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Dealing with Apostasy - 11

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
March 26, 2023 7:00 pm

Dealing with Apostasy - 11

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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March 26, 2023 7:00 pm

What must believers know in order to deal with apostasy-- Pastor Greg Barkman explains as he continues his teaching series in Jude.

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Doug Agnew

Well, throughout his epistle, Jude has written a warning about the dangers of apostates infiltrating churches.

In the opening section of this book, he has described them. He has exposed their true character. He has declared their certain judgment. But now he turns his attention from the apostates to the true people of God and tells us how to deal with apostates and with the apostasy which they bring. And he tells us to do this, first of all, by dealing with them in verses 17 through 19, which is our text for this morning.

And then secondly, by dealing with ourselves in verses 20 through 23, which, Lord willing, will be our text a week from next Lord's Day. And so verses 17, 18, and 19. In verse 17, something to remember. 18, something to consider.

And 19, something to apply. First, something to remember, verse 17. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Something to remember. And Jude tells the people of God to remember their Christian distinction, their Christian duty, and their Christian directory. Their Christian distinction, quite a contrast. Up until now, it's they, those, them, they, those, them, talking about the apostates. In verse 16, these, speaking of the apostates, are grumblers, complainers, walking after their own lusts and so forth. But verse 17, it shifts very dramatically.

But you, beloved, but you, and in the Greek language, the you is emphatic. The contrast is supposed to be emphasized. They are this way, but you are very different.

This describes them, but your life is distinctly different. And so Jude is telling us that the people of God are very, very different from those who do not know the Lord. A clear distinction. It is not only a clear distinction, but it is a special relationship when he calls them beloved. But you, beloved, beloved to Jude, beloved to all the true people of God, beloved most of all to God himself and to the Lord Jesus Christ who laid down his life for the sheep. Beloved, some translators translate this dear friends. It would be more common for us to say something like that in our day than to say beloved. However you put it, the idea is there's a special relationship between the people of God.

You who are beloved to me, you who are dear friends to me, writes Jude. You are, in other words, in a different category than these that we've been talking about. You have a very different orientation. They live for self. You live for Christ. They live in the world of lies. You live in a realm of truth.

They are sensual. You are holy. They are tearing down the church as much as they are able, but you are engaged in building it up. What a difference. What a distinction.

How much more contrast could you possibly make? And so remember that. Remember how different you are from those who do not know the Lord, your Christian distinction. But secondly, also don't forget your Christian duty. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. It may surprise you to find out that this injunction, this command to remember, is the first imperative verb that is found in the book of Jude.

We're almost to the end. Up until now, Jude has been informing, informing, informing, informing, informing. And of course, all along the way, implications that we should act upon the information which he has given, but no distinct, clear command for us to do anything in particular until now. But you, beloved, remember.

To us, the word remember means to call to mind, to review facts and information, to make sure that we don't forget the things which we have learned. And that is involved here. We would not dismiss that thought at all.

That's very much a part of what Jude is saying. We are prone to forget. We know that. We so easily forget. Sometimes we shove that off as a mark of old age. But I did that when I was young, didn't you? And I talked to young people who also forget.

We're all that way. We are forgetful people. We can be told things that we know are important, and yet if we don't make a special effort to keep those things in mind, we will forget.

And Jude says, don't do that. This is a command. This is an imperative. Remember. Remember.

It's vitally important. But in the Bible, the word remember not only means call these things to mind, but it means to act upon them, to remember in order to do the right thing, remember in order to act according to the information that you have received, remember so that you behave in the way that this knowledge directs you to behave. Your Christian duty is to remember and to act according to the truth that you remember. Not only should we keep in mind our Christian distinction and our Christian duty, but thirdly and very importantly in these things that we are to remember, we are to remember what I've called your Christian directory.

What is that? A directory is a book of special information. We need directories for particular purposes that contain information that we don't find someplace else.

But when we need guidance, when we need help, we turn to something that we may call a directory. Well, Jude says, Beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. All throughout this epistle, Jude has been quoting and making reference numerous times to Old Testament scriptures. He started that from the very beginning when he said in verse four, for certain men have crept in unnoticed who long ago were marked out for this condemnation. There's a passing reference, a general reference to information that was given in days gone by.

