Jud 1:4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:12-13 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; (13) wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
Jud 1:18-19 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” (19) It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.
You have no doubt heard it before. “But we are all sinners. Sin is sin.” Some years ago I was explaining to a pastor and his wife what my book Unholy Charade was about and how wicked abusers pretend to be Christians, creep in among believers in the church, all the while doing their wickedness behind the scenes. The pastor and his wife responded – “but that is just another type of sin. Domestic abuse is sin and we are all sinners.” I went on to try to get them to see that is false. All sin is not the same. Some sin is more wicked than other sin. We do not all carry out the evils that the narcissitic, sociopathic, evil person performs. Yes, we are all born into this world lost, in sin, and without being born again in Christ we would perish in hell. Nevertheless, the Bible is quite plain that there are degrees of sin and degrees of hell:
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered him [ie, Pilate] “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
Luk 10:12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
I could cite more, this is enough to prove the point. Not all sin is the same.
And you have it plainly here in this little epistle of Jude. These “certain people” who creep into the church – these creeps as I think Jude would call them – have a reservation with “the gloom of darkness.” They are “designated for condemnation.” You don’t see a lot of wiggle room here for adding on an addendum – “so we must work doubly hard to lead them to Jesus and get them saved.”
In many ways this little letter of Jude isn’t so little. It is a declaration of condemnation for people who put on a disguise of saintliness, sneak into the church like the enemy agents they are, with the goal of carrying out the designs of the chief enemy whom they serve. Just read it again. Is this not a perfect description of so many of the evil people we have had to face in our homes, in marriages, in our churches? Well, says Jude, they have a reservation in hell. And there are LOTS of them:
Mat 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (23) And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
If your abuser, if the one who reviles you because they are, by his or her very nature, a reviler, and if at the same time they profess to be a servant of Christ, a respected member of a church, putting on that evil angel disguise every Sunday morning, then they are NOT your typical sinner. They aren’t even your typical hypocrite. Yes, they are hypocrites…but these kind actually and actively are on a mission to destroy Christ’s church. Like a hidden reef in the ocean that goes unseen until the ship hits it, these kind come in among us and sit with us at the Lord’s table, all the while having the intention of dividing us, twisting and distorting the gospel of God’s grace into an evil message of “sin all you want because Jesus will forgive you.”
No, all sinners are not the same. Jude did not write a postscript to this letter – “so be sure you all pray hard for these creeps because we have to be sure to get them saved.” No, the Lord’s message for this kind is – “there is a place reserved for you in hell where you will receive perfect justice for all eternity.”
WOW! This is so powerful and enlightening! I’ll keep this article to read again. Thank you pastor!
I’d like to tell the author THANK YOU for so many blessings he’s brought to my soul with his wisdom. Plus. I gave his book on Wise as Serpents to my fallen away cousin . She had a PhD in philosophy and taught at a corrupt Lutheran college. Raised 4 kids alone after her abuser left her. Lived through cancer snd heart disease and she was so bitter towards God when she had once been close to Him. After she got the book her comment to me was “ How did this author know my life!”
That book opened the door for some saving Grace and for the first time I was able to discuss the love of God with her. It was amazing like a butterfly emerging from her cocoon.
About 3 months later she died suddenly. At age 70. I choke up just writing this with all great-fullness.
Thank you for this, the devising schemes of the accurately called – creeps – is what destroys churches, homes, families, work environments, etc. After far too many rounds of the creeps, I wondered if there were any Christ followers who saw through them and their schemes, I remember somehow running across a message from Pastor Crippen online, as a guest speaker – and he spoke on this….. similar to this post- it was a gift of truth in the word instead of the twisting of the word.