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Devotionals

The Anathema of False Teaching

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The Anathema of False Teaching. Lessons From Jude

 

Jude 12-13 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. (NIV)

 

The church needs more people like Jude. Tucked away toward the end of the New Testament is the singular chapter epistle written by the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude is identified as such in the 6th chapter of the Gospel of Mark and through Mark we also discover that Jude was not a believer or follower of Jesus while He walked the earth:

 

When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. "He's out of his mind," they said. Mark 3: 21 (NLT)

 

Somewhere after the resurrection, Jude became a believer, as did his brother James. James would lead the church in Jerusalem and perhaps after Jesus appeared to James (after His death and resurrection); it was James that led Jude to salvation. Either way, the result is this short letter which made it into the canon of Scripture and contains one of the frankest and to the point rebukes of false teaching that the Bible offers.

 

The entire letter from Jude is a warning against false teachers in the church. This subject matter seemed fairly relevant in light of the recent heresy from Harold Camping. Western Christianity is simply rife with false teachings today. We have prosperity doctrine designed to make the preacher rich and provide a false sense of what God actually considers prosperity and blessings. Does God want to bless you? Absolutely if you are living in obedience but that does not mean that there will be a shiny new BMW in your driveway. Maybe it means that doctor's report is negative. Maybe it means your children are healthy and safe. Maybe it means that your lost family members become saved. In modern day America we continue to conflate blessings with material worth and money. The result is a body of believers who take for granted the blessings they already have in search of something they do not need:

 

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 19 (NLT)

 

Now you and God may have a different opinion of what your needs are. Prosperity doctrine purposefully confuses our wants with our needs. But look at this verse from Philippians. The glorious riches from which God supplies all of our needs have already been given to us! Once we received salvation, we received all we would ever need in this life in Christ Jesus. But prosperity doctrine convinces us it is not enough.

 

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