Sermon #32                                                    Jude Sermons


     Title:           A Call to Evangelism

     Text:           Jude 1:22-23

     Subject:      Contending for the Faith by Evangelism

     Date:          Tuesday Evening — June 7, 2005

     Tape #        Jude #31

     Readings:   Bob Duff and Rex Bartley



Jude began his Epistle by exhorting us to earnestly contend for the faith, teaching us that we must ever beware of false prophets and their pernicious doctrine. Then he tells us that we must contend for the faith in regard to ourselves by keeping ourselves in the love of God, “building ourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, and looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” In verses 22-23, the Apostle calls for us to earnestly contend for the of Christ by issuing a call to evangelism.


(Jude 1:22-23)  "And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."


In this day of apostasy, we are called to preach the gospel, the faith once delivered to the saints, to people who are in danger of being taken in Satan’s subtle snare of false religion. Jude here describes three groups of people (the doubting, the deceived, and the defiled), and tells us how to minister to each.


It is important to remember that though those who have departed from the faith are (according to Hebrews 6) irretrievable, that does not mean that all who embrace false doctrine are lost. God has his elect among them and here calls us to preach the gospel to them.

·       Saul of Tarsus was engulfed in the apostate religion of the Pharisees; but he was chosen of God, redeemed by Christ, and called.

·       Many of you were raised in apostate, free will, works religion; but you, too, were chosen of God, redeemed by Christ, and called.

·       Do not ever imagine that the arm of our God is too short to save any.

He will save his people out of Babylon by his mighty, stretched out arm of omnipotent mercy and sovereign grace. And he will do it by the preaching of the gospel. Therefore, Jude says to you and to me…


(Jude 1:22-23)  "And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."


It is our great privilege and responsibility to preach the gospel to all men, being assured that God will save his elect by the gospel we preach. The Lord has graciously given us the treasure of the gospel to carry in these earthen vessels to needy souls, a light to hold forth, a message to shout from the housetops; and he promises to use it!


(Isaiah 55:11)  "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."


(Matthew 28:18-20)  "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."


(Mark 16:15)  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."


(Acts 1:8)  "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."


(2 Corinthians 5:11)  "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."


(2 Corinthians 5:20-21)  "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."


(1 Peter 1:23-25)  "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."


The Doubting


The first group are those who need compassion and tenderness because sincere doubts trouble them. — "And of some have compassion, making a difference" (v. 22). The words translated “making a difference” would be better translated “having doubts.” Their problem is not a violent rebellion to the gospel. Their problem is doubt.


Many, both believers and unbelievers, have doubts about many things which are to others as plain as the noon day sun. What should our attitude be to those who are doubting? We are to have mercy. We are to have compassion toward them. If anybody in this world should be merciful and compassionate, it us! What mercy we experience! What compassion we enjoy from God our Savior! We to whom mercy, love and peace are unceasingly multiplied ought to be merciful and compassionate in dealing with others, believers and unbelievers. Indifference toward the souls of needy sinners on our part is inexcusable. Hardness is utterly abhorrent!


We who are “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" the fullness of mercy that our blessed Savior will pour out on us throughout eternity, ought to be full of mercy toward others.

·       We were the objects of mercy from eternity.

·       We received mercy when God saved us by his grace.

·       We have been promised mercy throughout the days of our lives on this earth.

·       And we look forward to the ultimate fulness of mercy when our Savior comes again.

Therefore, Jude says that with all the mercy that God has given and promised to us, we surely ought to show mercy to others.


Perhaps you ask, "What does mercy mean?" It basically means "to have compassion." Rather than being indifferent and hardened toward those who have honest doubts, we should treat them with love and compassion.

·       Treat doubting unbelievers with mercy.

·       Treat your brethren who suffer with doubts with mercy.

·       Our God is he whose compassions fail not. Let ours never fail.

·       Our Savior was moved with compassion when he saw the people as sheep having no shepherd. Shall we be indifferent?

·       The Spirit of God is the Spirit of mercy. Shall we withhold mercy?




We have a graphic illustration of an individual experiencing doubt in Matthew 14. — Peter and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat, having left the Lord Jesus behind. When their little was in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves and tempestuous winds, in the fourth watch of the night the Savior came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled. They thought they were seeing a ghost! When they thought they had seen a ghost, they cried out for fear. When they did, the Lord Jesus tenderly, compassionately spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” But Peter doubted. He said, “Lord, if that’s really you, bid me come to you.” And the Savior said, “Come” (Matt. 14:24-29).


You remember what happened. Peter stepped out of the boat and started walking across the water to the Savior. But as he moved toward Christ on the water, he was again filled with doubt and fear. For a moment he was focused on Christ. But then he looked around and thought, "What are you doing out here? This is ridiculous!"


(Matthew 14:30-31)  "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (31) And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"


We have a responsibility to people that are sinking in doubt. How often I have been in Peter’s shoes! What about you? Shall we be indifferent and hard, withholding mercy and compassion from others who go through the same thing? Let us ever hold forth the gospel of Christ to those who are doubting, and do so with earnest, merciful hearts of compassion. Point the doubting to him who alone has removed doubt for you and can do the same for them.


(Lamentations 3:21-26)  "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. (22) It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (24) The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (25) The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. (26) It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."


