May 4, 2014

Divine View of False Teachers – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

The wishy-washy, relativistic attitude toward truth, demanded by main-line religion today, is obliterated when we realize that God has revealed absolute truth for us. Because God has done this, Jude writes,

“appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (v.3)

This admonition from the Lord’s apostle and brother is poles apart from the pluralistic “tolerance” of all doctrines insisted upon by those whose doctrine is not found in Scripture. They cannot and will not tolerate a lack of tolerance. With great insight, G. K. Chesterton observed that, “The one value that you have left when you have lost all your principles is tolerance.”

Jude proceeds to describe these false teachers. Specifically, they “turn the grace of our God into licentiousness” and “reject authority.” In other words, they say, “God will have mercy on those who disobey His moral law without repentance.” They pervert the doctrine of grace. And they say, “We will worship without God’s authority. We have our own.”

It should not surprise us that such Bible teachers abound today. What is the proper attitude toward such teachers? It is not determined by popular polls. Jude provides inspired, vivid imagery designed to mold our attitudes.

“like unreasoning animals” (v.10)

God has given us a wonderful gift that distinguishes us from beasts. That gift brings responsibility, the obligation to reason with integrity. Isaiah appealed to rebellious Israel saying, “Come now, let us reason together.” Isaiah 1:18. Even the invitation is insulting to these brutes.

“hidden reefs” (v.12)

Ships approaching harbor often have to avoid disastrous reefs. Some are concealed, submerged just below the surface. The way appears calm and safe. The result is devastating.

“clouds without water” (v.12)

Water was more critical in a desert land like Israel than it is in Arkansas. Approaching clouds appear to bring the promise of life giving water, which can make a desert bloom. We can only imagine the disappointment in a parched land when their promise is unfulfilled.

“autumn trees without fruit”(v.12)

James says they are “doubly dead, uprooted;” They are dead in same sense that rainless clouds are dead.” They produce nothing. Furthermore, they are lying on their side with roots in the air. Expecting nourishing fruit from these trees is doubly dumb.

“wild waves of the sea” (v.13)

We can plan and prepare for regular waves, even large ones. “Rogue” waves are different and often disastrous, even to large ships.

“wandering stars” (v.13)

Most stars are dependable, like the North Star. Such stars provide trustworthy direction for lost souls. “Wandering stars” refer to planets which appear to meander about the heavens. Five planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) were clearly known in Jude’s day. Their behavior had been plotted for many centuries. This figure not only depicts undependability, but also their ultimate fate, “black darkness…reserved forever.” These “stars” may wow some for a season, but they are reserved for an eternity in hell.

How many graphic figures must God inspire before we get the picture? Teachers who do not teach the truth do not deserve our respect, no matter how often and how loudly other false teachers demand it. They are enemies who destroy souls. If we faithfully “earnestly contend for the faith,” we will expose and refute.




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