Jude 22-23 / Sharing the Gospel (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on February 2, 2013

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This is the eleventh in an series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Jude. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of January 27, 2013. This message deals with the different methods of evangelism needed for different types of people. This post contains an audio recording of the sermon, plus my sermon notes. Please note that the notes are not a full transcript. To get the entire message, you’ll need to listen to the Audio.

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Jude 22-23

SERMON NOTES:

Jude 22-23 / Sharing the Gospel

v.22:
Here Jude begins an exhortation on evangelism. He lists 3 groups of people, and how to deal with them (2 in the KJV and NKJV).

The first group that Jude identifies, are those who doubt. These people are not to be confused with the willful mockers whom Jude spoke of earlier.

These are people who have sincere doubts, they aren’t sure of what they believe.

To them, we need to show mercy. After all, who hasn’t had doubts at some point?

Because the words of the false teachers were confusing, many people were probably in doubt.

Things are not so different today. With so many false doctrines being taught, many people are confused and doubtful.

Such people should not be slandered or criticized. They should be dealt with in love and mercy—the same way in which the Lord dealt with them (cf. v. 21).

They need encouragement, not criticism. They need to be built up, not torn down.

These people need patient and loving teaching. They need to be swayed to the truth, by showing them the authenticity and total reliability, trustworthiness and truth of God’s word.

This type of person is a good case for apologetics. Why apologetics? Lets define what it is.

Apologetics does not mean saying “I’m sorry.” The term is derived from the greek word apologia, which is essentially a legal term.

It means to give a defense or an answer to an accusation. In essence, you could say that it’s an explanation of why.

We see this word used three times in the New Testament (translated as defense), in relation to the Gospel.

1 Peter 3:15

Philippians 1:7

Philippians 1:17

In a world where the Gospel is increasingly under attack by such means as evolution, anti-Biblical history, relative morality, relative truth, and the many other false doctrines, the defense of the Gospel has become more necessary than ever.

The believer needs to not only know what he believes, but why he believes it.

Christians need to be able explain their faith in a way that the unbelieving world will understand, and that factually demonstrates the truth and authority of the Word of God.

Sadly, this is the very thing that is lacking in so many churches today.

There has developed such a pre-occupation with “relevance” that the church has become irrelevant to the Gospel, turning many preachers into motivational speakers, at the expense of “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

This has lead to many churches that look successful on the outside, but are really nothing more than social clubs.

Is it any wonder that while the church appears to grow, it has actually lost most of its credibility?

That type of church is definitely not the example we find in the New Testament church. Instead, we constantly see the New Testament writers correcting false doctrine and demonstrating the truthfulness of the Word of God.

Somewhere along the way, that emphasis began to change. It has resulted in churches full of “baby” Christians who are blown about by every wind of doctrine, and its time for the church (Christians) to get off the milk and grow up!

Hebrews 5:12-14

This lack of teaching has resulted in churches that no longer have any real influence, because most people have come to believe that truth is relative, rather than absolute.

If Christians can’t demonstrate that the Word of God is the truth, then we are needlessly losing souls to hell.

We need to develop a true understanding of the Word of God, so that we can discern good from evil, and have the credibility to effectively reach those who doubt.

Being able to defend and expound the absolute truth of the Word of God is essential, if we are to win the doubters from those smooth talking, ear tickling false teachers.

v.23:
This second group needs immediate and urgent attention. These are the ones who are dangling over the fires of hell, about to fall in.

These are the people who are living a very self destructive, sinful lifestyle, and there is no time to waste!

These people are a case for the hell,fire and brimstone evangelist.

They need to be made aware of their impending doom, and there is no time to mince words.

It needs to be noted that such rescue work can never be done in any spirit of sanctimoniousness or superiority. It must be done in recognition that ‘there, but for the grace of God, go I’.

Immediate repentance is necessary. This was the message of both Jesus and John the Baptist.

Matthew 3:1-2

Matthew 4:17

They need to be saved by being snatched from the fire. The realities of hell need to be made crystal clear!

Matthew 10:28

A profession of faith that stems from fear, is no less a profession of faith. We shouldn’t avoid using that method when necessary.

The third group is thoroughly polluted with the false teaching.

They may not be living the self destructive lifestyle that the second group was living, but they are totally committed to the false doctrines they’ve been taught.

To them, we are told to show mercy mixed with fear.

We are to have compassion, because they’ve been deceived, but we are to be cautious, so as not to become defiled ourselves.

In trying to find common ground with those to whom we witness, we must be careful not to fall into the quicksand of compromise.

When reaching out to others, we must be sure that our own footing is safe and secure.

Be careful not to become so much like non-Christians that no one can tell who you are or what you believe.

Influence them for Christ—don’t allow them to influence you to sin!

This verse paints a picture of someone who is so defiled that even there clothes are stained.

Hyperbole, to be sure, but it illustrates the seriousness of a sinful lifestyle. It’s something that we can’t afford to get caught up in.

We have to reach out and connect with the lost, but not in a way that defiles us. we must do it without compromise.

So, here we’ve seen three different groups of people, who need three different approaches to evangelism.

We must be able to adapt.

To do that, we need to know Scripture well enough to explain it in the face of many false teachings.

We need to understand the righteous judgment of God, and not be scared to make the realities of hell known.

And we need to be steadfast in our faith, and uncompromising in our approach.

These are the keys that will help us to lead people to a saving faith in Christ.

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