And he continues in that vein. Verse five, 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. A reference to the exodus in the Old Testament. And the angels, verse six, who did not keep their proper domain, a reference to what happened in Genesis chapter six. Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, taking us back to Genesis chapter 20 and so forth, going on through the book again and again and again, references to Balaam, references to Moses, references to Michael the archangel. And so all up until now, Jude has been referring to people of God, to a body of scriptures, a body of information, compilation, whatever you want to call it, that we call today the Old Testament.

They wouldn't have called it that in that day. And that day it was just the scriptures. The New Testament had not been written yet and had certainly not been compiled yet. And so Jude has been referring them again and again to their Bible. But now he says, in addition to that, don't forget the words of the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, which Jude obviously puts on the very same plane with, we might say the very same authority with the Old Testament scriptures.

He is now referring to what we call the New Testament, which as I say, was just even in the formation stages. But he says the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ have spoken truth to you, which is just as important, compelling, authoritative as the Old Testament scriptures that I have been quoting to you. The apostles have spoken to you.

They told you, verse 18. This tells us that the people that Jude is writing to now were contemporary with the apostles of Christ. When the apostles were living and speaking, these people were living and listening. The apostles told you something. The apostles spoke to them. And the apostles, Jesus declared, would by the work of his spirit, give to the people of God in the early days of the church, the very word of God, the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

You find that a number of times. But let me quote from John 16, verses 13 and 14. Jesus is speaking in the upper room discourse and he says, However, when he, the spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority.

That might seem strange. The Holy Spirit of God is God. Why would Jesus say he will not speak on his own authority? Because he's emphasizing that the Holy Spirit is going to speak the words of Christ through them, through the apostles. Christ has been speaking to the apostles through the three years of their training with him. But they are going to continue on the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ after Christ goes back to heaven. And the Holy Spirit of God it is who's going to enable them to do that. He's going to speak divine revelation through them. He's going to speak the word of God through them. He's going to speak the words of the Lord Jesus Christ through them. He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears, he will speak. That is, whatever he hears from Christ, he will speak and he will tell you things to come. He will glorify me, said Jesus, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you.

Three or four different ways in those two verses. Jesus says that you, he's speaking to the 12 apostles, you will become my spokesman after I go back to heaven. You will speak my words after you go back to heaven, after I go back to heaven. And now Jude says, Beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you get the importance of this? The apostles spoke to them. And when did these apostles speak to them? And we can go to the writings of some of the apostles and find words similar to what Jude has given us.

In fact, I'll quote some of them in a moment. But Jude is telling us that these people that he's writing to heard the apostles speak, they heard their words. They heard them when they were living and preaching before they were writing. He's referring to what the apostles said before he's referring. He's not even referring to what the apostles wrote, though indeed we have that now by the grace of God.

So when the apostles spoke to you, when would that have been? When the apostles were founding the churches of which these people that Jude is writing to were members. That's not strange as we scan over what we know of the founding of the churches in the New Testament. Think for a moment about the church at Corinth and what we know about that. Paul says early on in the first Corinthian epistle that some of the members of the church were acting carnally by lining up behind their favorite preachers. Some said, I am of Paul. We know Paul had been there. He preached there.

He founded the church there. I am of Paul. Some said, I'm of Apollos.

We'll discard Apollos for a moment. Some said, I am of Cephas, Peter. So there we know two of the apostles who spoke to the church at Corinth in its founding days. The members of the church at Corinth had opportunity to hear the words of Paul speaking about apostates, similar to what Jude is writing about in this epistle. They also had the opportunity of hearing Peter say similar things. They heard him speak. They heard him preach.

They heard these words from Peter himself. We keep thumbing through our New Testament and we come to realize that the apostle John spent quite a bit of time in the church at Ephesus founded by Paul. So the members of that church heard Paul speak. But John came along later and provided oversight in that church and indeed in the work of Christ in the surrounding areas. And so those people, those church members heard not only Paul the apostle, but they heard John the apostle. So now we know Paul, Peter, John, three of the apostles had spoken to members of churches. We don't know to whom specifically Jude's epistle is going. That's why we call it a general epistle because it doesn't say the epistle of Jude to Corinth, the epistle of Jude to Ephesus. It just is a general epistle to the people of God. But now we see in the way he frames this that he has in mind specific churches.

