion. They blaspheme…
· God’s Character
· The Lord Jesus
· The Spirit of God
· The Gospel of God
· The Righteousness of God.
1. They blaspheme the character of God, making the eternal God a pathetic failure.
As Isaiah puts it, while pretending to worship God, the “pray unto a god that cannot save” (Isa. 45:20). Anyone who reads the Bible, with the slightest bit of interest, must see that the god of modern religion does not even faintly resemble that God who reveals himself in Holy Scripture.
· The god of this generation is moved by sentiment, emotion and impulse. — The God of heaven acts according to justice and the principles of holiness and righteousness. “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne” (Psa. 89:14).
· The god of this generation has a will, a purpose and a desire, but his will is defeated both by men and Satan. He desires, but he cannot accomplish his desire. He wills, but he cannot perform his will. He purposes, but he cannot do what he has purposed. — The God of the Bible works all things according to the counsel of his own will and purpose. This is what God says about himself: — “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isa. 46:9-10).
· Today's god has a wonderful plan for your life, if you will just fulfil the necessary requirements. — The one true and living God works in you both to will and to do according to his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13; Rom. 8:28).
· The god of modern-day fundamentalism has provided a remedy for sin, and it will work if only the sinner will co-operate with God. — The living God has provided a perfect righteousness and an effectual atonement for all of his elect through the righteous obedience and substitutionary death of his Son at Calvary (Heb. 10. 11-14).
· This is what I am saying: the god of modern religion is a puny pigmy. He is an idol. The God of the Bible is great and glorious. He is the only true God.
2 Corinthians 11
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 11. Here Paul is warning us of those false prophets Jude describes in our text. He tells us that they are messengers of Satan who claim to be the apostles of Christ(v. 13), by whom the prince of darkness, would subtlety corrupt our minds from the simplicity that is in Christ (v. 3). And he identifies them by their message in verse 4.
(2 Corinthians 11:4) "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."
2. They blaspheme the glory of God preaching a god that cannot save; and they blaspheme the glory of God by preaching “another Jesus.” — Those are not my words, but God’s.
· Today's Jesus offers eternal life to as many as will let him save them. The Christ of the Bible gives eternal life to as many as the Father has given him (John 17:2).
· The Jesus they preach, the Christ of modern, freewill, works religion loves everybody in the universe and wants to save them all.
We are told that Christ loves all men alike, desires the salvation of all men alike, and is gracious to all men alike. That makes the love, will, and grace of Christ helpless and useless. But that language cannot be applied to the Christ of the Bible.
The true Christ, the Christ of the Bible, the saving Christ loves his people, wills and prays for the salvation of his people, and is gracious to his people, the people unconditionally chosen unto salvation from eternity, whom he came to save (Ps. 5:5; 7:11; 11:5; Matt. 1:21; 11:27; John 10:16; John 17:9-10; Acts 13:48; Rom. 9:21-24; Eph. 1:3-6).
· The Jesus of modern, freewill, works religion tries to save everyone.
We are told that he offers salvation to every sinner and does everything he can to save them all; but that his offer is rejected and his work is frustrated by the will of those who refuse to come to him and be saved.
The Christ of this Book does not merely offer salvation. He performs it! Grace is not an offer. It is an operation! The Son of God effectually calls to himself all his elect, his sheep, and sovereignly works salvation in them by the irresistible power and omnipotent grace of his Holy Spirit. Not one of them will be lost. Is this, or is it not the teaching of Holy Scripture? (Psa. 65:4; 110:3; Isa. 55:11; John 5:21; 6:37-40; 10:3, 25-30; 17:2; Phil. 2:13)
· That other Jesus of Arminianism cannot regenerate and save anyone who does not first choose to be saved by him.
We are told that man has a freewill, but that Christ’s will is bound by and must wait upon man’s will because it would not be right for him to violate man’s will!
The true, saving Christ, the Christ of God does violate man’s imaginary freewill; and I am very thankful that he does. Had he not violated my freewill, I would be lost or in hell now!
The same is true of you. He sovereignly regenerates and saves every chosen, redeemed sinner. His operations of grace are totally independent of the will and choice of the sinner. Apart from his work of grace in us, spiritually dead sinners never would or could believe on him and come to him in faith.
