Knowledge is Power: It’s Time to Know the Lord

Preached on June 9, 2024

We are on a spiritual battlefield and there is a key we must have in order to live. The series on Returning to the Lord continues this week with the third sermon of the series. Pastor McCrary takes a look at adding knowledge to our faith. It is time for us to know the Lord!


We live in a generation where the saying “knowledge is power” rings louder and louder everyday.  The reason why is because knowledge, whether it is the truth or not, is being used to sway and even control people. So, in this week’s sermon, I will focus on seeking, finding, and living by the truth. We must move with great urgency to know the freeing truth of the Lord.

Jude’s Warning About Certain Men

Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote his epistle for a couple of reasons that I want to share with you today because they are still very important for us to know.  The first reason we will find in Jude 3 where he encouraged believers to contend earnestly for the faith.  Why was he telling the believers of his day to fight for the faith?

Jude tells us that there were “certain men” that had crept into the church unnoticed and posed a great threat (Jude 4).  Who were these certain men, how did they creep in unnoticed, and what was the threat they posed?

It is likely they crept in by professing to believe in Christ.  However, Jude tells us those men eventually turned the grace of God into lewdness and denied God and His only begotten Son (Jude 4).  In other words, those men abused God’s grace to be immoral in their ways.  In their sin, they moved away from God and became apostates.  An apostate is defined as someone who abandons a previous loyalty (or faith).

Ultimately, Jude wrote this epistle because he didn’t want the believers around him to follow in the apostasy of those certain men.  Jude 5-7 shows us that he understood very well what awaits those that choose to turn from God in such a manner.  

He first pointed to some of the children of Israel that were brought out of the bondage of Egypt, but did not believe and were destroyed by God.  Jude then pointed to the angels that followed Satan in his sin and how they are now reserved in everlasting chains.  Then he pointed to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them that were set as an example of suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.  As I often say, nobody should desire to face such judgment from the Lord.

Jude’s Warning for Today

So, what does any of that have to do with us today?  Well, in my key verses, we will see Jude refer to the words of the apostles.  He spoke about how the apostles said there would be mockers in “the last time” who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.  

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.


I am one that believes we are in “the last time”, those days which Paul said would be perilous (2 Tim. 3:1-5).  So, do you think those same certain men still exist today?  Do you think that we face a present threat from those certain men today?

A description of past apostates

Since those certain men had crept in unnoticed, we will see Jude provided the believers of his day a description to be on the lookout for.  Let’s make a note of Jude’s description of the apostates of his day.

In his first description, Jude said they were dreamers who defiled the flesh, rejected authority, and spoke evil of dignitaries (Jude 8).  In his second description, Jude said that they spoke evil of whatever they did not know and corrupted themselves (Jude 10).  In his third description, Jude likened them to Cain, Balaam, and Korah (Jude 11)— rebellious men of Old Testament scripture.

Now, let me provide you with some clarity on what these descriptions mean.  Those certain men did not live in reality or according to truth.  They also lacked honor and respect for those deserving of honor and respect.  They spoke evil of what they were ignorant of rather than trying to learn.  To go along with their ignorance, they were also selfish, envious, jealous, and prideful men that did not love nor care about others.

The modern-day apostate

Again, I ask, do you think those same certain men still exist today?  Is today’s generation a generation of apostasy?  

As he considered the “last time”, Jude said the apostate would be grumblers and complainers that walk according to their own lusts (Jude 16).  Jude said the apostate of the last time will mouth “great swelling words” flattering people to gain advantage (Jude 16).  Let’s also keep in mind that Jude said they would be “mockers” of God as well (Jude 18).

So, are those certain men still around today?  As I have pointed out in recent sermons, today’s generation is a generation that is straying further from God.  This generation is a generation that is immoral and feeds off anger, bitterness, lies, and greed.  Today’s generation proudly mocks God and mocks having faith in Him— it scoffs at godly living!  This generation is one that denies God and the giving of His only begotten Son.

While the apostasy of Jude’s day was as a tiny cloud, today, it’s like a CAT4 hurricane and growing stronger!  Of this time, John wrote, “It is the last hour; as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come (1 John 2:18).”  The apostasy of today is filled with the proud blaspheming of God by those who are of the spirit of antichrist.  

So, yes, those certain men are here and they pose a very great threat!  Their goal is still to turn the grace of God into lewdness with the desire to pull you, the believer, into their sin.  The modern-day apostate will use their flattering words of ignorance to persuade and to corrupt as many who are open to receive them.

Time to Know the Lord

So, how do we go about withstanding this threat?  The old folks would say that this generation needs God!  I don’t know about you, but I agree with them!  This generation certainly needs God so that it can overcome the threat of those certain men.  

A need to gain knowledge of God

To overcome this threat, Jude encouraged believers to remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of Christ (Jude 17).”  How many of us remember the words spoken of Christ?  

Something that today’s generation has gotten away from is remembering the word of God.  In fact, today’s generation seems to hardly know the Lord.  Therefore, today’s generation is a generation that lacks knowledge of God’s word.  Because of this lack of knowledge, today’s generation is easily fooled by the flattering words of the ignorant fool!  

