“Hey Jude? What is SIN, really?”

THE DOCTRINE OF SIN:

THE PURPOSE of Jude is a call for all Christians to DEFEND the Faith.

Jude is a tough, sobering, book in the Bible to read.  So get ready!

WHO WAS JUDE?

Jude 1

“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James…”

He was the brother of James, who presided at the Jerusalem Council and wrote the epistle of James, and was the half-brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3).

The Perversion within the Church

[Verse 4 ]  For certain men have crept in stealthily [gaining entrance secretly by a side door].  Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly (impious, profane) persons who pervert the grace (the spiritual blessing and favor) of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).  [AMP]

Jude talks about APOSTASY, basically a turning away from the Faith.  We learn that they are sneaky, ungodly and pervert the Grace of Jesus.  They deny that Jesus is Master and Lord.

And they stand condemned!

The media today is influencing the church.

The politically correct police are on high alert!  You can mention God as long as you don’t mention His absolute truth.  You can mention Jesus as long as He was just a good teacher.  Pastors are required to be politically correct rather than biblically correct to be accepted.  The trend in churches today is to be welcoming, but primarily affirming.  Sermons are designed to tickle the ear and not convict the heart.

God help us!

It’s sobering and it makes me sad to think of those I know who could very well fall into this category of being apostate.  Understand the APOSTASY is false teaching, its false living.  It is the Christian form of hypocrisy.  It’s saying you are a Christian but in truth, you are not.  Your action, your attitude, bear the lies that come out of your mouth.

So Jude gives a WARNING to the apostates, the enemy of the TRUE CHURCH.

He begins by giving us some examples of people who are exposed to the truth, to the grace, and totally reject it and face eternal punishment.  It truly squeezed my heart when rereading this passage of scripture because there are many I know today that could very well experience this punishment.

The LORD delivers people from bondage, but sometimes people fall back.

One Example:  God’s chosen nation (vs. 5)

[5] “Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the LORD at one time delivered His people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.” [NIV]

Jude says here that Jesus (more accurately translated LORD) saved a people in the land of Egypt.  That is the Hebrew people, the future nation of Israel.

Later, He destroyed those who rebelled and didn’t believe.

The word DESTROY literally means to abolish; to destroy completely.  [See footnote [i]]

Understand that God didn’t DESTROY the nation, but He did destroy many within the nation all because of their unbelief and disobedience.

It was continued unbelief and disobedience. 

This was an outward circumcision but not an inward circumcision of the heart.

A person can go through all the outward hoops and identifying with Jesus, but the only thing that really matters is your heart.

Does your heart belong to Him?

Are you TRUSTING Him alone to forgive you of your sin?

Are you TRUSTING Him for your SALVATION?

Are you TRUSTING Him in your life?

Are you denying Him, Master and Lord?

If your answer is “NO” to any of these questions, you fall under the same destruction.

BE WARNED!

God’s Chosen Servants–Messengers–Who were they? (vs. 6)

Judgment is coming. Hebrews 9: Jude 1:6. Acts 17: Timothy 4:8. John 12:48. Jude 1:6.

We see here that even ANGELS, heavenly beings, are subject to the great day of JUDGMENT.

Many commentators take this verse and its parallel in 2 Peter 2:4 to be a reference to the primordial fall in the bible of wicked angels under the leadership of Lucifer.  This creates somewhat of a dilemma.  Clearly, not all the dethroned angels are “cast into hell and committed to pits of DARKNESS”, reserved for judgment as Peter writes.  This same Peter says that Satan is still somewhat loose, and prowls around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8).  

The simplest way to resolve this questioning is to take the “angels” in this passage of Jude is referenced to the Godly line of Seth in the Bible; the “sons of God.”

The Background of the “sons of God” in Genesis 6.

The angels portrayed here forsook what God ordained them to do.  They chose their own thing!  [i.e.  They became their own god.]

Numerous interpretations I have read suggested that the “sons of God” were fallen, angels who married earthly women and produced children…Giants in the land, although how “angels” could intermarry has never been explained.  Jesus clearly states that angels don’t marry (Matthew 22:30), and there’s no evidence that angels have gender or genitalia.   A few have suggested that “demon-possed men.” as an alternative theory, but this is still rather unsatisfactory, and neither of these interpretations offers anything of relevance to the historical evidence of Genesis 6.  [See footnote [ii] ].

The result was eternal punishment. 

They forsook being in God’s presence to follow their own path.

Bringing this all back to Jude, those who are APOSTATE are the ones who choose to be their own God.

