Snakes in the Garden

Jude 1:11

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Jude 1:11

False doctrine is poisonous to the Church of Jesus Christ; it is the devil’s preferred way of infiltrating the Church and destroying it from within.

The Book of Jude reveals the marks of apostasy. Apostates are like snakes in the garden, hiding in the grass, preparing to strike.

An apostate is someone who has received the truth and rejected it—and has begun ridiculing it.

Jude 11 says, “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”

This verse mentions three men who illustrate the marks of an apostate: Cain, Balaam, and Korah.

The first snake in the garden is Cain, who represents those who pervert the Gospel.

In Genesis 4, Cain murdered his brother Abel out of jealousy. Abel, who understood the things of God, had offered to the Lord a blood sacrifice, which pleased Him. Cain, who did not understand the things of God, brought the fruit of the ground, which represented his own efforts.

Adrian Rogers says, “There are only two religions: the true and the false—one is the way of Cain, and the other is the way of the cross.”

The second snake in the garden is Balaam, who represents those who prostitute the Gospel.

In Numbers 22-25, the very clever and gifted prophet Balaam, exploited the message of God for his personal advantage. This story is not arguing against paying those in ministry positions. Rather, it condemns those who will do anything for personal gain, including prostituting the Gospel.

The final snake in the garden is Korah, representing those who protested the Gospel.

In Numbers 1, Korah protested Moses and Aaron, God’s appointed prophet and priest. Korah did not respect their authority, so he rallied others to defy the prophetic message and priestly mediator God had established.

Apostates seek to replace the truth with false religion, but like Korah, they stand on shaky ground; God is not pleased and will not be replaced.

This is why we must know the truth of Scripture and live accordingly, lest we find ourselves struck by the snakes in the garden—or worse, become one.

Apply it to your life

We must know the marks of an apostate to recognize the snakes in the garden. Learn the truth and abide by it, living accordingly.