FORGETFULNESS — the opening of the door to evil ‘Creepers’!

Creeping in through a door left open. Photo by Dima Pechurin on Unsplash

“I will therefore put you in remembrance,” Jude 1:5.

I was made aware of the freshness and the inexhaustible nature of the Word of God as I read Jude’s epistle today (29.5.24) as part of my daily devotion.

The word ‘remembrance’ in verse 5 prompted me to consider something which I had never really considered before. I realised that the word suggested something about the believers to whom Jude was writing that I had not given thought to before.


1. Jude found it needful to write this epistle. That need was born of more than just the invasion by “certain men” bent on “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ,” verses 4-5.

But he found it necessary to write this warning and exhortation to action because it was obvious that carelessness, born of a spirit of forgetfulness, dominated the churches involved. That how the ‘creepers’ were able to get in. This ‘amnesiac’ spirit had bred negligence whereby the enemy was able to penetrate their ranks. Physically, we all know that as the years go by we are ever more prone to forgetfulness. Well, this is also true of our souls as the years go past.  Long ago, Moses warned Israel: “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;” Deuteronomy 4:9. Forgetfulness has ever been a threat to the wellbeing of God’s people. It breeds carelessness which is exploited by the devil!

2. Jude sought to counter this dreadful situation by reminding them of that which they formerly had been very aware of. “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this . . . ” Jude 1:5. The word “know” principally means “to see”. How quickly that which were shown by the Lord fades from our vision!

I fear that there is just such a ‘fading’ amongst the ranks of today’s members of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster! We ought not to be that surprised at this or angry and annoyed by this being said! It happened amongst the first generation of apostolic believers, how much more likely is it in this last days when apostasy abounds!

To counter this ‘forgetfulness’ we do need to return to the emphasis that was once the witness of our pulpits. The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster was brought into existence by the Lord to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” against the invasion by the Ecumenical apostasy. Have not the ‘guns of opposition’ fallen silent of late! I have heard of ministers expressing fear of denunciations of apostasy driving away visitors from Ecumenical churches! Surely that is what those people need to hear! Such thinking will soon suggest that perhaps we should soften our denunciations of sin and warnings about hell and eternal judgement, least sinners stop coming to our meetings!

Such is the thinking of today’s weak-kneed ‘new-evangelicals’!

3. Jude’s response to this situation of forgetfulness was to set forth the truth regarding the ‘creepers’ in a most unrestricted manner! He pulled no punches as he set forth the truth regarding the apostasy.

What plainness he used when dealing with the issue. For example:

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities,” verses 7-8.

“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever,” verse 10-13.

Dr Ian Paisley

My first nine months under the ministry of Dr Ian Paisley before I began studying for the gospel ministry and engaging in preaching each sabbath, were glorious for I listened to God’s man back then denouncing the apostasy in a manner that was entirely scriptural. His witness was one exercised in the power of the Holy Ghost. He preached as such a holy calling should be carried on. Under that preaching souls were saved, new churches founded and the cause of God flourished for a time.

Is there not a lesson here for today’s preachers? I would urge the young men of our denomination to seek the infilling of the Holy Ghost, the only author of such authoritative preaching, and act in the mould of Jude. It may mean casting away the foolish ‘wisdom’ that some may have urged upon them regarding the need for the adoption of ‘new’ notions for today’s pulpiteering.

Let out pulpits return to the message and the methodology of the ‘old paths’ (Jeremiah 6:16) and we will see a return of the former days of blessing and power that our church enjoyed in past!

4. I must note that there was an urging upon those to whom Jude wrote a reminder that from the earliest days God’s servants linked the rise of the apostasy with the return of Christ in glory. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him,” verses  14-15.

While it is our unchanging and unceasing duty as preachers to strongly denounce false prophets, we must recognise that not until Christ’s return will that take place in its fulness.

May I suggest that since Christ is coming back to “to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” May I suggest that a minister of Christ cannot seek to avoid such censuring of these wicked men in the manner of Jude.


It is no mere coincidence that this day of “forgetfulness” and “hands which hang down, and . . . feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12), is also a day when the truth of God regarding the last days and the return of the Saviour is rarely preached as is in keeping with the emphasis it is given in God’s Word. Indeed, when it is mentioned it is sadly to put forth erroneous views on this holy subject.

This is why, as Peter wrote: “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation,” 2 Peter 3:3-4.

How sad that the ‘last days’ as we draw very near to the Saviour’s return the people of God “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept,” Matthew 25:5.

Carelessness opens the door to ’scoffers’!


I say again to the young men in pulpits, cast aside any counsel you may have received from those who have ‘gone soft’ on the enemy. Rather, as those who would profess to be “on the LORD’S side”, act as did Phinehas who when he saw wickedness in the camp, “Rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel,” Numbers 25:7-8.

Such accounts in the Bible of men standing up for the cause of God “were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope,” Romans 15:4. God has preserved the wonderful Epistle of Jude for us to learn from it and to act as it urges us.

The future wellbeing of God’s cause depends upon such a response amongst today’s generation of preachers.

May there be such a return to the ‘old paths’.

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
Thursday 30th June 2024