Monday, Dec 06th

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Jude

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“Earnestly Contend for the Faith”

In Jude we have an example of urgency in the Christian faith, a call to stand firm and be vigilant. We are to note those who are of Satan, or who act on his behalf, and we are to oppose them – but not in our own strength. We are to earnestly contend for the faith.

It is popular to say we should not contend at all, but must take everything passively, because God and His word do not need defending - they defend themselves. Some Christians, too, refuse to support other believers who speak out on important issues and say it is all their own fault if they are attacked. This, though, is the thinking of cowards or the ignorant; it is not the way of Christ, Who Himself was attacked for speaking out.

The thought of contending for the faith fills most Christians with dread. They fear that if they contend, others might see them as unchristian, or lacking in love! So, they sit back and let evil men (and even aggressively commandeering Christians; or those who do not listen to others) take over. This is not the mark of a Christian – it is the mark of an uncaring and frivolous belief. It is not faith, because those who really trust in God will obey His commandments, including the scary activity of opposing evil. If they do not oppose, then, as John says in his epistles, we must view them as unbelievers.

So, we must read this dynamic epistle and apply it to our own lives. The stakes are very high, especially in days of a growing mass apostasy. There are few good preachers and teachers who obey God and drive forward with the banner of Jesus Christ – most have their own design banner pointing to themselves! Nevertheless, follow the brave ones, and not those effete, spineless men who fill our pulpits (and the pews) today, thundering from their place of safety but refusing to fight against men of sin in the name of God. There are even Christians who say we must not expect unbelievers to obey God… a modern heresy borne of inadequate theology. But, sin is sin, no matter who enacts it!

Verses 1&2

  1. “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, the brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

  2. Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied”.

The writer of this letter to an unspecified recipient, is Jude (or, Judas), brother of James. Jude refers to himself as a ‘servant of Jesus Christ’. It appears his role was apostolic, as he assumes a task similar to that of other apostles – the guiding of the early churches by visits and letters.

Jude is writing to ‘them that are sanctified’... and ‘preserved in Jesus Christ, and called’; people who are saved, fellow Believers. They are sanctified, or dedicated to God, purified by God and ‘preserved’ or guarded and kept safe in their salvation by Jesus Christ. They are also ‘called’ to eternal security as saved people. To these Jude prays for mercy, peace and love, in abundance. God does not leave His children devoid of blessings! He pours them out in vast quantities.

Sadly, few can recognise blessings in what are thought to be ‘bad times’. They just see ‘bad times’! ‘Bad times’ in a Christian’s life arise either because he is being tested by God, or, he has opened himself up to the attacks of Satan. Obviously, the latter is not a blessing, though it can be called a ‘reward’ in the true sense of the Biblical word (which can linguistically mean either a blessing or a punishment), a reward for our silliness, deliberate sin, or lack of discernment.

But, assuming a Christian is living as he ought, even ‘bad times’ should be treated like gold, for God will only test those whom He loves. A Christian being tested is assured the testing is for his own good. He can relish the thought that if he is being tested, then God has chosen him for the purpose and He is giving him the opportunity to show his faith and love for God, by remaining true and loyal. The aim of God in ‘bad times’ is not to ruin, but to build up. Therefore, if you are in such times, look forward to what God will do for you when you finish the trial with stronger faith.

When the ‘bad times’ are over, the Christian who is faithful and does not fall into sin, will have benefits and blessings bestowed upon him in abundance. The ‘bad times’ then, are not a sign of God leaving a Christian, but of His active presence and loving kindness. It would be a grave error for any faithful Christian to think his ‘bad times’ are ‘bad luck’ or from Satan. Think like that and they really will become ‘bad times’, for the test will be failed! But, go through the trial successfully, with faith intact, and your Christian life will be stronger by multiple degrees.

