03 Feb 2/3/19 “False Teachers Say: ‘Do What Feels Good!'”
The message this morning is part 3 from the book of Jude on false teachers, false prophets. They kind of use those words interchangeably. The title is “False Teachers Say, ‘Do What Feels Good!’” Here’s what false teachers will always tell you. And a false prophet, what they mean by that is somebody speaking for God: “Thus saith the Lord.” Well, does it line up with His Word? It’s very simple. Somebody who says something that doesn’t line up with His Word is a false prophet, a false proclaimer. What they are saying is truth is not truth. So a prophet is really somebody who proclaims what the Word of God is, what the will of God is. If I’m telling you, “Hey, just continue in your sin. God doesn’t care,” then I’m a false prophet. And a false teacher teaches people falsely.
Let me just tell you that you need to have your spiritual antennae up in these days. You need to know what’s going on out there because everything on the news isn’t legit. Did you know that? CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Drudge Report, Huffington Post—be careful. Get your information from the Word of God. Here’s what’s happening. We’re out of the Word of God, we don’t look to the Word of God, and we look to what everyone else is saying. We look to what the culture is saying. So what direction are we eventually led? In the direction of what the culture is saying.
So the big mark you need to know about false teachers is—we talked about it last week, but it’s going to talk about it again here in Jude (we are in the book of Jude if you want to turn there, the book of Jude, verse 5)— false teachers tell you, “Do what feels good.” So God says, “Run, get away from, flee from—” what? Fleshly impulses. We want to eat too much. We want to drink too much. We want to run to what the flesh tells us to do. So false teachers will actually encourage that. Nike—what is their slogan? Just Do It. Can you imagine if that was our slogan? “Shane, I don’t know. I’m struggling with this.”
“Just do it.”
“Yeah, who cares? God doesn’t care. Didn’t you read in here somewhere, it says He’s a God of love.”
That’s the new thing right now. Did you know that? Lady Gaga has the audacity to rebuke Mike Pence’s Christian faith based on “God is love. Jesus is love.” So that means I can do whatever I want because Jesus loves me. No, He loves you enough to die for you, to die for that sin, not to continue in it. What a false perception of love. And these false teachers, when they tell you what feels good, they are smooth talkers. They’re appealing to the flesh, so they always have followers. Who doesn’t want them telling them to continue in their lifestyle? Tell me what I want to hear.
So I quote this verse often, but I want to actually put it on the screen so you can see it yourself. Older Paul is writing to a younger Timothy, and these words are very relevant for us today in 2 Timothy 4. Look what it says:
For the time will come [and is already here] when they will not endure sound doctrine. (v. 3)
What does that mean? The time will come when they will not put up with this [the Bible] anymore. If we don’t live in that time, I don’t know when it’s coming. Because that is exactly what’s happening. People say, “I don’t want to know what [the Bible] says, I don’t want to put up with sound doctrine (sound theology, understanding of God), I don’t want to hear about the foundation of righteousness and holiness. I don’t want that. I don’t want this sound, solid, complete, authoritative doctrine.”
. . . but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears. . . (v. 3)
And you might not understand “itching ears” in our context, but itching ears was something where people would be perceptive. My ear is itching. In other words, I want to hear what you’re saying. It’s itching for gossip. It’s itching. It’s looking for what I want to hear about myself and continue in my sin. That’s why Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Let him hear what the Spirit of God is saying through His Word, through sound doctrine. So the very thing we need, they want to run away from.
. . . they will heap up for themselves teachers. (v. 3)
They look for, they heap up—it means they get a whole bunch of them. You know, heap on the onions at In ’N’ Out Burger. (Now you’re paying attention.) Heap up, put on more of that. So they heap up, they look for, they go through YouTube. I like that guy. I like that guy. Who’s that bald guy telling me I’m a sinner? Dislike! I don’t want that so I’m heaping up, I’m collecting in my YouTube playlist all these people who will tell me what I want to hear. Did you know you can find them out there? Every sin you want to engage in, someone will confirm it.