I believe that the biggest ACT OF APOSTASY in our day is….you are a Christian, continuing to live like the world, or even worse than the world!  This type of SIN denies Lordship over one’s life.  It cheapens the GRACE that believers are supposed to live under.

If my understanding of the passage of Scripture is right, then that type of living is APOSTASY; to be judged by God just like the Hebrew people in the wilderness, just like the angels who denied their rightful place, just like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The LORD delivers people from bondage today as He did when the Hebrews were delivered out of Egypt from bondage.  But sometimes people fall back into bondage. We’ve all probably done this, but Jude lists some who didn’t and was punished.

  • Angels who left home.
  • People who left morality behind.

Whatever it is, God can deliver us!

BUT…but we must not turn back.

No Turning Back into our old ways will get us into trouble every time.  And for some people, it could mean eternal trouble.

GOD SAVE US!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

CREDITS & FOOTNOTES

Footnote [i]:   The word, DESTROY – Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words

Footnote [ii]:  “Who Were the Angels of Jude 6?” by Biblical Horizons (Copywrite).

Photo Images:  Google Image search.

Bible Translations used:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP); or as noted.

Commentary:  Restoration, Sermon by Jeff Strite, Jude 1:1-7, Sermon Central.

 

HEARTS OF STONE REVEALED

“Does GOD Have A Bad Memory?”

After my last Blog-post (Plugging Into the “Eternal”!),  regarding the question “Can a Christian lose their salvation?”, another question then arose:  “ISN’T THERE A BIBLE VERSE ABOUT THE “UNPARDONABLE SIN?”  So here we are once more, attempting to answer an often misunderstood and questioned verse in Scripture.

The “BUT’s” In Two Bible verses Matthew 12:31,32 AMP.

JESUS says,  [31] “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy (every evil, abusive, injurious speaking, or indignity against sacred things) can be forgiven men, BUT blasphemy against the [Holy] Spirit shall not and cannot be forgiven.

[32] And whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven,  BUT whoever speaks against the Spirit, the Holy One, will not be forgiven, either in this world and age or in the world and age to come.”

Don’t you just love it, when someone uses the word “but” in a sentence?  “I know I told you that I could do [such and such], BUT…something has come up and I can’t attend.”

The Online Dictionary defines the word But – used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned.”

I capitalized and bold typed the word “but” in Matthew 12:31, 32 for this purpose–Jesus made a declaration, then introduces something contrasting to what was said.

The Scene That Precedes These Words of Jesus: Matthew 12:22-30

A man who was both blind & mute has just been healed.  Matthew tells us that the man was also possessed by a demon and that Jesus ordered the demon out of him.  Once the demon left, the man was able to see & speak.

This should have been a time for great rejoicing, because the man could see the faces of loved ones and friends.  He could now see the sunrise and sunsets and all the beauties of nature.

BUT…it wasn’t a time of celebration for everyone for the hard-hearted Pharisees were upset by what Jesus had done.  They couldn’t deny His miracle, but they could attempt to explain it away.

So they said,  “This Man drives out demons only by and with the help of Beelzebub, the prince of demons” (Matt. 12:24).

Then JESUS responds to them by saying they should have learned by now that JESUS isn’t a good one to challenge to a debate.  He always won!

This time is no different, and JESUS makes some solid arguments in His behalf.  He says, “If Satan drives out Satan, he has become divided against himself and disunified; how then will his kingdom last or continue to stand?” (Matt. 12:26).

Then JESUS Issues A Warning!

Matthew 12:32:  Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,  but whoever speaks against the Holy One, will not be forgiven, either in this world and age or in the world and age to come.”

JESUS is saying here that the SIN against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable, not because the Holy Spirit is greater than the Father…greater than the Son, but because the Holy Spirit is later than the Father and Son.

WHAT IS THE “UNPARDONABLE SIN” OF WHICH JESUS WARNS?

At the time that JESUS was speaking, the Jews had their own teaching about the Holy Spirit.  According to Jewish teaching, the Holy Spirit had two supreme functions:

#1.  Holy Spirit brought God’s truth to men and women; the Holy Spirit was God’s instrument in helping us come to know God’s will for us.

#2.  Holy spirit enabled men and women to recognize and understand God’s TRUTH when they saw it.  The Holy Spirit works upon the heart & minds of man.

So, man needs the Holy Spirit to receive and recognize God’s TRUTH.  Putting it another way, Holy Spirit is working on us to BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, to bring us to accept Him, our Savior & Lord.

