Ready 2020: Cam Triggs – Jude 17-23

Posted January 25, 2020 by Matthew Hines

All right. That was a hot beat. I almost was about to do a freestyle for you guys, but, I’ll hold back. I’ll hold back. First and foremost, I’m so excited to be here and speak to you guys. Listen, I’m excited about this book that we’re going through and this letter that’s going to impact us for, I believe, the rest of our lives; but, before we jump into the text, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cam Triggs. I serve as the pastor of a multiethnic gospel centered church in the happiest place in the world- Orlando, Florida. All right. Come on. Somebody knows where that’s at. We are a very diverse church. Only two years, I old planted that church. You may not know this, but Orlando is one of the most unchurched cities in America. About 86% of people in central Florida are not connected to a local church. So we went there running towards a storm and we have a very diverse church, people from the black community, Hispanic community, the Hogwarts community, reaching out to the witches and the warlocks over there in that area, hoping that God will do a mighty work. Can I get amen. But more importantly than that, I’m not just a pastor. I’m also a husband to my beautiful wife, Tymara Triggs. Could you put your hand in the air wave like you just don’t care.

That is my top model. She is the sugar to my Kool-Aid and everybody know you don’t drink Kool-Aid without sugar. We have two kids. I have a four year old named Cam. We affectionately call him Baby Cam. And we’re hoping that he’ll just grow up and that will be his rap name and he’ll be a Christian rapper and it’ll be an awesome career path for him. And then we have a two year old, her name is Charis Elise and she is already doing ministry. She keeps us up at night to pray for the nations and God has been working in our hearts through Charis Elise. That’s our family. And as we talk, I want to jump into Jude verse 17 and look at really the heart of this message that we have been talking about, about “contending for the faith,” “ready to contend for the faith,” and if you will allow me to give this message a particular title. I want to give it the title “secured to endure,” “secured to endure.” And as we pick up this particular text, I want us to see what it means to have a calling, to contend, to be ready to fight for the faith, but to understand it’s not coming from our own strength, our own willpower and comes from the mighty and scandalous grace of God. First thing I want us to realize is that everybody has been called, if you’re called into the faith.

That everybody has been called to represent Jesus Christ in this culture and to a watching world. Everybody here that is believing in Jesus Christ, God says to you through the book of Jude, to stand on the fence and give a ready defense, to be on guard, to demonstrate the reason for the hope that is within you. Now, I know we’ve been talking about Disney movies this past couple of sessions, and one of my favorite Disney movies is Mulan. Can I get a witness? Anybody love Mulan? One of the interesting things about Mulan is it takes this great historical reality that there is this great wall of China, and there’s an invader coming.

But I, I began to research history and found out that the great wall of China was only invaded three times, and each time it wasn’t the strategy or the power of the enemies, it was through an inside job. there was a bribery and sometimes the guardsmen or those working on the other side of the wall allowed the enemies to come in, and in the book of Jude, starting with verse 17, God has said to all of us, don’t take the bribe,

Don’t believe in the lies. See, we’re all in this particular battle. It’s a spiritual warfare. I know sometimes we think that spiritual warfare is merely Ouija Boards and small men in red suits with pitchforks. But the truth is that the essence of the battle we engage in is a true or false test, that there are lies of the enemy and there are lies of the world and there are lies really echoing from our own heart on what we should believe. And if we stray away from Christ, and God is saying to us through Jude, “Don’t take the bribe. Stand strong. Many will mock, they will scoff. They will try to persuade you to take the bribe.” But God is saying, “stand strong because God is mighty.” First thing I want us to understand, as we pick up in verse 17, is the context of your calling, the context of your calling is here. Verse 17 it says, “but you, beloved, are to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They were saying to you the last time, there will be mockers following after their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause divisions. They’re worldly minded, and they are devoid of the spirit.” First thing we need to understand from our context is that our calling has an identity. The first thing that Jude calls out and he wants to echo in your heart is that we are the beloved. He wants us to understand what team we’re actually on. He says that we’re beloved, loved by God, that God cherishes us and runs after us and that we are on the team of the beloved. And the reason we need to understand this is because there are two sides here in this text. There are those who are literally being enemies of the faith and there are those who are beloved according to God’s good mercy. And he says, remember, remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles and the prophets, Peter and Paul, these Apostolic forces these, these, these missionaries on God’s timetable to give this new revelation would always preach and say, beware of wolves, beware of false teachers who will come in the last time. Now I know sometimes we think the last time is in the future, but actually, according to the Bible, we are all living in the last times.