So they look for them, and they say, “They’ve got pastor in their title.” That’s why I’m not a big fan of titles. People will say, “I’m a prophet.” You’re not a prophet. God will call you a prophet. He will give you giftings. Man doesn’t put titles on it. God calls a person. And that’s actually what we do here. We just look for God’s call on someone. What we often do is refrain from titles and see how they handle that. Are they in it for the title, the recognition? Because when God calls somebody, He puts that anointing on them.
So Paul is telling Timothy, “Be careful,” because they’re going to look for teachers, they’ll find a whole bunch of teachers who will turn their ears away from the truth. In other words, the truth is coming out. The truth is coming out, and they turn their ears from the truth to what? To error. That’s why I personally think that God allowed us to purchase the airwaves and not to go to something secular, something different, because you have this battle for what? The truth. Are we not seeing the battle for truth in our nation and in the churches? One voice saying this, one voice saying that.
I don’t mean to poke fun. It’s just perfect illustrations. But for Lady Gaga to lecture us on Christianity. And kids believe it. In Philadelphia, I think, there’s a school district where there’s a transgender. Her name is Anna Antichrist, and she’s got horns on, and she’s sitting there reading to kindergartners. Where’s the outrage? See, there’s this contending. That’s wrong. “No, it’s right.” No, but I think that’s wrong. “No, you’re a hatemonger. You hate people. You’re a racist. You’re transphobe. You’re homophobe.” All those titles are false declarations to get people to not like you and to dissuade you from the truth. All those titles. I mean, how else are you going to avoid something? You’re going to throw titles at someone and call them a hater, call them mean.
So Jude is addressing this. He said, verse 5:
I want to remind you. Though you once knew. . .
Isn’t it good to be reminded of God’s Word.? This is why you have to stay in the Word of God as often as possible. You’ll notice this. When you get out of the Word of God and you start to listen to the voice of the world, what happens? You’re pulled in that direction. As Christians we think, No, I can hold that line, I can hold that line. No, as a man thinks, so is he. You were programmed, I was programmed, to be either conformed to the image of the world or to be conformed to the image of Christ. What direction is the Word of God pulling you?
I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (vv. 5–7)
Jude, could you be a little softer? False prophets won’t even teach the book of Jude, I’ll tell you that right now, because it calls them out. It names them. Exactly what they’re doing—they are false prophets suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
One thing that happens is churches are dumbed down, you know, not wanting to offend and to be politically correct, not wanting to hurt people’s feelings, and hopefully they get convicted on their own if they’re reading. You begin to create an atmosphere where nobody’s convicted. So a person comes in in their sin, comes in in their sinful lifestyle, they hear worship, they raise their hands, they praise God, they hear a great encouraging message, and they leave, and they come back next week. We’re only going to focus on the positives: God is love, turn the other cheek, be nice to people, let’s look at the Good Samaritan this morning. Isn’t that what they do? And then they come back, but they never get convicted. It’s that constant merry-go-round, and they’re hearing the same thing, same encouragement, all the time. They’re never convicted. That’s why it’s important to read the Word of God.
I mean, when most people do a devotional, they don’t read God’s Word. They open it, and they read “God is love.” Oh, that was good for the day. And then the next day, “Turn the other cheek.” Oh, that’s really good. And then the next day, “Do good to your neighbor.” Boy, I really like this stuff. But they’re not going through it and finding the whole counsel of God’s Word, the totality of God’s Word, the conviction as well as the encouragement. We have to have both. You need the encouragement when you’re down, but you need the conviction when you’re arrogant. That’s what the Word of God does. It’s supposed to convict. It’s supposed to hurt feelings. It’s supposed to offend and build up and strengthen. It does all those things. Only God can do that.
I love what He told Jeremiah, this young prophet. We don’t know his age, but he said, “God, I can’t speak for you. I’m just a youth,” and God said, “You will go to who I send you, and you will speak what I put in your mouth.” And what does He say to him? Just encourage them? No, He said, “You will pull down, you will root out, you will destroy the works of darkness,” and then He said, “And you will plant, and you will build up.” See, it’s that whole counsel of God’s Word. It goes in like a sword. It goes in like something that’s living and active. The Bible says that, that the Word of God is living and active, like a double-edged sword. It pierces the heart. It’s a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart. So, my heart and my thoughts are going a certain direction. The Word of God comes in like a sword, and it pierces that arrogance, and it causes a person to repent and believe or to become hard and cold and callous.
