The Portrait of an Apostate

Jude 1:12-13

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Jude 1:12-13

An apostate is someone who rejects and ridicules the truth of the Gospel—he also tries to replace it in order to lead others astray. As believers, we must be firm in our understanding of biblical doctrine and beware of those who would deface it.

Jude 12-13 paints a gruesome portrait of an apostate so that we can recognize those who bring harm to the Church.

First, an apostate is dangerous like a sunken rock:

"These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves” (Jude 12). The devil hates the unity we have in Christ. So, a devilish apostate will act as a rock in the river of love, dividing in order to destroy our godly fellowship.

Second, an apostate is deceptive like a waterless cloud:

“They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds…” (Jude 12). An apostate promises much, but produces little; his listeners walk away still thirsty for truth.

Third, he is dead like a fruitless tree:

“...late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots…” (Jude 12). There is no use pruning a dead tree; it will never produce fruit. Likewise, there is no fixing apostasy; it is rooted in a dead, unbiblical doctrine.

Adrian Rogers says, “An apostate can imitate Christianity, but he cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit.”

Fourth, he is disturbed like the raging sea:

“...raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame…” (Jude 13). No matter what he portrays outwardly, an apostate has no inner peace in his heart. In turning from the truth of the Gospel, his moral discernment is destroyed.

Finally, he is doomed like a wandering star:

“...wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13). An apostate has knocked himself out of orbit; never again will he feel the warmth of the Son. He is destined for aimless, everlasting darkness.

Knowing their destiny, we should be heartbroken for apostates; nevertheless, we must contend for the faith. If we dare compromise the truth, we are in danger of becoming like them.

Apply it to your life

The tragic reality is that apostasy will only increase in the Last Days. Remember: Be firm in biblical doctrine, beware of those who would deface it, and contend for your faith.