My wife had a dream the other night that I was sick, and she was helping me recover. Outside of our house was a crowd of Christians who had gathered because I was sick. Interestingly, they made no contact with us but instead were outside having a bbq, enjoying each other. Eventually, my wife went outside and rebuked them and sent them away. It was a clear picture of Christians who wanted to look like they were doing good work but were really clouds without water.
“These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted.
This is one of the best definitions of lifeless Christianity in the New Testament. False teachers were invading churches with the flash of being a super apostle, but there was nothing behind the facade. They said all the right things and convinced many with the church, but their intentions were selfish and did not benefit the church. Jude calls them clouds without water. The church is full of them today. They want to accolades of the people but offer nothing in return.
Look at some of the language that Jude uses, hidden reefs. Love feasts were a time of communion and fellowship in the church, and these men were barriers. They were clouds without water. They brought no life to the group and were carried along by all the latest fads, with no real direction. The last comparison is probably the most damaging, fruitless trees. Believers’ lives are to bear fruit, and these men not only were barren but dead and uprooted. The church needs to be on guard against these wolves in sheep’s clothing. They can block and prevent the work of the Spirit in the church.
Clouds Without Water
How do you address these people in your church, especially when they have people on their side. The first step is always prayer. Take it to the Lord. Next, you need to confront the person in love. Challenge what they say with how they live and what they produce. They will probably be full of excuses, but they also know they are on notice. Finally, you need to present it to your pastor. They may have been swayed by this man and be lacking discernment. Point out the person’s fruitless ways and then let God do the rest.