356 of 365 - False Teachers
They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. Jude 1:18-19
One short chapter tucked in God’s story to us closing out the letters to individuals and churches before the revelation received by John. Jude is widely believed to be the brother of James, the half-brother of Jesus and leader of the early church in Jerusalem, making Jude also the half-brother of Jesus.
Jude is primarily concerned with false teachers. Like Satan, the Father of Lies himself, these false teachers are good at what they do. They are manipulative and often charismatic, using smooth words, impressive speech, with a commanding presence, and some truth sprinkled in to throw us off.
They creep in unnoticed. The ones we need to worry about aren’t the loud antagonist shouting from the outside in obvious opposition, but instead the deceitful ones from the inside. They pervert the grace of God into sensuality and deny Jesus as Master and Lord. They indulge in sexual immorality, defile the flesh, and reject authority. They blaspheme what they don’t understand, relying on their instincts. They are in our Christian community, but they are wandering with the waves of the day. They are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters. They show favoritism to gain advantage, full of smooth and flattering words. They deny Jesus as Christ – God in the flesh -- crucified for our salvation.
Let us not be deceived...there is only ONE Gospel; only One path to salvation. So, what do we do? According to Jude our response should be to continue building our faith, to pray, to keep in the love of God, to have mercy on those who are doubting. We dig in deep to what we know is true, being alert and aware. It is a posture of surrender and humility, working on ourselves, loving our neighbors, and trusting God is in control.
Question: How can you be on alert for false prophets and teachers?