That the moment Jesus Christ came as Messiah, it inaugurated the end of human history. And we are living in the last chapter of this paradigm that God has for us. And so in these last days, their saying there will be false teachers and mockers and we need to remember that the apostles are saying to us, stand on the wall, contend for the faith, remember what God said, and don’t take the bribe no matter what. The context gets deeper though. [inaudible] those who are waiting on the outside of the wall, hoping to creep into your faith, creep into the church, creep into the way that you’ve been following Jesus. And he gives them these harsh descriptions. They’re mockers, scoffers; they ridicule the true Christian faith. They ridicule what it means to follow Christ, but they’re not just mockers, they are following after their own ungodly lusts. There’s no morality in them. They want what the world has. They want that bribe. They want all that the devil and the world has to offer on this platter and they are running after it.

Not only that, they cause divisions. It’s been often said that if Jesus cannot destroy the church, he will join the church. Here we see that the enemy wants to join the church and and find a way to seize this particular unity that Jude is striving for, to have this division arise in their lives, and not only that, they’re worldly minded and they’re devoid of the spirit. The texts they’re devoid of the spirit can mean they don’t have the spirit of God, but ultimately connecting it to verse 10 it can also mean that they are animal like. That they’re not even human beings, but they have no moral barometer. They don’t have a Christian conscience or a compass to direct them in any type of way of acting out their behavior that is proper to humanity. Now, this is the context of our calling.

Can I be real for a second, why this applies to us? Because it’s easy to stand firm in your calling. When KB is making everybody get lit 10 o’clock at night. Can I be honest, it’s easy to stand in your calling when everybody is wearing shirts that say Spurgeon on them. It’s easy to stand in your calling when you’re, you’re saying the slogans and singing the songs and you’re, you’re really in this Christian cul-de-sac, but when you go back to the context of hostility, will you stand strong? See some of us have this context waiting for us in our homes cause our parents aren’t Christians, and they’re going to put the pressure on us to mock Christianity, cause division and what we really want to seek unity and the body of Christ. Some of us, this context of hostility is waiting in the locker room; when those crude jokes about other women come up and those, those lies about what you do with other females come up and you’ll feel the pressure to acquiesce to this way of life. For some of us, the context could be on our internet Explorer, maybe in the Palm of our own hands and we’re scrolling up. We feel the pressure to take the bribe of Satan and take the bribe of our flesh and and, and look at pornography, or to believe the false world-views of social media, or to begin to turn a listening ear to the scoffers and the mockers and all of a sudden we’re, we’re giving an open court to those who may be Mormons, Jehovah witness, or those who may follow the Islamic faith, or those who might be Black Hebrew Israelites, and all these other culture are mocking Christianity, mocking the truth, and we turn a listening ear because we have this temptation to follow the world of sin. Friends, would you just take the heart that what Jude is saying here is that there is destruction and sin, that there’s no such thing as safe sin. All of this is leading to a lifestyle that ultimately leads to destruction and a separation from the God of the universe.

One things that I love to do is watch animal planet, national geographic. Some type of show because I love to watch predators hunt. Shark week, whatever it could be. On one particular occasion, I’m watching one of these animal shows and they’re doing a documentary and the question that they’re trying to poke around with this documentary is, can you ever have a wild animal as a pet? They began to survey this one couple. They have a chimpanzee. I’m not talking about Michael Jackson and bubbles, but I’m talking about this couple that had this chimpanzee, and the question is why would they keep this chimpanzee as a pet because they’re so much stronger than humans, they’re very smart. But the couple began to articulate that they loved him and he was a great pet, until the husband of the house died.

All of a sudden the disposition of that chimpanzee changed. They had to keep them in a cage until finally, because of his intellect and his strength, he was able to break out of that cage and he threw a tantrum and tore up the whole house and the mother of the household had to run outside, call the police and her friend. The police are coming, but her friend arrives first and she jumps out the car and out of nowhere the chimpanzee jumps on her back, flips her over and literally rips her face off. At that moment, the mom has to jump on the back of that chimpanzee and stab him to death and he runs inside and bleeds to death. Documentary makes it clear, there’s no such thing as a pet wild animal.

