Monday, May 22, 2006

Earnestly Contend for the Faith

On Wednesday evenings, I am preaching through the book of Jude. The primary theme of the book is found in verse 3:

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Earnestly contending for the faith is the theme of the book. Why do we need to do so? Because of what we see happening in verse 4.
(Jud 1:4) “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

There is a very real danger to churches today. Sometimes I think we are like Jonah; asleep in the bottom of the boat while the storm is raging all around us. Many of us need to “awake out of sleep” as the Bible directs us. This past weekend, I noticed on the internet The Davinci (sp) Code opened up in the movies. One article said it was the third best opening for a movie, in movie history. A movie which attacks our Lord Jesus Christ. People want the Bible to be discredited. People do not want to have to face a holy God in judgment one day. They want to live their life as they see fit. Although this movie does attack our Lord, I believe there is even a greater danger than this.

In verse 4 the Bible says, “Certain men crept in unawares…” These are people who become members of our churches. These are people we fellowship with on a daily basis. These are the people who work to destroy the church from the inside. The greater of the two threats, (Davinci Code/men who crept in unawares) is by far the men who crept in unawares. These men are marked by ungodliness, lasciviousness, and denying our Lord God. As we read down through the chapter, there are many more characteristics and comparisons made about these men.

How in the world do people like this manage to get inside our churches? What do we do to protect our churches? We earnestly contend for the faith!!! People in our churches need to know why they believe what they believe! They need to be willing and able to contend for the faith. Today, though, many churches have become social clubs. For many churches, it is not about contending for the faith. It is about being entertained. It is about hearing a nice religious teaching. Christians need to know they are in a battle. They are to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

Unless we contend for the faith, we will lose the next generation. The church is the pillar and ground for the truth. The church, of course, is not the building, but the people. Based on that, how are the pillars in our churches today? Are they willing and able to contend for the faith, or are they so filled with the world, they could not even contend for faith with a Jehovah Witness? Are they actual even shaken by a movie like The Davinci Code? If so, woe on us!

1 comment:

Jerry Bouey said...

Terry, great insight on the pillars. I never thought of it quite that way before, though it certainly fits, especially in light of this verse that refers to true believers as pillars:

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.