The Creeps Are In The Church

Reverend J. Loren Russell

Jude 1:3-4, 16-22 NKJV

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

There are times when you must be blunt. It may not be what people want to hear, but sometimes it must be said. I am not talking about those who are blunt and blurt out derogatory or vindictive words because they are mad, or blunt and cursing someone out because they got on their last nerve. I am not talking about being blunt and using spiteful or unkind words or behavior that lead to vulgar or dehumanizing rhetoric. I am talking about being blunt and telling people that they have creeps in their midst who are in opposition to God’s will.

Jude was the brother of James and the brother of Jesus. He told his readers that he wanted to write to them about the salvation they all shared, but he was compelled to write to them about some ungodly people who had crept or wormed their way into the church. Although they were in the church, they denied God and the Lord Jesus Christ, teaching that God’s Grace permitted them to live immorally.

Jude was blunt and told the church that these creeps (those who crept into the church) were like unthinking animals, doing whatever they were instinctively inclined to do. He said they defied authority, scoffed at angels, and were as bad as the followers of Cain who killed his brother Abel; Balaam who deceived people for money; and Korah, who fought against Moses and died in the wilderness. He compares them to dangerous reefs where ships crash, and shameless shepherds who cared nothing about the sheep, only themselves. He says they are like dark clouds that bring no rain, dead trees that bear no fruit, like waves of the ocean that are churning foam, and wondering stars that are hopelessly and forever shrouded in darkness.

Jude says these creeps are easily identifiable. They are the grumblers and complainers, those who desire only those things that are in their best interest. They are identified as those who boast about themselves and flatter others to get what they want. Jude says that these are the same people they were warned about by the apostles, they are the people in the church who stir up strife, and who do not have the spirit of God in them.

What I like about Jude is that he understands that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” He understands that the Lord desires that “no man perish, but that all have ever lasting life.” He tells his readers what they are to do with and fir these creeps. They are to build each other up in their most holy faith, to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and wait on the mercy of Jesus Christ.

He does not stop there. Jude tells his readers to show mercy to those who have a weak or compromised faith, those creeps. He says “on some have compassion, making a distinction, which is to say a notable difference. He goes on to say, “but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” Imagine that, Jude tells them to brave their fear of the creeps and get down into the fire if necessary to rescue them. He tells them to “hate even the garment defiled by the flesh.” I interpret that to mean they are to love the person but hate their evil deed.

Because they were unable to be blunt with love without help, Jude closes his epistle by encouraging his readers with what I consider to be the most inspiring benediction in scripture. Jude says, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

If we keep this blessing in mind and in our hearts, we will be able to identify, minister to, and lead to salvation, all the creeps in the church.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of both LaGree Baptist Church and the Evangelical Church of God, all in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on YouTube and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at

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