But Jude saying to all of us, there is no such thing as a pet sin! You may think you have it, but it really has you. You may think you’re hiding it, but it really has the grips of your heart and it’s waiting for the right time to turn on you, to turn you into a mocker, a scoffer, and away from Jesus Christ. And Jude is saying, turn away from it because that sin cannot liberate you. Here’s the good news. We may have this tough context to contend for the faith, but there is a beautiful foundation in our calling, the foundation of our calling. We see this verses 20 through 21, verses 20 through 21 Jude is going to give us how to absolutely contend for the faith. Now, can I be honest? What Jude writes is a little surprising. Because I look in my own mind, if I come to a youth conference like this and I’m ready to contend for the faith and I’m getting pumped up, the question that I have is, okay, Jude, how do we fight? What? What weapons do we need? What workout do I need to do? I want to get ready to go to battle, and for some of us we feel that temptation. How do I fight when I go back to this context? And we’re saying to ourselves, man, is it more zeal, more Bible studies? Is it more strategies, more programs, more music? Is it, is it more service, and how I jump into the youth team? I need more to do so that I can build up my strategy to fight.

You know what that’s like, all of these superficial things that we try to fight with? They’re not the weapons God gives us. It’s like standing on a Jenga tower that’s missing several pieces and the moments where we’re trying to balance ourselves on the Jenga tower and where we’re trying to focus on Bible study or this double lifestyle or, or serving in the youth group or, or, or serving on the band. And, and we try to pull up ourselves standing on the Jenga tower. But it is an unsure foundation. Why? Because it’s about advancing our self righteousness instead of abiding in Christ.

See what God wants us to understand from the book of Jude. It’s not about yourself righteousness, it’s about abiding in Christ. And he’s going to give us a bunch of passive terms to show us how we fight is not our battle. That how we fight is trusting in Jesus Christ, it says the verse 20, “but you beloved,” again, remember your identity, who you are in Jesus Christ, “but you beloved, building up yourself on your most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” What?

Jude? I don’t think you get me. I want to punch the devil in the face. I mean, I’m getting pumped up here. I’m ready to do Bible drive-bys at my high school. I mean, give me something more than that. I mean, I’m ready to go. And here’s what Jude says. He says, “build up your faith. Pray in the Spirit. Wait on God.” All these passive things, that build up on your faith talks about this trust and, what we saw in verse three, the faith delivered once and all for the saints. In essence, he’s saying to build up your faith on the gospel, to remind your identity in what Jesus Christ has done, that he lived the life that you couldn’t live. He died the death that you shouldn’t die. On the cross Jesus took your sin and, in exchange, gave you his perfect life and righteousness. That’s how you are to build up on the faith. And then he says, “pray the Holy Spirit,” saturate yourself in prayer and the Holy Spirit. He’s going against these false teachers that say that there are different tiers of Christians and there’s super Christians and less Christians, and only if you have this philosophy or this way of teaching makes you elite. Paul says, we have all- Jude says, we have the same spirit, and that this prayer connects us to ultimately the revival we need- God himself.

And then he says, keep yourselves in the love of God. This is what you need to remind yourself of. Keep yourself in the love of God. You need to remember how much God loves you. When you’re standing on that wall and the bribery comes to go against the Christian faith and the bribery comes for you to, to trade out and, and to sell out, you need to remember the King that you stand on the wall for loves you. How do I know he loves me? He gave his only son. Romans eight verse 26 says, for God will not spare his only son. How will he not with him graciously give us all things that God bankrupted heaven. With the good news of Jesus Christ to demonstrate his love and his affection and his covenant and his commitment to you and that is what keeps you in the faith.