We don't know how many of them this letter was circulated to. But specific churches of whom the members would have in their lifetime heard the words of the apostles, Paul, Peter, John, talking about these apostates. And as we see, all of this tells us that the New Testament scriptures spoken by the apostles, or maybe I should put it this way, the inspired words spoken by the apostles have been collected into a book called the New Testament and are as much the scriptures, as much the word of God as the Old Testament. Now that would have been the way the people of that day would have had to think about it and would be instructed to think about it.

We tend to think about it the other way around. In our day, most people are more, what should I say, more inclined to accept the New Testament as the inspired word of God and maybe to question whether the Old Testament really fits into that category. To Jude's hearers, it was the other way around. They accepted the Old Testament as the inspired word of God. That's why Jude quoted it again and again and again and again and again in verses 4 through 16. But now he says you need to remember that the words spoken by the apostles are every bit as much the inspired word of God as what you have in the Old Testament scriptures, as what you have in the written scriptures that you listen to and hear expounded when you gather together in the assembly of the saints on the Lord's day. And all of that to say that both the Old Testament and the New Testament are equally the word of God. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament guide and direct God's people in regard to the subject in this book and indeed in regard to whatever they write about, but in this case writing about apostates. And so Jude is saying the Bible is your directory in these matters.

Here's the information you need in order to deal with apostates. So don't forget what is your guide. You need the Bible.

You need the Old Testament and the New Testament scriptures. That is your directory. Remember that. Don't forget it. Read it.

Study it. Obey it. So that you will be able to deal with this apostasy about which I, Jude, am warning you.

Something to remember. But number two, something to consider. Verse 18. Continuing on about the reference to the words of the apostles, he says, how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own godly lust.

Something to consider. And what we are to consider is that the Bible that Jude has just described for us in verse 17, the scriptures of the Old and the New Testament, the Bible contains some encouraging truths, many encouraging truths. They were the ones that Jude wanted to write about. Beloved, verse three, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith, which was once delivered for the saints. But there are a lot of encouraging things, a lot of, we might call it, positive things in the Bible. The gospel certainly would fit into that category. The present fulfillment would fit into that category. Jude tells us in verse 18 how they, the apostles, told you that there would be mockers in the last time.

When is that? You find phrases like this, that exact phrase in the last time, or similar words, scattered throughout the New Testament. Oftentimes people think that's referring to those times, those days, those brief years just before the return of Christ. Sometimes you'll hear people say, do you think we're in the last days? And the answer is absolutely, because they started when Jesus came the first time. That was the beginning of the last days, the last times. You say, really? Prove that to me.

Thank you for asking. One text should be sufficient. Notice how the book of Hebrews begins. God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets. So here's one era.

It's called time past. And in time past, God spoke to the fathers by the prophets. But, has, verse 2, in these last days, that's another era. In time past, that's one era.

Last days, that's a different era. Has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds? So when Jesus came and spoke, He ushered in a new era, the age of fulfillment, known in the Bible as the last time, the last days, the last period. And so are we in the last days?

Yes, and have been since Jesus came to earth 2,000 plus years ago. So from a Bible perspective, we live in the age of fulfillment. The Old Testament saints were looking forward, looking forward, looking forward to what? The promised Messiah. The promised Messiah came. Now we live in the age of fulfillment.

Those promises have been fulfilled and we enjoy them. The Old Testament saints longed for them. They were told even some of the Old Testament prophets searched their own writings carefully to try to figure out when the things they were writing about and prophesying about would actually happen. But here we are living in the age when they have happened and we now know the fulfillment. We know what the coming of Christ is all about. We know what the life and ministry of the promised Messiah is all about. We are living in the last time and the apostles, we read in Jude 18, told you that there would be mockers in the last time.

