Good For Nothing (Jude Part 5)

half empty canToday, the day I wrote this newsletter, we took some of the middle schoolers to the food bank to help out for the day as part of our Stay-Reach to Sarasota. While sorting the food to make sure it was okay one of the mom’s came across a can of food that was fully sealed, but was obviously quite empty. On the outside it said that it was supposed to be some pasta type dish but in reality it was nothing. It was literally good for nothing.

Jude in his letter warns that there are some people that are like this can, good for nothing. They exist, they are among us, but they serve no purpose, they are empty inside and are of no benefit to anyone. Last month Natalia did an amazing job on updating you on our trip and asking you to pray, but the previous month we looked at Jude 8-10 where Jude talks about certain people in the church who did not desire anything in line with God’s will, they were sinful dreamers.

Well in these verses Jude continues to describe them as good for nothings. He continues in verse 11, “Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.”

Here Jude describes three types of good for nothings that hang around the church but are not saved. We know they are not saved because he starts out verse 11 with an expression of total condemnation. So what are the three types of good for nothings?

1. “The Way of Cain” – Cain’s story is found in Genesis chapter 4. He was the first son of Adam and Eve. We don’t have time for any of these guy’s detailed stories so please read them on your own. But basically Cain was a man that offered sacrifices to God without faith in God, thus God did not accept His sacrifice and so Cain got angry and killed his brother. So the first type of good for nothing in the church is someone who offers religious service to God without any faith in God. These people come to church, hang out with Christians, but have no saving faith, nor actually live a life of faith inspired obedience to God.

2. “Balaam’s error for profit” – Balaam’s story is recorded in Numbers 22 – 25 & 31. Balaam’s error was that he deliberately showed King Balaak how to get the people of Israel to sin so that God would judge them, and He did this all for money. So the second type of good for nothings are those that hang around Christians but intentionally try to get them to sin, maybe even to earn money for themselves. One example that comes to mind is so called Christians who get their Christian boyfriends or girlfriends to commit sexual immorality with them. They could also be people who would deny Jesus for money, just like Judas Iscariot who sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

3. “Korah’s Rebellion” – The history of Korah’ rebellion is recorded for us in Numbers 16. He was a man who was not happy with Moses and Aaron’s leadership over the people. So he started a small rebellion against Moses who was God’s ordained authority and leader over God’s people. So the third type of good for nothing in the church are people who rebel against the God ordained authority and leaders that God has placed in the church. This often causes disunity, church splits and not only hurts a lot of people, but defames the name of God!

Jude then goes on to describe what these three types of good for nothings are like in verse 12-13. “These people are blemishes at your love feasts; eating with you without the slightest qualm – shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees without fruit and uprooted – twice dead. 13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for who the blackest darkness has been reserved forever.”

These good for nothings are like:
i. Self-Serving Shepherds – The early Christians would have a love feast before communion where everyone would bring food and eat together. Often the richer Christians brought most of the food and the poorer Christians brought little to no food but they all still ate together and enjoyed fellowship. These good for nothings didn’t care about anyone else; they were only interested in feeding themselves and ended up spoiling the fellowship because they were only concerned about what they would get. A shepherd’s responsibility is to feed the sheep, these good for nothings were only interested in serving themselves. We might not have too many love feasts any more, but there are often people in churches who are only focused on what they can get.

ii. Rainless Clouds – A cloud that does not rain sends no nourishment to the earth. A good for nothing nourishes nobody around them spiritually. They are just there doing nothing of eternal value.

iii. Fruitless Trees – An autumn tree should have bared fruit already. Good for nothings bare no spiritual fruit even though they have been around for a long time.

iv. Shameful Waves – Waves in the Bibles are often used for the wicked and their wicked deeds. The good for nothings allow their wicked deeds to be evident to all, causing destruction in the church.

v. Wandering Stars Doomed For Destruction – A shooting star shoots quickly across the sky catching everyone’s attention for a moment but then they crash and burn. A good for nothing often appears in the “church scene” quickly catching everyone’s attention, but they often crash and burn taking people with them. Jude goes onto say that all these good for nothings are doomed for eternal destruction. Why? Because they have no true faith in Christ.

So here is a hard question? Are you a good for nothing in God’s church? If you are then it is by God’s grace that you have read this blog. No-one is ever out of reach of God’s grace. If you have been convicted by God’s Word and have realized that you have been a good for nothing in God’s church, then repent of your sin, put your faith in Jesus and begin to live out the new life that He gives and love God and others with the new heart that He places in you.

In Christ

– Pastor Sean