Isn’t it interesting, the Puritans were famous in the 1500s, 1600s, for saying, “The same sun above that melts the wax hardens the clay.” Just like the Word of God. And it’s so interesting. This is probably one of the most interesting things that happens in ministry that I see. Hard messages, people are in tears: “Oh my Lord.” One guy came up to me this morning, “That’s exactly for me. I needed to hear that hard saying.” And then you have somebody else: “How dare you? Who do you think you are?” Same word, different heart. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. This person is hard and arrogant and turning from the truth. And you’ll see this if you try to go and talk to those who we see in the news at some of those marches. They are so hard. They’re so calloused. They don’t want to hear anything. I think they would stone us if it was legal. [They would say,] Get rid of that person.
We see here there’s an Old Testament example. What happened with the children of Israel? He saved them out of Egypt. He brought, they think, around 1.6 million people out of Egypt. “I will call My children, My nation, from Egypt.” How many of them in Egypt went into the promise land? Two. Two people. That’s not very good odds. A quick, I don’t know, two-week journey, [became] forty years, wandering in the wilderness, and God kept saying, “Your unbelief, your hard hearts, your grumbling, your complaining, your bickering.”
That all goes together. Did you know that? I’ve never seen anyone with a soft, pliable, humble, gracious heart that’s also critical. “Oh God this,” and “Oh God that.” “I’m suffering for it, and my life shouldn’t be. . .” and they’re very critical. See, it all goes together. It’s a heart of unbelief. Belief doesn’t just have to do with salvation. Belief has to do with “God, I believe You’re sovereign. I believe You sit on the throne. I believe You have this. I believe all the nations sit in the palm of Your hands. I believe You have the final say. I believe in who You are. I believe in Your sovereignty. I believe You know what’s best for me, and I’m going to trust in You. You said it; I believe it.” They used to say that: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”
But I heard a major pastor, I think one of the biggest in our nation, talking on an interview. I see his point, but we have to be careful. He’ll make statements, and he teaches in such a way as to appeal to the world. Like “Well, you can’t say, ‘the Bible says’ anymore, Shane.” Oh, okay. “Because they don’t believe that.” And I see what he’s saying. I kind of get where he’s going, but you start to dumb down the authority of Scripture. Because I would say, “Oh, absolutely. I actually think we can. I think we can say ‘thus saith the Lord,’ or I can say, ‘Jesus said, “He who is not for me is against me.”’ John said that if you do not do His commandments, you are a liar and the truth is not in you,” and that word goes out like a devouring fire, like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces, like a double-edged sword. I believe that we can say that. I believe it. I like what Spurgeon said. You don’t have to defend the Bible and hold it back any more than you defend a lion. Open the cage and let it out. That’s all you have to do sometimes with the Word of God. You need men and women filled with the Spirit of God, proclaiming His truth. Though the world says, “I do not want to endure sound doctrine,” God says, “I don’t care what you want endure. I am God, and you are not, and I will proclaim My truth through spokesmen who want to proclaim the authority of my Word and hold it up, not push it down.”
Many people are so scared that the world doesn’t want to hear it. You can’t say “the Bible” anymore. You can’t say this, you can’t say “Adam and Eve.” That’s so passé. People don’t buy Noah’s Ark, a worldwide flood. A big fish swallowed Jonah. Okay, Shane, come on, what are you doing, man? We’ve got to relate to the people. They don’t believe that anymore. The problem is you don’t believe it anymore, and then it comes out in your preaching. (You can clap for that. That’s a good one to clap for.)
Because Jesus Himself said, “As in the days of Noah.” Jesus Himself said, “As was with Jonah three days in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth.” Jesus said, “In the beginning God made them male and female.” So are you dumbing down, then, what Jesus said? Because that’s authoritative. So I think many people are trying to conform, and what happens is they get attacked. You said, “the Bible said.” You are so illiterate. You are so naïve. No, you are. Let’s sit down and look at it.