Verses 3&4

  1. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

  2. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Jude’s reason for writing to these Christians, whoever they were, was to warn them to beware of deceivers in the churches. He has written in ‘all diligence’; with haste and intense interest. Like John, Paul, and the others, he has an avid determination not to allow Satan to ruin those whose lives have been saved by Jesus Christ. The Apostles were jealous for their ‘children’ and sought always to protect them.

The same jealousy ought to be found in all pastors, teachers and preachers. Sadly, it is rarely found. In recent years, when charismatic and ecumenical fervour struck at the heart of the churches, one thing has become apparent – pastors and others allowed Satan to mislead and ruin the lives of professing Christians. Thus, they showed their lack of concern and love for the brethren, plus their lack of discernment.

This letter was written to those ‘of the common salvation’, the soteria or deliverance known generally to all who are saved. They had their salvation in common and so they shared the same hopes and fears. Jude says he had to write to them out of necessity, for the circumstances were dire: wicked men were imposing their will upon them, claiming to be of God. If they were not warned, they would be engulfed in deception. Jude was, then, a watchman. We live in similar days now, when fake Christians try to batter at Christian foundations.

These true Christians were being exhorted - summoned and instructed as an act of comfort - to listen, for the sake of their own wellbeing. Jude was telling them to ‘earnestly contend for the faith’. ‘Earnestly contend’ is one word, epagonizomai. It is a very dynamic word with great impetus, referring to a hard battle. Rooted in epi (to go over against something or somebody) and agonizomai (to fight against enemies and to struggle with difficulties and dangers in the process, with immense zeal and effort) the term carries with it the ethos of very hard work and great courage. At no time does it denote keeping quiet, hiding away, or allowing wicked people to dominate. (Many Christians hide from their responsibility to God – their work colleagues probably do not know they are believers, because they put their salaries and own ideas above their loyalty to the Lord).

To ‘earnestly contend’ is to be involved heavily in conflict and contention (agon) and includes education and training (ago), building up a ‘wall’ of protection. None of these activities are readily accepted by most Christians, who, generally, only want a quiet life. They shun anything that looks dangerous or contentious, even speaking against those of us who do fight evil men and ideas, as though they were being somehow holy in their laxity! To their shame and detriment, they know nothing of ‘earnestly contending for the faith’, but scorn those who do!

They were being called upon to be soldiers, because there is no such thing as a sofa-Christian! Each one who claims to be of Christ must be garbed in armour, carrying a sword. They must be ready and willing to fight for the faith, which was given to them only one time. What they were being told to fight for was not some commodity they could find elsewhere; it was the salvation given by Jesus Christ, an act that occurs just once in any Christian’s lifetime. It is so precious that Jude calls on them to oppose their enemies with all their strength.

How different from modern Christianity, which hides behind the baggage every time there is even the rumour of conflict! This spinelessness is degrading, embarrassing and scandalous. I cannot stomach Christian cowardice at a time when Christians are not even in physical danger. The very least we can do for a Christ Who died on a cross for us, is to fight His corner! The least we can do is contend for what we know – or claim to know – is true. How can we not fight for the truth, when God gave it to us at such great cost? What a stench this cowardice must be in the nostrils of Almighty God!

Whilst Christians sit back and hide behind their curtains, a raging battle is going on outside. It is commonly thought that if you feed a tiger it will be content and simply leave you alone. No! It will come back again and again and will one day pounce on you and tear you apart limb from limb. To give in to fear and allow evil to go unchallenged is to invite grave danger into your life. Most Christians will not oppose anything if it ‘does not affect me’. Are such persons fit to have at your side in a battle? Of course not! They will turn and flee at the first sight of the enemy.

The battle Jude is talking about is one of subversion and sin. It is not always obvious or frightening. Indeed, such a danger is often subtle, appearing to be good and loving, offering all kinds of benefits to the unwary (or uncaring). Men who are enemies often creep in unawares, like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They go unnoticed, because people are not expecting, or watching for, them. Sadly, even some who claim to be brethren act this way. As genuine Christians we cannot let down our guard.