An important principle we can’t forget!  “What you don’t use, you lose!”  

This is so true in almost every area of our lives.

TRUE PHYSICALLY – Failing to use and exercise certain muscles (how well I know this principle), will weaken and become unusable.

TRUE MENTALLY – What we’ve learned in school years ago is forgotten because we haven’t used them in years [ex. foreign languages, conjugating verbs, etc].  The knowledge we once had has long since gone because we did not exercise and make use of it.

The Pharisee’s Heart and Minds.

We can also lose the ability to be moved or changed by God’s goodness & truth when Holy Spirit presents it to us.  This is the STAGE to which these particular Pharisees had come.

1.  The Pharisees know the Scripture (But still lost-not saved!).

2.  The Pharisees formally prayed in public… often, because that was what man expected them to do.

3.  The Pharisees went to church every time they had the chance (still not righteous).

And yet, they had so long been blind and deaf to God’s guiding hand; insisted on their own way of doing things; they had come to a stage of their lives that they couldn’t recognize God’s truth and goodness when they saw it.  Not even in a MIRACLE!

They could look at God’s goodness and call it Satan’s evil…

They could look at JESUS, the Son of God, and call Him the devil.

Whatever the UNPARDONABLE…UNFORGIVABLE SIN is…it has to do with the idea of A SIN

A SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT–

That is what the Bible says–and the Bible clearly says “every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven” (verse 31).  

So, the “unpardonable sin”  isn’t a kind of sin.  The Bible says any SIN you can name (adultery, murder, the angry fist in god’s face, impatience, lying, cheating, stealing) will be forgiven IF…we come confessing (1 John 1:9).

There are, no “ifs”, “but’s”, or “maybe’s” attached to Jesus’ Promise–

The “unpardonable sin” must be a continual rejection of the Promptings of the Holy Spirit. 

The UNPARDONABLE SIN   is not the first step you take or the second step you take.  BUT when God calls you, and you keep going persistently AGAINST Him, it is possible for the mind to become callused and the heart becomes hardened; you no longer HEAR GOD’S VOICE.

Does all this mean that everybody that denies God’s voice and doesn’t hear His promptings has committed the “unpardonable sin”?  Not at all!

There are many people who don’t listen to God’s voice today, feel that their heart is pretty hard, but at some stage of their life some dramatic event comes into view and they turn to God.

But is it possible, according to God’s Word,  to enter into a STATE OF SIN; you keep on sinning, and sinning, and sinning–habitual sin–your heart turns into stone, not because the Holy Spirit stops calling–He keeps on calling, but you can’t hear anymore!

Something to Remember…

2856407085_ece25fe731If you keep hardening your heart, and you die suddenly [in your sleep, a car accident, etc.], if you’ve hardened your heart up to this point…you have REJECTED the Holy Spirit.

The Final and Complete Rejection–

“Blasphemy” against the Spirit is the final and complete rejection of Jesus Christ.

This SIN is a denial of the Spirit’s message and the rejection of the Lord’s deity.

JESUS made it clear from the beginning that ALL SINS can be forgiven; but God can’t forgive the REJECTION of His Son.

It is the Holy Spirit who bears witness to Christ Jesus and convicts the lost sinner.  When it all come down to it; the ONLY SIN where there is NOT FORGIVENESS, is the SIN for which no forgiveness is wanted!

The Pharisee’s Condition Presented in Matthew 12…

Over time, they hated and hardened their hearts against JESUS, for them there was no turning back.

They witnesses an Awesome Miracle…

They make a Baseless Accusation…

They heard an Undeniable Answer…

BUT, they were GUILTY of the UNFORGIVABLE SIN!

SALVATION is denied them, not because it wasn’t offered, but because they have PERMANENTLY REJECTED the message given by the Holy Spirit.

THE MESSAGE:

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life”  (John 3:16 AMP).

But there is MORE GOOD NEWS!

JESUS came to deliver forgiveness that is available to everyone!

The ever flowing waters of the Well of Life is always available to those who desire to come and quench their thirst.

I always have an old Hymn Book close to my computer to USE for reference in my Blogs.  The lyrics (and the tune) became renewed in studying for this  particular POST:

There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Emanuel’s veins;

And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.

If you are reading this Blog-post and there are SINS ON YOUR HEART–if you have been considering the Gospel–then don’t put it off another minute!  Each time you hear an invitation and don’t respond, your heart grows a little harder.  As long as the Gospel of Jesus has an effect on your heart, there is still hope.