I believe we’ve got to get back to the authority of God’s Word and be filled with the Spirit of God so when you speak it you have the authority because you believe it. Belief is huge. A lot of these people do not believe, actually believe, that these things happen. I know Christian pastors right now over that hill who believe in evolution. No wonder there’s no power in a lot of their preaching. Well, I don’t know. . . Could it be. . .? I mean, I know homosexuality is wrong, but maybe God’s changing His mind. See, flip-flop. You’re not running for office. You’re in the pulpit. You can’t flip-flop.
Now, it’s okay to have questions. I have questions. I don’t understand some things, but I realize that I’m finite and God is infinite. His ways are far beyond my ways. Whom am I to question? It’s okay to go, “Lord, why did you. . . ?” Sometimes I’ll read in the Old Testament, and I’ll go, “Wow,” or just be like, “Lord, I don’t understand that.” I don’t know how there was a command given to go and slaughter every person. I don’t understand. But I will never let that dissuade me from believing and trusting in the one, true, and living God. You have to have that backbone that only comes from spending time in His Word. The reason many people reject it is because they’re not in His Word. They have no clue what it really says. That’s why you’ll hear, “Well, He’s not the God of the Old Testament anymore.” Is it a different book? Like did He switch? It’s the same story. It’s the same book.
So the Old Testament examples were given so that we would believe. Paul said, “I’ve given you these examples so that you would believe and learn from them.” So where are you at this morning? Belief is essential. Has a critical spirit come in? Are you starting to doubt God and complain? Don’t feel like I’m pointing fingers; I can turn into complain mode pretty easily. When the week’s not going too good, what happens? Do I get more joyful, joy filled? But we have to be careful because that heart of unbelief can set in.
What about unbelief in regard to salvation? I don’t know where all of you are, but you need to really look at your heart. Do you truly know Jesus? Because there’s this image of Jesus that He was just a good teacher, turn the other cheek, love, love like the hippies in the ’60s. It just all love, man. He had the look. No, this is the same Jesus who would rebuke cities. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! Woe to you!” Do you know what that means? I say, “Woe to you, America. Woe to you, Canada.” “If the good works that were done in you were done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Woe to you, Capernaum. You are raised up in the heavens, so you say, but I will bring you down to hell. It’s better in the day of judgment for Sodom than for you because you did not believe.”
So it does beg the question, are you trusting in religion this morning, or do you have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ? There’s nothing more important than that. But oh, we’ve got to get out of here. The game’s about to start. We’ve got to do this. We’ve got to do that. No, nothing is more important than “do you have that relationship?” I’ve also found that many people come back to me later and say, “You know, what you said really upset me that day, but it made go home and think, and now I know Christ. Now I know God.”
Even the angels rebelled. The Bible says they “did not keep their proper domain,” which is their area of influence. So God gave them a domain. God said, “Angels, this is your domain, this is your area of influence,” and some of them even rebelled against God. It appears that they were given a free will, a choice to make. I thought of this, too, I wanted to ask you this morning. Are you in a state of rebellion? What does that look like? Very, very, very simple. I hear, but I do not do.
And the reason I encourage you in this area is because once your heart is clean and free of these things, you’ll experience the abundant Christian life that Jesus spoke of. So when I do this, it’s not to hurt, it’s to help. Who’s going to get upset at a cancer surgeon for removing a tumor? That hurt! “Well, yeah, I got it out.” Same thing. We need heart surgery sometimes.
He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. (v. 6)
We have to be reminded. He said, “I want to remind you. There is a day coming.” The Bible says there is a day coming when God will judge the thoughts and actions of man. There’s a great judgment coming where we will stand before Christ someday. Isn’t that interesting? Not a lot of options. When you stand before Christ someday, when you pass from here, He says either, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord,” or “Depart from Me. I don’t know you.” Many people don’t realize at that time there’ll be no negotiating.
As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh.