As a teacher I have often been accused of seeing only what is wrong, or of being critical all the time. This is mainly true – but, as a watchman, I see what is happening beyond the wall. It is my role to shout out to the inhabitants of God’s city. If all I see is danger and sin, how can I say the opposite? There are many men in our pulpits who give only encouragement and speak only of love and sweetness. These are all part of our overall message, but to ignore approaching or actual harm in our midst at a time of growing spiritual war, is an omission that God will not condone. The evils I see and am critical of are not just outside the walls of the churches, they are now inside them and ripping out the hearts of the people! Even then, they want to sleep, and scorn or ignore the watchman! Their love is their own bellies... and Satan can see how soft those bellies are.

Those who live without an idea of deception, and who ignore warnings, cannot see evil men amongst them, because they come in secretly, with stealth. These evil men, who are welcomed into the congregation by foolish Christians who think they know better, were prophesied by God to enter the churches. They were ‘before of old ordained to this condemnation’. They were written about in the Old Testament, judged by God to be wrong and full of sin, and shown to be openly evil. It is there, Jude says, in black and white for all to see! Yet, how many Christians ‘adopt’ unbelievers and shower them with friendship, gifts and money? Sadly, these do-gooders deserve a fall, to remind them of their own facile image of what a Christian is and what he should do.

Yet, Christians refuse to listen and do not act against them. Though obvious and prophesied, Christians even today do not recognise deceivers. Instead, they castigate the watchmen and open the gates to the enemy! How can Christians welcome these men when God has already condemned them? They do so because they are not ready for battle. They do not wish to fight for Christ. It shows their superficiality and lack of trust in God (if they are saved at all). If they truly trusted in God (had faith) they would fight immediately and not rest until the enemy was defeated. The reason we see so many cults today is that Christians hide and cannot stomach the fight. It is also why evil, godless socialism and fascism are now engulfing the world.

The ones they protect are ‘ungodly men’ (verse 4) who oppose God and all He stands for. They remove (turn) and change what is good, for what is evil. They turn what is a gift from God into unbridled lust and wanton sin, outrageously and without shame. They accept as a ‘friend’ cults and false religions. In ignoring and rejecting God’s word, they are ‘denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ’. The majority of preachers today, and those they teach, are in this position. And their listeners love them. How can I dare to say such a thing? The evidence is before us! The spiritual movements we see around us are evidence of this lasciviousness (lust). They do not uphold God’s grace and word – they oppose it and make it as nothing and, some (such as Islam) murder God’s people. Their attitude towards unbelievers is cancerous and woeful. Many, claiming Christ, even prefer the company of unbelievers to the company of believers. I cannot keep a sham friendship with these enemies of God, even if they claim to be saved.

Verses 5-8

  1. “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

  2. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day.

  3. 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.

  4. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities”.

With such men devouring the churches, Jude wants them to remember something they once knew, that though God saved the Jews from Egypt, He then went on to destroy those who were not faithful. If Jude is making Christians remember this, do you think I should avoid the subject?

He goes on to warn them that God is not a respecter of persons: not only did He devastate the unfaithful on earth, but He also ruined angels who were unfaithful. The implication is very clear – if God would not protect angels, He certainly will not protect unfaithful humans! Though these angels (demons) continue to exist, they are as good as destroyed, for they will never be free again. They left their first estate (their original sinless condition) in Heaven, thereby causing God to condemn them to an eternity in ‘chains under darkness’.

They are bound in the ‘nether world’ of blackness, dead to God and to everything good. And that is how they will remain until the great judgement day of God, when He will send them to the pit of ‘eternal fire’, just as He condemned Sodom and Gomorrah to the same fate. These two kingdoms and their surrounding cities were all destroyed for their fornication (idolatry) and ‘going after strange flesh’ (sexual sins, mainly homosexuality).

