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7 Keep The Faith Jude 17-23

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7 Keep The Faith Jude 17-23

  1. 1. Keep The Faith Jude 1:17-23<br />Adapted from a sermon by<br />Steve Shepherd<br /><br />
  2. 2. Jude 1:17 NET But you, dear friends — recall the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.18For they said to you, "In the end time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires." 19These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit. <br />
  3. 3. 20But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit,21maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life. 22And have mercy on those who waver; 23save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.<br />
  4. 4. Adoniram Judson sweated out Burma’s heat for 18 years without a furlough, six years without a convert. Enduring torture and imprisonment, he admitted that he never saw a ship sail without wanting to jump on board and go home. When his wife’s health broke and he put her on a homebound vessel in the knowledge he would not see her for two full years, he confided to his diary: <br />
  5. 5. "If we could find some quiet resting place on earth where we could spend the rest of our days in peace. . ." But he steadied himself with this remarkable postscript: "Life is short. Millions of Burmese are perishing. I am almost the only person on earth who has attained their language to communicate salvation. . ."<br />
  6. 6. What do you call that? Some people might call it insanity, but I call it commitment to the cause and mission of Christ. And that is very lacking in our world today. Most people have trouble coming to church, let alone trying to serve the Lord in some form. We are soft, safe and secure.<br />
  7. 7. But we are not the servants of Christ that we should be! We fear the enemy, the evil one and the world. We dare not do anything for fear we’ll lose some sleep, cash or our reputation. <br />Our commitment is lacking. <br />Our faith is faltering.<br />
  8. 8. J. H. Goldner, writing in the Christian Evangelist, Oct. 28, 1930, said: "The church is something more than a haven of rest, where the indolent (slow, inactive or lazy), idle and tired may congregate. It is more than a house of refuge to which folks may flee from their pursuers. It is more than safety zone in the midst of the highways of life, into which people may step to avoid the dangers of spiritual injury.<br />
  9. 9. It is more than an old folk’s home where the spiritually defective (that’s me), infirm (that’s me), and incompetent (that’s me) may find shelter and be assured against all want for time and eternity. The church is not a sort of spiritual Florida to which people can migrate in order to escape the chilling blasts of a cold, unfriendly world.<br />
  10. 10. "The prevailing tendency in the present day church is to make religion too easy. It is kept within the realm of convenience and comfort. (and this was written in 1930!) Rarely is there a call for real sacrifice. By means of suppers, sales and pay entertainments and various ingenious devices people are tricked into giving.<br />
  11. 11. Through entertainments and other alluring programs an effort is made to surreptitiously (what’s that mean? Done secretly) inject a little religion into the unsuspecting. And when people have come into the church the greatest care is exercised to spare them; so that only a minimum of anything is asked of them.<br />
  12. 12. Do we need to wonder that the church is not more aggressive and victorious? It hesitates to propose a program that summons us to heroic effort, sacrifice, and even the giving of blood."<br />Doesn’t this make you think we should be doing more and definitely be more committed and faithful to the work and cause of Christ?<br />
  13. 13. In our text, we are told how we can keep the faith and be more active in the living the faith.<br />1- Remember scripture2- Pray much3- Wait patiently4- Demonstrate mercy<br />
  14. 14. REMEMBER SCRIPTURE<br />Jude 1:17 NET But you, dear friends — recall the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.18For they said to you, "In the end time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires." 19These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.<br />
  15. 15. “recall the predictions foretold by the apostles...” For us, that’s scripture. Remember the scriptures. Why? Because scripture is from God! That’s a pretty good reason I’d say!<br />2 Timothy 3:16 NET Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.<br />
  16. 16. We realize that not everything you read is from God? In fact, very little of what we read today is from God. <br />Scripture is from God! <br />When God’s people speak or write & it is in line with His Word, God most likely inspired it. That doesn’t mean that I believe it’s new revelation from God or should be held on the same level as His Scriptures. I do believe that it’s God inspired and should be listened to & backed up by His Word.<br />
  17. 17. If God doesn’t work through His people today then we are in trouble. His divine will is revealed in scripture but God also uses His people today to inspire and motivate us. But the other side of the coin is this: Much of what is written today in newspapers and magazines, etc. is mere junk and adds nothing to the enhancement or quality of our lives. <br />
  18. 18. Scripture says that scoffers will come and I believe many of them write in newspapers and magazines. <br />WE TRUST SCRIPTURE!<br />Bible teacher E. Schuyler English told of Michael Billester, a Bible distributor who visited a small hamlet in Poland shortly before World War II. Billester gave a Bible to a villager, who was converted by reading it<br />
  19. 19. The new believer then passed the Book on to others. The cycle of conversions and sharing continued until 200 people had become believers through that one Bible. When Billeser returned after the war this group of Christians met together for a worship service in which he was to preach the Word.<br />
  20. 20. He normally asked for testimonies, but this time he suggested that several in the audience recite verses of Scripture. One man stood and said, “Perhaps we have misunderstood. Did you mean verses or chapters?”<br />These villagers had not memorized a few select verses of the Bible but whole chapters and books. Thirteen people knew Matthew, Luke, and half of Genesis.<br />