Very interesting point here. I’ve talked to many—I won’t mention names; you wouldn’t know them anyway—but I would say in less than, I don’t know, five, six years, I’ve talked to who I would consider false prophets. I’ve had lunch with them, I’ve read some of their books, and in every single case, what they do to get out of the sexual immorality clause in Jude is they say God was upset at Sodom and Gomorrah because they didn’t take care of the poor. I believe one of the Old Testament writers says, “Sodom, you’re judged because you neglect the poor.” It also says they’re into drunkenness, innocent blood, revelries, and all these things. But they will avoid the sexual immorality clause. But it’s crystal clear. Just like Sodom and Gomorrah, they gave “over to sexual immorality, and [they went] after strange flesh.”
Now if you look up this phrase in the Greek language which it was written in, there’s an interesting word there. Let’s see if this sounds familiar. Heteros. Heteros sexual. Heterosexual. Of the same flesh. So they went after the same flesh. Homosexuality is clearly outlined in this book. And people say, “Well, you can’t hang your hat just on that.” Well, go to Genesis, “God made them male and female,” and He said, “Go and be fruitful.” Can’t do that. And Leviticus says, “Do not lay with a man as a woman lays with a man; it’s an abomination.” Paul in Romans says, “They suppress the truth, and they embrace the lie, and God gives them over to a debased and corrupted mind, and they start to exchange the truth for a lie, and they start to burn with passions, one for another, women for women and men for men.” In Corinthians, Paul says, “Neither adulterers nor homosexuals nor thieves nor coveters,” all these other groups, “will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Then you get to Jude. I don’t think that’s vague. Then what will happen is “Shane, you’re a homophobe.” No, if the truth be told, let’s take a lie detector test, and I love those who struggle with sin. I will talk to anybody who struggles in sin. Somebody in adultery, somebody hooked on alcohol, somebody on pills, somebody in homosexuality, whatever it is. Sin is sin if they don’t know Christ. That’s why says Paul says, “Neither fornicator (living together) nor idolaters (somebody idolizing work or Hollywood and they hate God) nor an adulterer (somebody in adultery) nor homosexual nor A thief (somebody who steals). He goes down the list. Drunkard.
See, people struggle with alcohol and say, “God, please take this away. I’m struggling. Help me.” That’s not the lifestyle. The drunkard says, “I don’t care what God’s Word says. I’m going to drink, and I love drinking. I don’t care. I’m going to party till the day I die, and I hope they serve beer in hell.” Lifestyle. People don’t understand. We’re not coming against one sin over another. But what’s happening now is there’s this big movement toward sexual immorality in this area of perversion, going after strange flesh. Why isn’t there any movement against adultery? Women for Adultery. Men for Fornication. Walking the Streets. It’s a spirit of antichrist rising up in the world of sexual immorality, and a false prophet will avoid this.
Google pastors, prominent pastors, who think that gay marriage and homosexuality is okay, and a list of false prophets will come up, false teachers. I don’t say it arrogantly. I say it with brokenness and with tear-stained pleas to some of these people. One recently who came out was on Oprah. Rob Bell. I don’t know if any of you read his book. He starts questioning the inerrancy of Scripture. He’s okay with gay marriage. [He says] there’s no hell. Francis Chan had to write a book refuting his book. These are false prophets. I don’t want to say that, but I have to say it because they encourage people in their sin.
I was on Fox News a year and half ago when Morgan and I went to New York—and if you could have seen my face. It was an audio version, an hour-long audio. I was stunned. I almost didn’t know how to answer, which is unusual for me. But Lauren Greene on Fox News said, “Well, if you are helping someone in your church, and they come to you and they say, ‘We’re struggling with same-sex attraction. We’re convicted. We don’t know what to do.’” He said he would tell them to give into it. Act on it. I love people enough, I love him enough—I wrote him an email later, and I called him out on these things. This is this is not good. This is a characteristic of a false prophet.
How on God’s green earth could you give permission to engage in any type of sexual sin? But they’ll often say, “God is changing,” or my favorite, “The Spirit is revealing new things.” Really? Run for cover. Or, “Now, Shane, we have a better understanding of God’s nature. We have a deeper truth. The Spirit’s taking us in a different direction.” Never, never, will there be a different direction or new truth. If it’s new, it’s not truth. If it’s truth, it’s not new. What did we learn last week? If an angel or any other person preaches to you a different gospel, they are to be accursed. Jesus says, “Woe be to that person who encourages another in sin. Woe to you if you make one of these little ones stumble. It’d be better for you to have never been born or a millstone hung around your neck and cast into the sea.”