When is that? Well, this is some of the sobering truths that the scriptures contain. The scriptures contain encouraging things like the gospel. The scriptures contain encouraging things like we are in the age of fulfillment.

How much better can you get than that? But the scriptures also contain sobering truths such as there will be mockers in this wonderful time of fulfillment that we are enjoying. And the apostles told you that when they ministered in your churches, when they preached to you in your various cities, when they founded those churches and grounded you in Christian truth right from the very beginning, they told you that there would be mockers in this era between the first and the second advent of Christ. But notice how Jude characterizes these words of the apostles to them when they spoke to them verbally, how he characterizes them as predicting these things to happen in the future, that is in the future to the time when the apostles were verbally preaching about it. When Paul warned the churches about this, it was yet future to him. When Peter warned the churches about this, it was yet future to him. When John warned the churches about this, it was yet future to him.

But now it's come. How they told you there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their ungodly lust. Verse 19, these are, not will be, these are, they're here. These are sensual persons who have caused divisions and so forth. Now let me back up and give you some of the scriptures where the three apostles that I made reference to told about the same coming of apostates that Jude is writing about.

And I could select several passages from each of these, but I'll just confine myself to one apiece. First of all, Paul. What did he say to the Ephesian elders in Acts chapter 20?

Among other things, he said this. For I know this, that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also, from among yourselves, men will rise up speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after themselves.

What is Paul doing? He's warning about the coming of apostates and filtering and filtrating the churches. He said that's going to come.

In Paul's day, that hadn't come yet. He didn't say you've got people like this among you now, but he said they're coming very shortly. They're coming. Be warned. Be on guard. Be ready for it. What did Peter say?

Several things, but I'll confine myself to this one. 2 Peter 3, 3, and 4. Knowing this first, that scoffers, the same word that is translated mockers in Jude, scoffers will come in the last days, will come in the last days, walking according to their own lust and saying, where is the promise of his coming?

For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. So Peter said there will be people that will come into the churches who will be scoffers. They will be mockers. They will question Christian doctrine.

They will raise doubts about things like the second coming of Christ. They're coming, said Peter. I'm warning you. They're coming.

Watch out for them. John, in 2 John, we looked at this passage on Wednesday nights a few weeks ago. John said, in John's case, he's not dealing so much with future as present, but he says in 2 John 7 and following, for many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

Look to yourselves that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. Really, what he's saying is so similar to what Jude says. It's almost striking.

It is striking. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you, this is future, but be warned, be ready, if anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares in his evil deed. You see how the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ warned these very people that Jude is writing to them that this was going to happen. They warned these people about the reality of mockers who would undermine divine revelation, but from within the church. They warned these people about the reality of, and I gave you this word last week, antinomians who would deny the moral imperatives of scripture.

Not only the doctrine about Christ and other foundational doctrines that they're going to question. Oh, you don't believe in the physical, literal return of Jesus Christ, do you? You don't believe in the virgin birth, do you? You don't believe in the bodily resurrection, do you?

You better. You don't believe that you have to live according to a certain code of rules and regulations and laws. We're under grace. You don't have to believe all that. You better believe whatever the Bible clearly says. Now, we don't have to believe mad maid rules that have been made up and added to what the Bible says, but we better accept everything that the Bible says. When the Bible says thou shalt not, we'd better not.

When the Bible says thou shalt, we'd better. If you hear anybody undermining those things and encouraging people to disregard those, he's putting himself in the category of an apostate, not in the category of a true teacher. And so they told you about the reality of mockers who undermine divine revelation and the reality of antinomians who would come among the people of God, walking according to their own godly lusts, endorsing ungodly living, not warring against it, but excusing it and encouraging it, justifying and endorsing it. And Jude says the apostles warned you about that, and now they're here.

Now they're here. We can't turn a blind eye to this reality. We can't turn a blind eye to these warnings because the idea that there might be people like that in our church makes us uncomfortable.

We can't turn a blind eye to this because people teaching erroneous doctrine about the moral imperatives of the commands of Scripture makes us feel better about our battle with sin that we're having trouble with, and maybe we don't need to be battling so hard after all. And so these people encourage us not to be so concerned about these things. We can't turn a blind eye to this because it may disturb some personal relationships that we have made with people that we tend to like personally as friends, but their behavior and what they say and what they do puts them in the category of an apostate. But we don't want to think of them that way. We don't want to deal with them that way.