Their sins were so bad, God made them an eternal symbol of evil. Note, too, that Jude does not hesitate to use a word avoided by Christians – ‘vengeance’. God is not just a God of wrath, He is also vengeful. He has already brought into being the eternal fires that will continually punish evildoers. They exist because of His wish for vengeance. This is not the vengeance of men, which is full of hate and selfish anger. God’s vengeance is pure; it is dike – the condemnation that follows a judicial hearing. It is the execution of justice, the result of a proper legal judgment.

Thus, God is doing what He must do, because of His very nature. Unlike human beings, God cannot allow sin to go unpunished. God’s ‘vengeance’, then, is an ‘avenging justice’. Is the ‘eternal fire’ spoken of here a real fire? Well, ‘fire’ is pur, meaning fiery or fire. So, it is highly possible that the fire of hell is a real fire and not only symbolic for God’s undying wrath.

Jude warns that these same perils will be shown to anyone who sins without repentance against God. They are ‘filthy dreamers’, people who are drawn into sensuality (not just sexuality) and who act out unholy ways. In the case of Sodom and like-cities, they were ‘filthy dreamers’ who polluted and defiled the body, with both their lustful activities and their continuous dreaming of such evils. This is an exact description of homosexuality and other illicit sexual sins. Those who commit them are ‘filthy dreamers’ who pollute the human body and mind. Nowadays we see apt punishment upon such people, in the form of AIDS and other unimaginable results of their sin, the worst of which is the removal of God’s presence and help. Yet, sinful Christians lend them support!

These filthy dreamers do not stop at their sexual sins and ruin their own bodies. They also ‘despise dominion and speak evil of dignities’. That is, they reject and despise the lordship of God and blaspheme Him and everything that is glorious and praiseworthy. ‘Dignities’ are things that are honourable, glorious, worthy of praise, including what is in the mind and heart, as well as what is physical. It also applies to the majesty of God. Thus, those who claim to be Believers and yet also proudly boast of their homosexuality, are liars and deceivers. They loathe God’s word and reject what He says about their evil state and actions. Once again, this is what Romans 1 says, supporting the description of homosexuality and similar vices as ‘filth’.

Verses 9-13

  1. “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

  2. But these speak evil of those things, which they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

  3. 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 Co’re.

  4. 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;

  5. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever”.

There are some within Christian circles, though, who forget their own smallness. They attempt to fight evil with their own meagre human resources, in their own strength. This is why so many today join as groups wanting legal redress; so they fight in courts and government. Jude warns against this, by saying that even an archangel dare not fight in his own name or strength. Evidently, Satan claimed the body of Moses for his own self and the archangel, Michael (‘who is like God’), opposed his claim. Michael is a chief angel, who stood with Israel against their enemies. Thus, he is called the ‘prince of Israel’ (Daniel 10:21). Satan, as far as we can tell, was of similar status when in Heaven, and was considered the most beautiful and mighty of all angels.

Mighty as Michael was, he did not oppose Satan in his own name. Even so, he contended with him – judged his actions and fought against him in hostile manner. He spoke with Satan and argued his case. Though Michael’s case was water-tight, he still did not dare bring a ‘railing accusation’ (an injurious speech of condemnation) against him in his own power, immense though it is. Instead, he told Satan that God was admonishing him.

This goes straight to the crux of the issue of judging others. We are not to judge others with our own views or ideas. Nor may we condemn others because we are ourselves feeling hurt or angry. We may only judge and accuse in God’s name. And not because we think we can do so. We can do it only if we know, from His word, that this is what He is saying.

A simple example is to judge someone guilty of stealing. We can level that charge if we know for certain it has been done, because God Himself condemns it in His word. Like Michael, we can certainly be hostile in our judgement at times, but this hostility must not be the result of mere human reaction; it must be the result of real, holy (righteous) anger. That is, we are angry because God is angry and has laid it upon our heart to be similarly hostile. And, do not let others piously tell you this anger must be against the sin only - Michael was angry against Satan personally, not just his sin. Jesus was angry against the men in the Temple and not just their sins. Indeed, I find it ludicrous to claim we do not feel anger against persons who sin, when we all feel this anger inwardly when confronted with certain kinds of evil. Unfortunately, this ‘holier than thou’ attitude prevails throughout the churches… outward calm and inward seething!

