Unmasking False Workers in the Church: Jude 1:16
“16) These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.” Jude‬ ‭1:16‬
Negativity, grumbling, complaining and lusts can spread spread like cancer. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 serves as a great commentary on this verse. The ungodly ramble that departed with Israel during the Exodus were a continual challenge for Moses.
They grumbled and complained. They rebelled and constantly challenged leadership. They practiced idolatry and promoted immorality among the people. They used any occasion to test and mock God. Like the worthless ten spies, They spread fear and unbelief among Gods people. They tried their hardest to turn the hearts of the people back to Egypt. In the end God destroyed them and removed them from among His people.
Satan places a few of these people in every church and Christian community. To a degree, every believer carries negativity, doubt, complaining, lust, greed and self interest in our flesh. Crucifying the flesh is a constant challenge.
But these false workers feed and appeal to the flesh. They are constantly trying to stir up strife through grumbling and complaining with the end goal of provoking discord and rebellion. They want to divide the church and take over leadership for themselves. If they succeed, they will destroy the church and turn it into a carnal social club with no spiritual discernment or passion for God.
In one sense, God uses them to test and purify His people in the same way that He tolerates Satan in the world. It was a radical thought the first time I heard it, but the serpent ultimately serves Gods purpose in the world or God would instantly remove him. His continual tempting, enticing and attacking either drives us from God or draws us to God.
Overcoming his grip on our life is an essential part of our journey to personal freedom. This is part of the mystery behind Romans 8:28. Satan and ungodly people can do nothing against us that God cannot turn into a greater good for us and our faith journey.
Keep in mind, the carnal people Satan entangles in his deception and uses to promote his cause in the world are part of our mission field. Beware lest you begin to hate and attack the very people God called us to love and to reach with the gospel. But there is a catch and warning that must be heeded.
We are to separate the church from the world and yet build bridges to reach world. Christians are to go into the world with the gospel, but we are not to invite and welcome the world into the church. The body of Christ is a place set aside to meet with God. Satan wants to invade the church and hijack it for his evil schemes.
This is the sober warning and alarm that Jude was sounding in this short letter. Gods people were failing to protect the church from the constant bombardment and invasion of the world. Evil workers were creeping in among Gods people to sow sin and discord with the intent of dividing and destroying the church.
The book of Jude is an essential study for protecting the church and Gods people from the encroachment of the world. The more godly Christians become the more effective and fruitful they are in the world. God wants us to be different from the world. Let me say it again in a slightly different way; the more godly and Christ-like Christians become the brighter their light shines in the world.
Please spend time studying and reflecting on the book of Jude. If you have become one of the grumblers and complainers in your church, repent quickly. Embrace God and not the world.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global