  21. 21. Another person had committed to memory the whole book of Psalms. That single copy of the Bible given by Billester had done its work. Transformed lives bore witness to the power of the Word.<br />Humbling, isn’t it? We can’t memorize a few verses of scripture but these people memorized whole chapters and books.<br />
  22. 22. Why don’t we memorize the Word of God, which is to our benefit?<br />Because we don’t see the benefit and blessing in it. <br />Because it’s hard work. <br />Because we’re too busy with other things that we consider more important.<br />Psalms 119:11 NETIn myheart I store up your words, so I might not sin against you.<br />
  23. 23. Psalms 1:1 NET How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand in the pathway with sinners, or sit in the assembly of scoffers! 2Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the LORD's commands; he meditates on his commands day and night.<br />
  24. 24. There are many blessings to be gained by reading scripture, meditating on scripture and by memorizing scripture. Scripture is powerful and protective! Scripture is from God. We must read and remember scripture to be blessed and to bless others.<br />
  25. 25. PRAY MUCH<br />20But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, 21maintain yourselves in the love of God, <br />When Robert Louis Stevenson was a boy he once remarked to his mother, "Momma, you can’t be good without praying." "How do you know, Robert?" she asked. "Because I’ve tried!" he answered. Prayer helps.<br />
  26. 26. Another little boy had been sent to his room because he had been bad. A short time later he came out and said to his mother, "I’ve been thinking about what I did and I said a prayer.“<br />"That’s fine," she said, "if you ask God to make you good, He will help you." "Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me be good," replied the boy. "I asked Him to help you put up with me."<br />
  27. 27. Does it do any good to pray? Well, we know the answer to that question or we should know the answer. While we may not get every prayer answered, we’d have enough answers to prayer to thank God for the privilege of prayer. <br />WE BELIEVE IN PRAYER!<br />
  28. 28. Mark 1:35 NET Then Jesus got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer.<br />Luke 6:12 NET Now it was during this time that Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he spent all night in prayer to God.<br />Did Jesus believe in praying? <br />DID HE EVER! <br />
  29. 29. Was anything ever important enough to you to spend the night in prayer? That’s something to think about. <br />In the Russian novel “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” Ivan endures all the horrors of a Soviet prison camp. One day he was praying with his eyes closed when a fellow prisoner noticed him and said with ridicule, "Prayers won’t help you get out of here any faster." <br />
  30. 30. Opening his eyes, Ivan answered, "I do not pray to get out of prison but to do the will of God.“<br />We believe that prayer will help us in life and help us to do the will of God.<br />
  31. 31. Did you ever hear of the prayer meeting that shook America? Find a U.S. history book (or google it) and read about the Fulton Street prayer meeting on September 23, 1857, started by Mr. Jeremiah Calvin Lanphier, a simple merchant in New York. Times were as difficult then as they are right now in America. <br />
  32. 32. People were disheartened by depression, unemployment, crime, bankruptcy, and empty church pews. Mr. Lanphier had a great burden for prayer and asked for a noon prayer meeting once a week in his church. The consistory let him do it. They hadn’t much else left to do but to close the doors like other churches had done for lack of membership.<br />
  33. 33. On that September day Mr. Lanphier took his place at noon in an empty church. For half an hour he prayed alone, but when the meeting closed at one o’clock, there were six men who had joined him in prayer. Out of that humble meeting came the Spirit wind of a great revival that shook America. <br />
  34. 34. It happened so fast that only six months later people prayed everywhere -- the churches couldn’t hold them anymore, and in Philadelphia the biggest tent was put up to provide a place for as many as 150,000 praying people who gathered to change America. History tells us that a million people were converted, the churches filled up again, and crime rates went down.<br />
  35. 35. God hasn’t changed -- we have. It is time to do first things first again. And the first and most important thing is consistent, fervent prayer.<br />(THESE TIMES, Copyright (c) 1978, <br />Pacific Press, )<br />This is a life-sized statue of Jeremiah Lanphier in front of the American Bible Society in New York City.<br />
  36. 36. PRAYER WORKS! <br />When we pray with the idea of doing the will of God and asking His will to be done, prayer works because God is at work in us and in this world. We must keep the faith by continuing to pray and pray without ceasing.<br />
  37. 37. WAIT PATIENTLY<br />21maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating (footnote: Or "waiting for.")the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life. <br />A lady told this story. The checkout line at the hardware store was getting longer and longer as the clerk labored to get the new cash register to cooperate.<br />
  38. 38. At one point she wailed "Oh no, NOW what do I do? It just rang up sixty-four thousand, five hundred seventy four dollars in sales tax on a ten-dollar sale!" Surprisingly, the customers in front of me didn’t seem too upset by the delay. Some even chuckled sympathetically. <br />
  39. 39. It wasn’t until I got near the front of the line that I saw the neatly hand-lettered sign in front of the register: <br />WE ARE CURRENTLY DOING BATTLE WITH OUR NEW COMPUTER FOR CONTROL OF THE STORE---WE APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE.<br />
  40. 40. Have you been there and done that? That is, have you been in a long line of people at the checkout somewhere with a very slow checker at work? <br />That requires patience on our part.<br />And patience is not something that most Americans have or exhibit. <br />