There was a young girl that went off to college, grew up in youth group, and she steps on that college campus. She decides to take a new identity. She takes this new identity. She began to go to parties, living the lifestyle that’s contradictory to what she was taught. She finds herself linked up with this very charismatic senior on campus. They sleep with one another, few weeks passes and she wakes up sick. One of her worst realities that she can think of came to fruition. She was pregnant her freshman year. On winter break she goes back home, goes to the youth group, discouraged, depressed, wondering where is God in all of this? I feel like God doesn’t love me. I might as well just turn away from the faith, but in the work of the Holy Spirit, after the service, she goes and talks to the youth pastor. Confesses that before she came here, she had an abortion.

She said at a point of desperation, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if my parents would accept me. I didn’t know who would actually be there for me, so I had an abortion so that I could stay in college and pursue my dreams. I feel guilty. I’m depressed. My hair is falling out. I feel sick and I don’t even know if God loves me. Pastor began to pray over her, and began to quote scripture over her and finally she felt this rush of a wind come over her, and this guilt and the shame snapped. Finally, what you heard the words of the pastor praying, “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Then she opens her eyes and she says to the pastor, “I believe God has forgiven me for that abortion” to which the pastor says, “what abortion?” Friends, this is the reality of what happens in eternity. The sins that scar our hearts are etched out in the heavens. The Bible tells us as far as the East is from the West, so are our sins from him and the book of Hebrews, verse eight 12 God says that he will have mercy on our iniquities and he will remember our sins no more. Here’s the good news,

If I rely on my good works or my attendance in church or or the self righteousness, or if I rely on my success, it can only lead to pride or despair, but only can I achieve gospel centered joy to contend for the faith when I remember he will keep me in his love, but friends it gets better than that, not just the context of our calling. It’s not merely just the foundation of our calling. Let me give you the last point and I’ll be out your way. He gives us the content of our calling.

Finally, after Jude gives us this gospel centrality of what it means to live a life in Christ, he tells us what we should do. It’s in verse 22 and 23 he says, “have mercy on some who are doubting, save others, snatching them out of the fire and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Jude is saying, everybody here who believes in the scandalous love and the scandalous grace has a mission. He gives us a few categories here, it says have mercy on some who are doubting.

These are literally the people who are standing on the fence. They’re standing on the edge wondering if they’re going to take the bribe of the enemy. Should they jump over, allow this particular temptation to overtake them and instead of us pushing them over the edge, Jude says, have mercy on them. Why would we have mercy on them? Martin Luther, one of the great reformers, tells us, “God doesn’t need your good works, but your neighbor does.”

Now the question we have to begin to ask ourselves- is the moment I made a decision as a believer and I wasn’t raptured into eternity, that God didn’t tell-a-beam me up to heaven, the reason I’m still here is because there are people that need to hear the good news I have received. Friends, the truth is every person on this side of heaven is allowing us to be able to share this good news with them. God has sent us to different areas, to show mercy. We are to be to them, listen to me, as Jesus was to us; merciful, loving, gracious, answering their questions, praying for them, sitting down with them, persuading them of this good news, asking them to believe in Jesus. Don’t take the bribe. Remember that you’re kept in his love, that you’re beloved; don’t turn into the other side. Pray in the spirit, know that God is going to return and he will right every wrong, wipe away every tear, no more mourning, no more weeping, but eternal joy in his presence.

Then it says to snatch, those who are facing destruction, those who are going away straight away; that we need to have this gospel urgency with them to preach the good news. And then he talks about those who are even further along, those who are being polluted by this garment of flesh. Now as you dig into the Bible, there’s a lot of terminology and breaking this term down, but basically means a polluted under garment. That it should remind us and grieve us when we think about those who have gone away from this truth. God reminds us those who depart from the faith were never secure in the faith, but as we see those who depart, and their false faith is made evident, it should be as a polluted undergarment.

Listen, one pastor cam is not wearing somebody else’s underwear. Number two, I’m not wearing somebody else’s dirty underwear. Stray away from those things. That’s what Jude is saying. It should be such of a disgusting reality for us that we would persevere in this love that God has for us. Friends, can I just encourage you, that one of the greatest missional waves, one of the greatest waves of missions, one of the greatest waves of missionaries, one of the greatest waves of evangelism and revival may not be behind us- it is ahead of us.

That here I think of this generation that’s here and the impact that you can have, with the gospel is to take this good news to those who are doubting and those who have strayed away. If you take this good news to your cities and your sports teams and your homes, that God can literally turn this world upside down and the reason you can do it is because you can be secured in faith.