These are strong statements. It says that everlasting punishment is reserved for these people. So, my heart plea is, and I pray for these people, “God, please,” because without God awakening them and showing them, it won’t happen. Because another characteristic of a false prophet is pride, unteachable, reject authority, reject the authority of God’s Word. They are proud and unteachable and eager to dispute. You’ll see in our culture all the marketing out there is based on feelings. You could buy that new Lexus, and they have the Rock, Dwayne Johnson, driving it. You’ll look like that too. Or what’s the Wolverine guy, Hugh Jackman. You’ll look like this if you do this. I’ve told you before I’m the same age, the same height, and the same weight as that guy, and I do not look like that guy.
But see that’s what we want to hear. Nike—just do it. Just do it. Kids can cave into all these things. Look at all these advertisements out there for kids, especially junk food. Don’t get me started. I never see broccoli dipped in hummus on a commercial. Never. It’s always Cap’n Crunch, Trix, all those same cereals. It’s all just to the flesh, the lust of the flesh. It’s been years since I watched some of these sitcoms, and now if I just happened to see it, I’m like, how is that even allowed now? How is that allowed? They can drop F-bombs, they can show nudity on TV? When did this happen? Slow descent, slow descent. How quickly. You’ve heard me say this before. We went from Leave It to Beaver. Remember Leave It to Beaver? Family all around the table. “Gee golly, Wally. I stole a piece of gum.” “Let’s go. We’re taking it back, young man.” Or The Waltons. Little House on the Prairie. And now, my Lord. It’s just unbelievable. The culture is dead. Their consciences have been seared to the things of God.
I don’t want to alarm you too much, but there’s a big movement—I don’t think it will get very far right now—to claim that Christians have a mental disorder. Who has the mental disorder? Rejecting God. Now I should kind of throw this out. I don’t want everybody leaving here thinking everybody is a false prophet. There are confused pastors. The one that I talked about that I know, I would say he’s confused. I would not say he’s a false prophet here locally. I’m a friend of a few of these people. I have cracks in the armor. I don’t have perfect theology. Nobody does. Well, I like this person. Well, I bet they disagree with this person on the rapture. I bet they disagree with this person on baptism. I bet they disagree with this person on church government. I bet they disagree with this person on gifts of the Spirit. See, nobody has perfect theology, but you have to have the essentials down. What are the essentials of the gospel? Those have to be foundational.
So the confused pastor or person who is confused isn’t always a false teacher. These people are struggling and have questions. You’re seeing that right now, even with those in their twenties. We’ve got friends, I’m sure you do, that are Christians, but they’re gravitating toward the wrong side. They’re gravitating toward the world, what the world says, because they’re struggling, they’re looking for answers. They don’t know what the Bible says. So if all these famous actors say it, then it must be true. Right? That’s what they’re believing. I’m going to get political, so I’m going to stop.
Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh. (v. 8)
So these false teachers are dreamers. Have you ever said, “You’re dreaming!” Do you remember that? “You’re dreaming. You’re a dreamer.” Well, what is dreaming? Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible says, “This shows someone is completely out of touch with the principles of God’s kingdom.” We’ve just put a few people in office in the United States of America, in the Senate and Congress, who are dreamers. They are completely out of touch with God’s kingdom. And what do these dreamers also do? They submit to authority? No, they reject authority. You see what’s going on? They speak evil of dignitaries, anybody above them. They do not speak well of them.
So we go from thirty years ago, whoever—I don’t care, Republican, Democrat, Independent, I don’t care what you are—thirty, forty years ago, you could never say what we’re saying about the president today. Never. They reject any type of authority. This person is not my authority. And they reject it. Then they reject this authority. So who becomes authority? Themselves. I-I-I. What I feel. What I want. So what we have now is a lot of twenty-two-year-olds who are still two. Or thirty-two and rejecting authority.
So be careful. You are on the wrong path if you are rejecting authority. Now I’m talking about God-given authority, not abusive type of authority. But if you are rejecting God’s Word as authoritative, if you are rejecting those in positions whom God has put above you, and you’re rejecting that, be careful. Because that’s a spirit of the antichrist as well. These false teachers don’t sit under any spiritual authority. They often are proclaimers of themselves and others. They don’t sit underneath any type of authority.
