The book of Jude is about living for Jesus when others won’t. It is a book that deals with the unpopular topics of apostasy and false teaching and how God’s people should recognize and respond to it. The purpose statement of Jude is clearly set out in verse 3: “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” The whole idea behind the writing of Jude is, There’s a time to fight when we fight right for what is right in the sight of God!
Jude deals with the matter of time (there’s a time to fight), attitude (HOW we fight matters) and standard (for what’s right in the sight of God). Jude 12-13 offers five powerful pictures of the impact of false and unhealthy teaching on souls.
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Spiritually Shipwrecked.
“These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves…” (vs. 12). Hidden dangers may lurk in harbors that on the surface seem safe because of self-serving and presumptuous people. See 1 Timothy 1:18-20.
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Dry.
“…waterless clouds, swept along by winds” (vs. 12). Few things can be so disappointing as to desperately need rain and to see clouds in the sky but receive none. Unhealthy teaching makes bold claims and promises but leaves one dry.
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Empty and Hungry.
“…fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted” (vs. 12). If a teacher is recognized by their fruit, those who teach what is unhealthy may be recognized for lacking fruit that honors God.
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Tossed and Ashamed.
“…Wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame” (vs. 13). Like a stormy sea that crashes and spews out foam and debris, such teaching leads people to be “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).
Unhealthy Teaching Can Leave Us Directionless and Lost.
“…Wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever” (vs. 13). Not all teachers are “stars” in the sense of helping others see God and His will. Not all movement is progress toward God. When one doesn’t hold to the light of Jesus and His gospel, they find only darkness.