There’s a woman named Harriet Tubman who after years of brutal slavery, travels North and escapes from the horrific realities of racism and bigotry. I don’t know about you, but if I’m Harriet Tubman and I escaped from slavery and I’m going to the North, I’m starting my new life, I’m going to go ahead and enjoy the fruit of freedom, but Harriet does not do that. Instead, what we know Harriet Tubman for is she goes back to the South to free more people. Scholars tell us Harriet was strapped. If you don’t know what that means, it’s an urban colloquialism that means she carried a gun on her. Two reasons. One, to fight off slave catchers. Two, to convince slaves that wanted to go back not to. There’s a quote that scholars believe never really came from the lips of Harriet, but it still demonstrates a reality. “I have freed thousands of slaves, but I could have freed more if they knew there were slaves.”

Friends, Jude is saying to us that there is nothing but sin and slavery on the other side of the wall. He’s saying to us. Don’t turn no matter what. Utilize your freedom to, to liberate others that they would see the goodness of Jesus. Don’t turn back. Focus on Christ. Don’t turn back. Dig in his word. Don’t turn back. Double down in prayer. Don’t turn back. Look to his grace. Don’t turn back. See him nailed at the cross. Don’t turn back. See him risen from the dead. Don’t turn back. He will come again in all glory.

And persuade others. You’re free so that others may enjoy his freedom. So when you go back, point them to Jesus. Let’s bow our heads and close our eyes. Bow our heads because it’s a physical demonstration that there is an end of ourselves. We can give reverence to God.

Friends, let me encourage you, this is not merely a transition of a service. This is a moment for us to connect with the living God of the universe. Close our eyes so that we’re not a distraction to anyone else or ourselves. No, it doesn’t matter if you have a PhD or still in the sixth grade. Everybody in this room has a decision to make. We’ve heard calls for salvation. You’ve heard calls of repentance, but I want to give us a call for the mission. Friends, it doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in, God has a calling for your life. I can tell you that that it is not my words that makes this moment significant. It is God through the Holy Spirit, through Jude speaking to you, to saturate yourself in his love and to take this mission to those who are facing destruction.

Would you pray to him? Don’t look around. I know it’s awkward. Don’t be distracted. But for a moment, would you seek God on your own and ask God to send you in the power of his Holy Spirit. Would you ask God to open up doors to share the gospel with relatives who face an eternal hell apart from the work of Jesus Christ. Then when those doors are open, you would be as bold as you should be to tell them the good news of what Jesus has done on our behalf. Would you pray that God would send you back to your school to be a light; that people would see Jesus through your lifestyle and from the words coming from your lips to their hearts?

Some of you, perhaps you need to pray, if God is calling you to be a missionary overseas. God is calling you right now in this moment to consider what it would be like to share the gospel where it’s illegal and you can lose your life for talking about Jesus, but because you know you’re secured to endure and because you know Jesus has risen from the dead. I will go anywhere Jesus sends me because the safest place to be in the world is in the will of God; even death cannot hurt me. Maybe you’re making a surrender to dive in his word, to be a student of his word. As you sit on a campus that prepares pastors throughout the nation, maybe God is calling you to devote yourself to a lifetime of study and proclamation. For the rest of us, God is calling us back to our homes, our schools, our friends, and I pray that this is not merely a pep rally for Jesus.

This is soldiers hearing from the general, the God of the universe, telling us to go and take enemy territory because God is mighty. Father, we thank you because the victory has been won through your son, Jesus Christ. But you move us now from this place to be ready to contend with the good news of the gospel, and would we share this good news and give our lives to be sent, not to earn your good favor, but because that favor has already been given to us. Would you remember? Help us to remember that Romans five eight tells us that you have demonstrated your love to us, that Christ died for us even while we were sinners, that we would remember we’re beloved. That we’re kept in your love. That we would pray right now and the Holy Spirit and trust that the Spirit will send us to those who need this liberating good news. We thank you because at this moment we are secured to endure.

May we remember the context of our calling, and the foundation being this good news, and the content of this mission to go and be merciful to those who are doubting, to convince those who are straying. Would we stand on the wall and never take the bribe because all the glory and riches we desire have been given to us in Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, amen.


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