  41. 41. If you don’t believe me, while at a stop light, wait a few moments before starting the car moving when the light turns green & see how many people tell you about it with their horns! <br />I admit, I’m guilty of blowing my horn when the person in front of me is sleeping through a green light.<br />
  42. 42. We who are in Christ need to exhibit more patience with other human beings because of who we are and whose we are! And because the Spirit of Christ is at work in us and His fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, etc.! <br />We also need to exhibit patience with God and that’s what this text is talking about. <br />
  43. 43. 21maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life.<br />The outstanding characteristics of the great New England preacher Phillips Brooks were poise and calmness. His close friends, however, knew that at times he suffered moments of frustration and irritability.<br />
  44. 44. One day a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion. ‘What is the trouble, Dr. Brooks?’ asked the friend. ‘The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!’ ”<br />That sounds a lot like us. There have been many things that we have faced or dealt with in life that we prayed about and waited and waited for an answer. Maybe it was financial or perhaps something in regard to family.<br />
  45. 45. Maybe you prayed for years and years for some family member to come to Christ and you’re still waiting. <br />THAT’S TOUGH. <br />It’s hard to wait on God when we think we know what is right and what should be done. But we sometimes forget that God knows everything and will always do the right thing. It’s a matter of us trusting Him and waiting on Him to do His thing.<br />
  46. 46. The main thought of the text is waiting on the mercy of God to be revealed. And this sounds like the grand finale of our salvation, meaning when we leave this world and go into the presence of God. We trust in the mercy of the Lord Jesus to save us! And this is the waiting game right now, because none of us know when we will leave this world. But we must keep the faith, waiting, trusting, believing.<br />
  47. 47. DEMONSTRATE MERCY<br />22And have mercy on those who waver; 23save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.<br />NO MERCY! <br />You’ve heard the phrase, seen the sign, etc. It could be called <br />"zero tolerance."<br />
  48. 48. A 12-year-old in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder, told others in a lunch line not to eat all the potatoes, or “I’m going to get you.” Turned in by the lunch monitor, he was referred by the principal to the police, who charged the boy with making “terroristic threats.” The kid spent several weeks in a juvenile detention center.<br />
  49. 49. A 13-year-old in Denton County, Texas, was assigned in class to write a "scary" Halloween story. He concocted one that involved shooting up a school, which got him a visit from police -- and six days in jail before the courts confirmed that no crime had been committed.<br />
  50. 50. Both of these cases may be a bit overboard in regard to "zero tolerance" or "no mercy." And I have learned that the "no mercy" rule is not very good one and not good practice.<br />Matthew 5:7 NET "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.<br />Matthew 9:13 NET Go and learn what this saying means: 'I want mercy and not sacrifice.‘ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."<br />
  51. 51. Matthew 18:33 NET Should younot have shown mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed it to you?'<br />Do these verses tell us anything about the mercy of God and the importance of demonstrating mercy? There is no question about it. <br />WE MUST DEMONSTRATE MERCY IF WE EXPECT TO RECEIVE SUCH!<br />
  52. 52. 22And have mercy on those who waver; 23save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.<br />Jude begins here to tell us what we must do with those who have been influenced by these certain men. We need to make a distinction, based on where they are coming from. <br />
  53. 53. Certainly, on some have mercy.<br />Using wisdom we approach different people in different manners. By being sensitive, we can know when we should comfort, and when we should rebuke. Christians should not abandon a friend flirting with false teaching. They should help him through it in love. <br />
  54. 54. This means we continue to love them. No matter how bad a person is, or how misleading and terrible their doctrine, we are not allowed to hate them - or to be unconcerned for their salvation. (Guzik)<br />Who are “those who waver?” Those who doubt the existence of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Those who don’t believe in the Lord or have some doubts. <br />
  55. 55. We need to demonstrate mercy by trying to convince them and lead them to the Lord. And this could take a long time for some of them. So we must continue to demonstrate mercy.<br />For the most part, it pays to demonstrate mercy to all people and for any reason. Mercy is a characteristic of God and we should want to be like Him.<br />
  56. 56. Now the other side of the coin is this: We must snatch some people from the fire. It’s as though some people already have one foot in hell and we need to snatch them out of there!<br />A deacon in the church at Iberia, MO said when he was young, wild and drinking his dad literally went into a bar one time and dragged him out of it! <br />
  57. 57. That’s what I call snatching someone from the fire! Or from something that could lead to the fire! And there are many other places just like that from which people need to be snatched!<br />This text reminds of the old saying, "Love the sinner but hate the sin." And we should. <br />Overall, we need to demonstrate mercy to all people. <br />
  58. 58. In some extreme cases, however, we may have to use some force! But this is a part of keeping the faith.<br />2 Timothy 4:6 NET For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand. 7I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!<br />
  59. 59. Have you kept the faith and are you keeping it? <br />Are you staying on course? What will it take? <br />Reading of scripture. <br />Much prayer. <br />Patience with God and people. And a heart of love that demonstrates mercy to all.<br />