We don't want to disturb these personal relationships. But Jude said, consider how the apostles told Jude that there would be mockers and the last time would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. And that brings us then to the third thing, something to apply, verse 19, where he turns this general warning into specific application. These are, not will be, these are sensual persons who cause divisions not having the Spirit. The apostates are already among you.

The apostles said they would be. I'm telling you, they're here. They're in your churches now. They're present now.

You've got to come to terms with this reality. They're not somewhere else. They're not in other cities. They're not in other churches. They're not in other groups, certain denominations and whatever, but not yours, not yours.

Don't be naive. Don't reject what the scripture warns you about. The apostates are already among you. You've got to apply these general truths about apostates to specific people in your churches. They're already there causing divisions by erroneous teaching. They're causing divisions by actively recruiting people to listen to them and not pay attention to pastors and others who are put there by God to teach you. They are already causing divisions by critical undermining of what's going on in the church.

Interestingly, what they do is they cause divisions and then when people stand up to expose them and to deal with the divisions which they're creating by teaching things that are not scriptural, what do they say? You are guilty of causing divisions. You're opposing us. You're divisive.

Wow. Isn't that what they say? Do you know what's going on in many groups today, many denominations today that have people in them that are saying, we don't need to pay attention to what the Bible says about Christians shouldn't engage in adultery and fornication. We don't need to pay attention to what the Bible says about God does not condone, God does not endorse homosexual relationships.

We don't have to pay attention to these things. We need to embrace everybody. We need to be welcoming.

We need to include all people in our churches, even those who are involved in serious sins that God condemns. And if you rise up, you're negative, you're causing divisions. No, those who are teaching error are the ones who are causing divisions.

So here's something to apply. Apostates are among you. Apostates are causing divisions. Apostates are eroding purity by unholy living and unchristian attitudes.

But Jude is very clear. People who act like this, are they Christians who are just simply mistaken? No, he says they are unconverted people devoid of the Spirit of God.

Isn't that what he said? Verse 19, these are central persons who cause divisions not having the Spirit. What does that mean? They're lost. Listen to the words of Paul in Romans 8, 9. Verse 9, But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now, if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. All born-again Christians have the Holy Spirit. Those who do not have the Holy Spirit are not Christians at all. And that's what Jude is saying. These are central.

They cause divisions. And mark it down, as difficult as it is to acknowledge this and to admit this sometimes, because sometimes we find people very nice, but mark it down if they fit into this category, if what Jude has said, what the apostles have said describes them, then they are void of the Spirit of God. Now, how do you tell if someone has the Spirit of God? Well, it's manifested by faith in the revealed Christ. They don't deny what the Bible says about Christ.

They don't raise doubts about the Jesus Christ of the Bible, virgin born, died vicariously on the cross as an atonement for sin, rose bodily again from the grave, is coming visibly and physically again to this earth to receive his own. If people don't accept that, if they don't believe that, then they are manifesting that they don't have the Spirit of God. If they don't have faith in the revealed Christ, if they don't embrace God's revealed word, if they don't submit to divinely appointed authority, if they don't promote biblical unity, what did Paul say in Ephesians 4-3, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace? It's a battle. As long as we are not fully sanctified, there's always going to be this tendency toward disunity because of carnality.

But Paul says, I want you to work hard, endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace. But some people are clearly endeavoring to do the opposite. They're endeavoring to create divisions. They're endeavoring to separate Christians from their local body and from their spiritual leaders that God has given. And people who act like this, they don't have faith in the revealed Christ. They don't embrace God's revealed word. They don't submit to divinely authorized authority. They don't promote biblical unity.

What can we say about them? They're lost and going to hell. They don't have the Spirit of God. You say, that's pretty strong. I didn't make it up.

I didn't speak it off the top of my head. I'm showing you what the infallible Word of God teaches. And notice when he's talking about who has the Spirit, he doesn't say anything about sign gifts. We can know people have the Spirit because they speak in tongues or do some of these other things.