(Lamentations 3:31-32)  "For the Lord will not cast off for ever: (32) But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies."


(Romans 8:28-39)  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."


The Deceived


The second group includes those requiring a bold confrontation if they are to be snatched from an eternity in hell. They have gone past doubt and have committed themselves to a false system. They are deceived by false religion. How do we approach those kind of people? Jude says, “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.


This is a more drastic situation. This group includes those who have gone beyond doubt and are standing as it were on the brink of hell. They have committed themselves to some of Satan's lies. They are already engulfed in Arminian, free will, works religion. They must be snatched as brands from the burning.


When a person is engulfed in a terrible false system of religion, there is no time for tactful conversation. You need to be prepared to offend them. Don't be too concerned about offending religion that offends our God. He's been offended long enough. Let's offend Satan for a while.


When Jude says that we should be "snatching them out of the fire," he is referring to the eternal fire of hell. The place where the ungodly will spend eternity. Jude is telling us to do exactly what Paul said he did (2 Cor. 5:10-11).


We must snatch them out of the fire, just as the angels snatched Lot out of Sodom, while “he lingered.


(2 Corinthians 5:10-11)  "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."


Four persuasions


1.     The Immortality of Your Soul


(2 Corinthians 4:18)  "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."


(2 Corinthians 5:1-9)  "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2) For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: (3) If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. (4) For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (5) Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. (6) Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (7) (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (8) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (9) Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him."


2.     The Certainty of Divine Judgment


(2 Corinthians 5:10-11)  "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."


3.     The Love of God in Christ


(2 Corinthians 5:11-16)  "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (12) For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. (13) For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. (14) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (16) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more."


4.     The Grace of God Revealed in the Gospel


(2 Corinthians 5:17-21)  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."


(2 Corinthians 6:1-2)  "We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"


Jude doesn't tell us how people get themselves so near the fire. He simply tells us that we must act with urgency to rescue eternity bound sinners from everlasting fire.

·       Preaching

·       Witnessing

·       Bringing Sinners to Hear the Gospel

·       Missions

·       Tapes, Tracts, Radio, Tellevision, etc.


The Defiled


The last group are those who must be dealt with very cautiously. They are so vile in their contamination by evil that the believer is in danger of being contaminated himself. How do we approach those kind of people? — On others we must have mercy seeking to save them with fear "hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."


The word translated "fear" is the word from which we get our word “phobia.” It means "fear, dread, or terror" and is associated with flight from something terrifying. Jude is saying that the way to handle this third group of people is to show them mercy with fear. In other words, although you are willing to give them the truth and win them to Christ, you must be ready to run, because those people are so engulfed in evil, that you are in potential danger.


Jude qualifies our caution, "hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." He has an obvious reference here to the defilement of false religion by which many “filthy dreamers defile the flesh” and “corrupt themselves” (vv. 8, 10). He is telling us that we must ever beware of the filth of self-righteousness and works religion and avoid being corrupted by it ourselves.

·       By all means, preach the gospel to such people.

·       But do not allow yourself to be drawn in by them.


Like the doctor who treats an infectious disease and puts himself in danger of catching it, we are on dangerous ground when we deal with people engulfed in Satanic religion. We must take care as we extend mercy to them that we do not become defiled by them.


I am reminded of what Paul said about Demas. — "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world" (2 Tim. 4:10). In the process of helping Paul reach the world for Christ, Demas fell in love with it.




There is an illustration in Leviticus 13:47-42 of what Jude may have had in mind when he told his reader to hate the garment defiled by the flesh.


(Leviticus 13:47-52)  "The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it be a woollen garment, or a linen garment; (48) Whether it be in the warp, or woof; of linen, or of woollen; whether in a skin, or in any thing made of skin; (49) And if the plague be greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a plague of leprosy, and shall be showed unto the priest: (50) And the priest shall look upon the plague, and shut up it that hath the plague seven days: (51) And he shall look on the plague on the seventh day: if the plague be spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in a skin, or in any work that is made of skin; the plague is a fretting leprosy; it is unclean. (52) He shall therefore burn that garment, whether warp or woof, in woollen or in linen, or any thing of skin, wherein the plague is: for it is a fretting leprosy; it shall be burnt in the fire."


A garment worn by a person with leprosy had to be burned. Jude is applying a similar idea of caution in dealing with the filth and corruption of false religion’s “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6) of self-righteousness. Do not put those rags on, or even keep them around the house. If you do, the leprosy will spread!


IllustrationJoshua (Zech. 3)


The compassion Jude urges us to show to wanderers, and backsliders, and those that are tempted and fallen, and those that are ignorant and out of the way, is sweet. We are propelled, by grace, to stretch forth the helping hand, in any way, and every way, to raise up the fallen. Until they are born again,  we are ignorant who is and who is not among God’s elect. We are therefore to seek to save, as from the fire, those who are in the confines of extreme danger. And though we loath their sins as we might loath filthy garments worn by a leper, yet we love (we should love) the sinners themselves and seek their everlasting salvation with earnest mercy and compassion.


These are not to be avoided and cut off, as one would the false teachers, but instructed in meekness, brotherly love and compassion, pulling them out of the fire of soul-destroying doctrines and sinful practices. Pray for them, help them and restore them.


Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,

Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;

Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,

Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save!