They reject the spiritual authority but guess what? When you reject the spiritual authority, you also lack spiritual authority. As soon as I begin to reject [the Bible] then I will lack spiritual authority. Sermons won’t carry weight. They won’t hit the heart. They won’t go right to the issues. You can tell there’s something dead, there’s something off, there’s something wrong. You might just as well have hired a speaker from Toastmasters. Once you reject this [the Bible], the only way somebody can truly preach with powerful spiritual authority is because they submit, and they sit underneath this. So this comes into here, out to there. It’s a spiritual authority.
So is His Word your authority this morning? Think about it. Is His Word your authority? The Bible says be doers of the Word and not just hearers, or you’ll live in deception. It’s a very important call to us.
And then verse 9—I’ll go quickly—
Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
This whole context is interesting. God took Moses his body and hid it. Nobody knows where. The Bible says that “his eyes were not dim and his natural forces were not abated.” He was in a healthy state, and God took him and hid his body. But apparently Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, he said these things. He didn’t bring accusation against him, and he said, “The Lord rebuke you.” So the practical application for us this morning is let the Lord fight your battle. I don’t know who that’s for, but let the Lord fight your battle. Not yourself, not anger, not a friend, let the Lord stand and fight for you.
And then verse 10:
But these speak evil of whatever they do not know and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things, they are corrupt themselves. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and have run greedily in the error of Balaam and for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. (vv. 10–11)
Three Old Testament examples. Why is the Old Testament so important? Why should you be reading both? Paul says that these things, these people, these situations, in the Old Testament were given to us as an example, that we might not lust after evil things like they lusted. So they’re to be an example for us, and we’ll talk about these three in a minute. But they do whatever they want, whatever they don’t even know. Don’t those people bother you? You know they don’t even know, and they act like they know. They just come in. They’re so prideful and arrogant. They have no clue. They just do whatever they want, whatever they do, naturally like brute beasts. That’s what an animal does. An animal just is an animal.
So that’s what these people are. They’re just brute beasts, doing whatever they want to do, and they corrupt themselves in doing that. Pride speaks out against God. Like brute beasts they have no self-control. So watch out for teachers who tell you self-control doesn’t matter, give in to it, if you have these tendencies.
One thing that actually kind of bothered me from—it’s been about a year and four months ago, you can find it on YouTube if you put my name with Fox News—that pastor I debated when I flew to New York. It was an audio interview so you can’t see the facial expressions, but I still remember mine today. She asked him what would you tell somebody, a gay couple, that comes to you, and they’re convicted, they’re struggling, they need advice? He said, “I would tell them to give into their desires.” That’s a false prophet. That’s a false proclaimer of what is not true. That hurts people. Anytime we tell people, “Just give in to it. Just give in to it.”
And false prophets are consistent across the board. They’re not really concerned with marriage too much. Oh, just give in to it. It’s a fling. No big deal. They’ll encourage your sin. If anybody ever speaks the truth in love to you, you should thank them, not get upset. Because what happens first? What we do first? Pride, like brute beasts. Like I want to tell my dog, “Get inside!” “No!” Brute beasts. They don’t want to listen.
This is interesting. Historian Edward Gibbon, in the 1700s, wrote a book talking about the conditions of Rome before Rome fell. He said, number one, there was the rapid increase in divorce, and the undermining of the dignity and the sanctity of the home. Hello. That’s knocking at the door. Number two, more taxation and the spending of public funds on food and entertainment. (Don’t worry, I won’t keep knocking.) Number three, the mad craze for pleasure and sport, sport becoming every year more and more exciting and brutal. Number four there is the moral decline of the people. And number five, the decay of religious faith, faith fading into mere form.
So Jude said here, “They’ve gone the way of Cain.” What was the way of Cain? You know, Cain and Abel. Cain’s sacrifice was not acceptable to God. Scripture is not real clear on this, but whatever his sacrifice was, it displeased God, and God said, “Cain, why are you angry? Why are you angry? If you did well, I would’ve rewarded you. But be careful because sin is crouching at the door.” The Old Testament gives this image like a lion crouching, waiting for that door to open. Sin is crouching at the door. Be careful what you open. Be careful what you open.