Nope, that's not it. It's because they manifest these characteristics that he's described as apostasy. In other words, if you are a true child of God, show it by your obedience to truth. If you insist on raising doubts about the Word of God and creating divisions among the people of God, you're categorizing yourself.

Nobody else is categorizing you. You're categorizing yourself by your ungodly behavior, by your behavior that's contrary to what Jude writes. So what should we learn from this passage as we wrap things up today?

Several things. Number one, we dare not ignore the reality of apostates. They are genuine. They are dangerous.

They are present. But if, though they are present, they go undetected and unexposed and unchallenged, then they will damage Christians and they will, in the final analysis, destroy churches. They can never destroy the work of God. They can never destroy the church, for the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, but they can destroy individual churches. I keep reading things from time to time about how many churches are going, locking their doors every week.

It's an enormous number across America. Well, that didn't happen. They weren't full yesterday and they're empty today. It's gradual, gradual, gradual, gradual erosion, but in many cases it has been the work of apostates from within those churches, but the apostates were not detected. They were not opposed. They were not dealt with scripturally, and eventually they destroyed the church.

There goes another one. I saw on Facebook yesterday someone said, anybody interested in coming to Nova Scotia and planting a church, and it showed an incredible church building for sale. I mean, it was an immense, beautiful stone cathedral, and the whole thing was available for $250,000, and it probably won't bring that much on the market. It would take millions of dollars to build that building.

Anybody want to go to Nova Scotia and plant a church because there's an incredible building that's available. It's closed its doors. It's on the market.

It's for sale. Don't ignore the reality of apostates. They can do real damage. Number two, don't minimize the centrality of God's Word. What's the key to all of this, to dealing with it properly? It's the Word of God. It's the directory that God has given us, the Old Testament scriptures, the New Testament scriptures, understood, believed, and applied. Don't minimize the centrality of God's Word in your life. Don't minimize the centrality of God's Word in your churches. Well, our church would grow more if we'd have something that was more appealing to people who aren't in church. Whether the church grows or not, that's God's business. We hope it does. We want it to. We pray that it shall. We pray that people will be saved. We pray that the church will grow. But, folks, don't you understand the most important duty for us is to be true to the Word of God and not compromise it and leave the results with God?

Don't you understand that? Don't minimize the centrality of God's Word in your life. Don't minimize the centrality of God's Word in your churches. Insist upon the church of which you are a part to be a church that centers upon the Word of the living God.

That's basic. Number three, do not engage in the sins of the apostates. Christians are not immune from traces of the same sinful activities as characterize the apostates. They're not going to engage in them to the fullest extent.

They can't. They're saved. They have the Spirit of God.

The Spirit of God will not let them do that. But we still carry around with us the remnants of our fallen Adamic nature. And we can be guilty of some of these same sins in a lesser degree but can nevertheless be destructive or at least can be damaging.

But true Christians, when they are confronted with these things, will acknowledge that divisiveness in the church is a sin and the things that contribute to it is a sin. We cannot slander. We cannot gossip. We cannot murmur. We cannot complain. Those things are characteristic of the apostates.

Those are sins against Christ. We acknowledge that is true. We will stop. If we are guilty of that, we will stop. We will endeavor to avoid these things.

Why? Because we are the two children of God. We have the Spirit of God within us.

He teaches us these things. But please be aware that we can be guilty of some of these same sins to a lesser degree. But finally, let's end on a positive note.

Everything now has been pretty sobering, right? Finally, do, I told you, do not ignore the reality of apostates. Do not minimize the centrality of God's word. Do not engage in the sins of apostates. But finally, do manifest your love for Christ by loving His word, loving His church and His churches, loving His work, loving the proclamation of the gospel, evangelism, loving kingdom building, loving building up the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. Show your love for Christ by your life, by your labors, by your interest, by your obedience to the word of the living God, shall we pray. Father, help us. We are sinners, saved by grace, but still struggling with sin. Help us, Lord, by the power of your word and the power of your spirit within to be what we ought to be to honor Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 14:24:25 / 2023-03-26 14:39:24 / 15

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