Jude tells us
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
As Jude opens his letter to the church he starts by say that he has been making every effort to write to them about their common salvation but felt the necessity to write to them to earnestly contend for the faith. Why the urgency? What is he telling the believers of his day and to the believers of our day?
No doubt there where “certain persons” who have crept into the churches to teach false doctrines and they have some how done so unnoticed. How could this be? How is it that the church is unaware of the wolves in their midst? I believe it is because these wolves come dressed in sheep’s clothing. This is the only way they can creep in unnoticed.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 says
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
These false teachers are in the business of deceit. They lure unlearned sheep into their web of deception and crash their faith, the whole time promising freedom. The thing is, they’re not just dangerous to the un-noticing, immature believer, but for the non-believer as well. They creep in among the sheep to draw them away from the truth to themselves and this is what we need to be on alert of, but there is also the very real problem of false teachers preaching a false gospel drawing the unconverted as well. People looking for answers to life’s questions, temporal and eternal, including those who are broken by sin and its ravaging effects who need someone to tell them about the hope in Jesus Christ. They may come across a “Christian” television program with a well dressed, mildly concerned preacher claiming blessing and break through for just a small offering. They may be preaching a man centered message that the undiscerning person may take as truth and fall into the trap of false conversion. Either way these false teachers are dangerous. Jude uses language that expresses how harmful they are.
10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
Contending for the faith also demands that our eyes are on the ball! What I mean is we are guarding the pulpit with the up most veracity. If Christians are picking their battles in the political, or cultural arenas than the pulpit goes unguarded and wolves slip in much easier. How could that be? Easy. They walk right in with the right thing to say which usually consist of what we are currently interested in at the moment, such as political or cultural relevance. At first they seem to be on our side because they are speaking the same language, defending our issues of choice. But when we start to feel the hunger pangs of the lack of the word we find our man of choice is not what we need to lead us in Gods word.
You can see that they are considered to be most foul. So we believers need to be contending for the faith for the sake of the church and for the prospect of the unsaved. For the glory of our God who has through the saints handed down this glorious gospel. We need to be learning it and sharing it. Truth will always expose error, yet how will the errors come into the light if the learned Christian does nothing about it? Contend for the faith brethren!