So like the way of Cain, actions that that displease God. Are there any actions this morning in this room that are displeasing to God? Listen, with the Bible you’re supposed to preach it and give practical application. Everything he’s talking about. Is there something in our lives that is displeasing God, actions that are displeasing Him? Then repent of that this morning.
Then he says here, “They have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit.” What is that? Well, at your leisure read Numbers 22–24. This king, Balak, hired Balaam to go and curse the children of Israel. “I’ll give you riches and riches. Look, this great and mighty nation is coming toward me. Go up on this mountaintop and curse the children of Israel.” Balaam, for profit here, he says, greedily, “I’ll curse the children of Israel because I’m going to be wealthy,” and he began to curse the children of Israel. What happened? God began to pour forth blessings. “Oh, they’re going to be a mighty nation. They’re going to come in and take over the land, and God’s going to multiply them,” and the king is like, “No, that’s not what I paid you for.” And he said, “I cannot go beyond what the word of the Lord says.”
There’s a wonderful principle there, in this study of Balaam. Basically, you cannot curse what God has blessed. That should strengthen many of you this morning. You cannot curse what God has blessed. It’s impossible. The enemy cannot curse your marriage, the enemy cannot curse what you’re doing in your life, the enemy cannot curse, override, overrule, what God is doing in your life by blessing you. But be careful. There’s a flipside to this doctrine you’ve heard me teach on before. You cannot curse what God has blessed unless you remove yourself from that blessed place. Your marriage is blessed. You begin to move outside of that, you’re opening the door for sin. The children of Israel were blessed. What happened? They cursed themselves. They began to go after the women of the land and commit sexual immorality. See, it’s often linked to that. Like brute beasts they cursed themselves. If this is all convicting, maybe you need to hear it.
And then he mentioned Korah. Who was Korah? Korah went against God’s authority. Korah said, “Moses, who made you ruler over this people? Who made you ruler?” And Moses basically said <indiscernible>. The ground opened up and swallowed this man. God doesn’t mess around. One thing you’ll get out of the Old Testament is God does not mess around. You can negotiate. You can’t twist His arm. You can’t, “Well, okay, I’m just not going to talk to you today, God. You better do something.” He doesn’t care. He’s not going to play games. He says, “Here’s my truth. I lay it out before you. Choose life or choose death. It’s your choice.”
So is there any area in your life that you’re going against God’s authority this morning? Any area that you know? You know it, too, you might want to stop going to those who tell you what you want to hear. You know, right? The woman who wants confirmation that her husband’s a jerk and she should divorce him runs right to the beauty salon. “Girlfriend, you need to leave that guy! You can do so much better. You need to take him for half of everything he’s got. I’m going to tell you what to do to him.” And somebody says, “Go talk to that pastor’s wife,” No, no, no. no. Why? Because they’re not going to tell me what I want to hear. We go to people who tell us what we want to hear more than we think, don’t we? Continue in sin, we’ll go to our friend who is caught in the same sin to validate it.
So this morning, if that’s you, you need to repent and believe. Say, “I believe in Jesus. I believe He died for me. I repent, and I believe this morning.” And I also want to encourage the believer. Are you bound to sin and trapped in darkness? As a believer, are you bound in sin? Because we see all this rain out here. It’s a good analogy. God said, “I will pour down water on the thirsty. I will pour down water on the dry and barren land,” and it’s a picture of this land being receptive. Lord, pour down rain. I’m open. I’m receptive. I’ll take in that water. I need it. God says, “I look for that parched soil. I look for the heart that says, ‘Pour into me. God, I want more of you.’ That’s who I look for. I don’t look for that hard, concrete heart.” Have you ever watched water go into concrete? It doesn’t happen. It goes around. So many of the hearts of people today are so hard, and God says, “I will pour out water on those who are thirsty. I will pour out water on that parched soil.” But you have to be willing. You have to say, “Lord, fill me, fill me with Your Spirit. I’m desperate for more of you.”