Faith is not our contribution to the work of salvation. Our faith in him is the result, not the cause of God’s saving operations. — “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (John 3:3-7; 6:44, 65; 15:16; Acts 11:18; Rom. 2:4; 9:16; Eph. 2:1-4, 8-10; Phil. 1:6, 29; Col. 2:12; Heb. 12:2).
· The puny, pigmy, worthless Jesus of modern, Arminian, freewill, works, man-centered religion died on the cross for everyone in the world, to make it possible for everyone in the world to be saved, but actually secured no one’s salvation by his death.
We are told that Christ by his death made it possible for all men to be redeemed, justified, and saved, but that his death has no efficacy and saving power for anyone until they believe on him. Thus, we are informed that the Son of God died in vain for all who perish in unbelief. Though he tried to save them, he failed!
The Christ of God is not a frustrated failure! He died for God’s elect and effectually put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself. Having satisfied the justice of God for us, he obtained eternal redemption and salvation for us. We were and are forever pardoned, justified, and sanctified by his blood (Isa. 42:4; 53:8; Matt. 20:28; John 10:14-15, 26; Acts 20:28; Rom. 5:9-10; Eph. 5:25; Heb. 9:12; 10:10-14; 1 Peter 3:18; Rev. 5:9-10).
· The helpless little Jesus of Arminianism loses many who have been saved by him because they do not hang on, hold out, or persevere to the end.
Among the heretical Baptists of our day, most do grant that the sinner has what has come to be called “eternal security.” But it is not security based upon the will, work, and purpose of God in Christ. It is not security based upon the blood of Christ, or the operations of his Spirit. According to the freewiller, all these things are done for all people alike. So their doctrine of “eternal security” is a declaration of security based upon the choice and will of man, not the choice and will of God.
The true Christ, the saving Christ, the Christ of the Bible preserves his chosen, redeemed, called ones by his almighty grace, so that they cannot fall away and perish at last. We are kept in life, grace, and faith by the immutability of his will, the power of his blood, the perfection of his righteousness, the efficacy of his grace, the seal of his Spirit, and the perfection of his intercession (Mal.3:6; John 5:24;10:26-29; Rom.8:28-39; 1 Pet.1:2-5; Jude 24-25).
At first glance, the Jesus of modern, Arminian, freewill, works religion may seem to closely resemble the true Christ, the Christ of Scripture. But he does not.
· The one is a false Christ, antichrist. The other is true, the Christ of God.
· One is weak and helpless, waiting upon and bowing to the will of man. The other is the sovereign Lord, who wills what he pleases and does what he will!
· The one is supposed to be able to save with your cooperation. The other is able to save without any cooperation on your part. His salvation produces your cooperation!
Those who believe on and serve the Jesus of freewill, works religion do not believe on and serve the Christ of the Bible. They are deceived. They are lost. And they shall forever perish under the wrath of God, unless they come to know and trust the Christ of God, who saves his people from their sins by himself. We must, as we fear God and care for the souls of men, have no fellowship with and give no credibility to Arminian, freewill, works religion (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Rev. 18:4).
(2 Corinthians 6:14-18) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
(2 Corinthians 7:1) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
(Revelation 18:4) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
3. Next, Paul tells us that these will-worshipping work mongers preach “another spirit.”
The spirit they preach is nothing more than an impotent, pathetic influence for good, that tries to get sinners to “pretty please” let Jesus be their Lord and Savior. That is not the Spirit of God. God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the sovereign trinity gives life to dead sinners, effectually causing them to come to Christ in faith by sovereign, omnipotent, irresistible grace, and seals them in grace forever.
4. Then, we read that every false prophet, every messenger of Satan, every “filthy dreamer” blasphemes the gospel by preaching “another gospel.”
The gospel of God is the declaration of free salvation in Christ alone, by grace alone, without works. The false gospel of freewill/works religion is an offer of salvation that is a mixture of…
· Salvation by God’s will and your will, but determined by your will.
· Salvation by God’s choice and your choice, but determined by your choice.
· Salvation by God’s grace and your works (either to justify you or to sanctify you), but determined by your works.
(Galatians 1:6-9) "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
(Galatians 3:1-3) "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (2) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (3) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"
5. Now, read 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, and you will see a fifth blasphemy of the glory of God by which false prophets destroy themselves and destroy the souls of men. — They universally blaspheme the righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15) "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
These “filthy dreamers” have nothing more vile in their dreams than the notion that men can and do perform works of righteousness, by which they make themselves righteous before God. I know of very few who are so brazen as to openly assert that a man can make himself righteous entirely by his own works. Most will insist that we must be justified by Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. But they tell us we must add to the righteousness of Christ our own righteousness.