It is the unenviable task of my own ministry to rebuke both sinners and their sins (as I rebuke myself also). When I do this I do not do so in my own name or wisdom. I do so because God’s word says so and because God causes me to speak out. If I did it because of personal anger or malice, then critics would be right to condemn me. (I note that those who say I must not be critical feel it is acceptable for them to be critical of me and others! This is a classic example of double mindedness and hypocrisy). In our everyday life, we must exhort and rebuke each other. At times this will mean being angry. But, at all times, we must only rebuke or exhort when told to do so by the Holy Spirit, in the manner given by Him (while still loving our brethren who are in error).

The people who are filthy in their sin know nothing about spiritual realities, but they are expert in their natural sinfulness, being just like ‘brute beasts’. That means they act absurdly, just like animals who have no power of reason. In the matter of their actions, they are dumb as animals, so dumb and stupid that they bring destruction upon their own selves. They do not just ruin their physical bodies, they also ruin and defile the body as a temple of God, thereby despising God Himself. Hence, the need at times for righteous anger.

Jude said they willingly bring calamity upon their own heads, and are just like Cain the murderer in their evil intent and deliberate running after sin and against God. They speed headlong after sin, pouring out their lusts to overflowing, as they copied the wrongness of Balaam in order to gain some reward. Balaam (‘perhaps’) was a prophet who, when offered a large sum of money, was asked to curse Israel. It was only when God forced him to do so, that Balaam actually blessed Israel, against his own desires. How many Christians only act well outwardly, when their inward hearts think the opposite? (I often see it in their eyes, or hear their tone of voice).

Jesus later spoke of him as an example of a deceiver who was completely lost to his own sin. Homosexuals and similar people are also lost completely to their sin and try to deceive others. A very few become saved and change – but these are an exception. The majority will end up in hell, as scripture bluntly tells us.

Co’re (‘baldness’) led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, so God punished him and his followers in an earthquake and flames. They hated the fact they were excluded from the office of priest. Co’re was full of pride and very ambitious. His inclusion with Balaam and Cain shows us the seriousness of his crime (‘gainsaying’ – rebellion) against God. Thus, those who are like him – in this case homosexuals and similar – share the same kind of punishment. From these words we can see homosexuals must not be given favours or treated as ‘nice’ people. The same goes for Muslims. God says they are ‘filthy dreamers’ deserving of hell, as evil as the examples given in scripture. In no way should Christians befriend them and not condemn their lifestyles/sins.

Such evil men were found in the churches, and Jude says they are ‘spots’ or rocks on a reef that cause moral harm to others. They attended Christian love feasts (communion) as though they were equal to Christians. They attended Christian gatherings without any fear of recrimination or opposition. They enjoyed the trappings of spiritual goodness without being good themselves. Any church under this condemnation must repent immediately or face God’s wrath! It is a warning to us all not to accept evil men in our midst. They must never be allowed to join us, or sit with us, without being opposed publicly and strongly. They should feel anxiety when we are near, or our witness is meaningless. It is a current nonsense to say we must always approach people with humour, or love, and without making them feel awkward! This text says the opposite.

These filthy dreamers were like clouds that did not have water – all form and no substance. They were carried about by every wind, because they knew nothing of worth and had nothing to offer. They did not understand the things of God and had no discernment. So, not only were they deceivers, they were also deceived themselves by every kind of foolish and vain thing. They were like trees with dying fruit, rotten to the root and worthless. Such people are ‘twice dead’ – they will die naturally as well as spiritually. Like withered trees, they, too, will be torn up by their roots and burned in the fires set for them by God.