Let me be very clear about this:  we cannot follow the words of a fool!  As we know, the path of the fool is one that leads to eternal destruction (Prov. 1:22, 30-32).  So, why are so many people today so adamant on following the flattering lies of a fool?  Why do so many people believe the words the fool shares are wise (the truth)?  I honestly don’t have an answer for those questions.

Throughout his many letters, Paul warned against the wisdom of the world and heeding the ‘wisdom’ of the world.  In 1 Corinthians 3:18-20, Paul called on nobody deceiving themselves according to their own wisdom.  Paul realized that the perceived wisdom of the world is foolishness with God.  He said that God “catches the wise in their own craftiness” and “knows the thoughts of the ‘wise’, that they are futile (useless).

You see, God’s word will save you but the words of the apostate will only lead to destruction.  Paul shared his warning so that those who may be prideful will humble themselves in order to truly become wise.  Sadly, the ego and pride of many has caused them to ignore God and they end up falling into the same snare as the apostate.  

Knowledge of the Lord

In 2 Peter 1:5, Peter encouraged believers with all diligence to add to their faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge.  We must gain and increase our knowledge of God and His word so that we don’t fall into the snare of apostasy.  So, how do we go about adding knowledge to our faith?

How to gain knowledge of the Lord

I think that most of us will say “read the bible”.  Yet, I tell you, getting to know the Lord takes more than just glancing at scripture.  For example, how would you get to know me or anybody else?  Would you simply go read a piece of paper or what you see on the internet?  I hope not!  

In order to know somebody, we should do our best to develop a relationship with them, right?  So, first thing, to know the Lord, you must develop a relationship with Him.  This requires you to seek and go to Him.  Jesus said that if you seek Him, you will find Him (Matt. 7:7).  “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Matt. 7:8).”

Second thing, we must not simply glance at scripture, but we must study God’s word in all seriousness. This is when we should turn to His word, not simply to glance at it, but to study it in all seriousness.  Paul wrote, study (be diligent) to show yourself approved unto the Lord rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).  Adding knowledge to your faith should be something you never take a break from doing!

In our deep studying of God’s word, we find a great benefit to our relationship with.  Through our fellowship with the Lord we receive the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and bring to remembrance all things that Christ said (John 14:26; 16:13).  There are three primary ways to getting to know the Lord:  entering into fellowship with Him, through the Holy Spirit, and deep studying of His word.

Why it’s important to add knowledge

Now, some may wonder why is it so important to keep adding knowledge to their faith?  Well,  you don’t know everything, do you?  You see, when one lacks knowledge, they should seek to learn right?  So why should we ever stop seeking to grow in our wisdom, knowledge, and faith in the Lord?

You see, there is another reason that now presents itself to us for why we must continue to add knowledge to our faith.  What is that reason?  Knowledge is the first place of attack for our enemy.  Think about that:  In the garden, the devil first attacked Eve’s knowledge of God’s instructions.  Satan and all his agents of wickedness, like the apostates, will always attack your knowledge first!  If you lack knowledge, they will destroy you.

With that in mind, John wrote that those who come to know the Lord will know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6).  What this means is that those who are in fellowship with God know right from wrong in God’s eyes!  Let us not underestimate how powerful this statement is for those who remember God’s word!

When I was growing up, my parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts were adamant about gaining knowledge.  They would share that old saying – “knowledge is power”.  Many of them would talk about the education they could not get with the desire that we would get ours.  They would say, “once you get an education (knowledge), they can never take it away from you.”  They understood well that people often use knowledge to control others.

In the garden, Satan used knowledge to control Eve.  During the day of Jude, certain men used “knowledge” to lead folks away from Christ.  I want you to understand that we are on a spiritual battlefield today and knowledge is the key to whether you will live or die.  Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).”

All other truths are either subjective or objective.  Those truths can and will change over time based on opinions or research data.  On the other hand, God’s truth is holy, righteous, and unchanging— it will never pass away (Matt. 24:34).  Because what was right yesterday is still right today, we can never be deceived if we know the spirit of truth and error!

Keep Yourselves by Knowledge of God

My message today is one of true importance to me.  The reason why goes back to my evaluation before my first public sermon.  I was asked, why do you want to be a preacher?  My response was that I had been called to preach well before 2012.  Seemingly everybody knew I was called to preach at a very young age and I was fulfilling that calling.

However, there was another reason that I also added.  In my calling, I believe I was ordained to reach out to this generation with a message.  What is that message?  That it is time to return to the Lord— It is time to know the Lord.  We have strayed from God for far too long and the day has arrived where it’s time for us to come back home.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15).  Yet, at the same time, the prophet Isaiah said that the mouth of Sheol (Hades/Hell) is opening its mouth beyond measure (Is. 5:14).  When we lack knowledge of God, we are doomed to destruction.  So, as Jude concluded, we must build ourselves up on our most holy faith (Jude 20).  

Today, we must keep adding to our faith first with virtue (goodness) and with knowledge.  When we grow in our knowledge, we will come to realize that God loves us.  In His love, we are protected from the threats of this day and will be lifted above all of it to eternal life!

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