Illustration: Ted C. – The Balance Beam
A primary example of this is seen in the way will-worshipping work-mongers interpret our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, particularly in that portion found in Matthew 5:21-48. Turn there if you will, and I will show you what I mean.
As you know, I am in the process of writing a commentary on the Book of Matthew. I have been working on this portion for the past week, or so. Bro. Lindsay Campbell will be teaching from it in just a couple of weeks. So I will just wet your appetite a little. Let’s just look at verses 21-26.
(Matthew 5:21-26) "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: (22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (23) Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; (24) Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (25) Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. (26) Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."
The common interpretation of these verses is that we must not, if we would be saved, be angry with a brother, or speak evil of a brother, or let a brother live having an offense against us. If we fail to take care of these things, we live in danger of hell fire. Now, there is no doubt that we ought to do everything possible to avoid such things. But, I ask you, “Which of you has managed this?”
“If thou bring thy gift to the altar…first be reconciled to thy brother” (vv. 23-24). — In this gospel age we have no carnal, material altar. But “we have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle” (Heb. 13:10). Christ is our Altar.
Our Savior is, in this entire chapter, showing us the demands of God’s holy law and our complete inability to meet those demands. He is telling us here that we cannot come to God except upon that one Altar he has made (Ex. 20:24-26; 25:22), which is Christ? The Brother we have offended above all others is God our Savior. He is that Brother with whom we have been angry without a cause. Unbelief is despising him, saying to him “Raca,” “thou fool” (1 Cor. 1:18-25; 1 John 5:10). There is no coming to God until we are reconciled to him in and by Christ, reconciled to Christ as our only God and Savior, our only atonement for sin, our only righteousness, and our only redemption. Once we are reconciled to Christ our Brother, once we trust him alone for acceptance with God, we may and can and do come to God upon the merits of Christ, and he accepts us, and our gifts, by the merits of his dear Son (1 Pet. 2:5).
“Agree with thine adversary quickly” (vv. 25-26). — “These are sweet verses,” writes Hawker, “if referred to that lawsuit we all have, by reason of sin and transgression, with God.” Yes, our adversary, the devil, seeks to destroy us (1 Pet. 5:8); and many are in league with him as adversaries to our souls. It is good to try to quiet them and live peaceably, as much as is possible, with such men (Rom. 12:18). But it is utterly impossible for us to agree with such adversaries or persuade them to agree with us. Our Lord must, therefore, be speaking of something else and of someone else.
An adversary is not always one who is intent upon hurting or ruining us. In Exodus 23:22 the Lord our God declares, “I will be an adversary to thine adversaries.” In Lamentations 2:4 he is represented as an adversary to us in the day of our sorrow. As an adversary, the Lord God has a controversy and a lawsuit with his people by reason of sin.
Here our blessed Savior and Advocate, the Lord Jesus, tells us to make up the breach quickly while we are in the way. That is to say, “Be reconciled to God quickly by Christ, who is himself the Way, the only way of reconciliation.” Christ is our peace. It is written, “This man shall be the peace” (Micah 5:5). — “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). — “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). But to those who live and die in enmity against God, Christ will soon come as the Judge. Into his hands the ungodly shall be delivered (John 5:22). Christ the great Judge shall send his angels to execute his wrath against his enemies (Matt. 13:41-42). And the prison into which they shall be cast forever is the place of everlasting darkness, torment, and separation from God called “Hell” and “the lake of fire” (2 Pet. 2:4; Rev. 20:15).
The “filthy dreamers” who blaspheme the glory of God will never come to him trusting Christ alone. Being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and ever going about to establish their own righteousness, they will not submit to the righteousness of God that is in Christ, only in Christ, who is “the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Therefore they shall be cast into the prison and by no means come out until they have paid the uttermost farthing. Or, as Paul put it in 2 Corinthians 11:15, their “end shall be according to their works.”
I ask you, will you, or will you not, be reconciled to your Adversary quickly. The only way to be reconciled to him is to agree with him.
· About Himself.
· About Yourself (Ps. 51:1-5)
· About His Son
· About His Salvation
· About His Gospel
· About His Righteousness
· About His Salvation.
Oh, may God the Holy Spirit graciously cause you to agree with him, trusting Christ alone for righteousness!