They are like raging waves, wild and furious in the pursuit of their own lusts and desires, ‘foaming out their own shame’ for all to see. They are like wandering stars (shooting stars?) without any kind of fixed abode in life, immoral and destined for hell, erratic in teaching. ‘Reserved’ in this text means to be kept in the same state. That is, predestinated to be destroyed by God. Never, ever, feel sorry for these people. They are guilty before God and bound for hell. He loathes what they say, think and do, so we have no freedom to think otherwise, or to show compassion to them.

Verses 14-19

  1. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, Saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

  2. 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.

  3. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

  4. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

  5. How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

  6. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit”.

Enoch (‘dedicated’) was a prophet and one of the very few who was said to walk with God as a friend. For his spiritual holiness he was removed from this earth without dying, just like Elijah. Jude appears to refer to the Book of Enoch, lost a long time ago and supposedly found again, but not a part of scripture. Enoch (‘seventh from Adam’ probably has spiritual significance as meaning ‘perfection’) prophesied that Jesus would return with thousands of angels to judge evil people in their sin, which they committed in an ungodly manner (repeated several times). They spoke in a hard way – roughly, offensively, and even violently… like many people today.

(Interestingly, I have often been criticised for being ‘offensive’ when, in reality, I have merely spoken out against sin and evil. Thus, critics are really saying I have shed light on their evil and so are turning the word ‘hard’ on its head! It is they who are hard in their evil ways and talk against Jesus, God, and His word).

These same folk are murmurers (discontented and complaining against God, causing others to think in the same way. Often their influence is low-key but persistent. Pollux and Phavirinus describe the term as being like the ‘soft, low cooing of doves’). They are always complaining about their lot in life, blaming others for their own sins, always expecting more even though they give nothing. They are full of pride and seek only after their own ideas and lusts – then they have the gall to blame God and complain. They want the ‘cover’ of God but prefer the favours of other men, because of what they get out of them. There are many in our churches like that.

Jude reminds Christians to remember what the Apostles told them – that mockers would arrive on the scene in the last days. Mockers are scoffers, those who deride scripture, Believers and God. They can be outright, or they can mimic Christians. Charismatic leaders are examples of mockers. You will note Jude referred to his own point in history as being in the ‘last time’, as did John. The last time is simply the time when everything draws to a close. The time scale is not relevant – the fact is, the end is coming closer and as we get to the final day, scoffers and deceivers will multiply enormously, even filling our churches, as so many presently do, in both pulpit and pew.

These people will only wish to satisfy their own godless lusts and desires. Again, we give charismatics and homosexuals as examples, together with violent men (such as Jihad Muslims), greedy men and those who want great power through war, etc. Many of these start their evil careers in the churches, but soon leave, not liking the boundaries set by God. They do not have the Spirit: they are unsaved. That is how so many left the ‘ordinary’ churches when the ‘Toronto Blessing’ came - they were unsaved anyway and could no longer tolerate God’s word.

Verses 20-23

  1. “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

  2. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

  3. And of some have compassion, making a difference:

  4. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh”.

Jude calls on his readers to beware of mockers, and to remember that they, the readers, were very different. They were to build themselves up on the foundation of their ‘most holy faith’. They were already saved and needed to keep adding to their knowledge, thus strengthening their trust in God. We see this faith is ‘most holy’ – given by God as a gift. They had to pray in the Holy Ghost. This does not refer to charismatic ‘tongues’, but to praying under the influence of God. They had to be founded on Christian love, always looking to their final state in Heaven.

Some Christians in need or who were suffering, says Jude, should be approached with compassion and mercy, in order to diakrino – make a difference, or ‘decide a dispute’. It was possible, then, to settle differences, but only when there was repentance and turning away from evil. To these people, we can show love and mercy. Others could be rescued from destruction, by speaking in terms that will terrify them; the old ‘fire and brimstone’ preaching is in this category and it can still be used to effect by God. The modern idea of preaching only ‘love’ is misguided. We must preach only as God dictates, and this usually means the whole word of God, both love and wrath. Sinners ought to be in fear of God! Those who are spoken to of hell-fire can be ‘pulled back’ from its very edge.

The main thrust of Jude’s words here is that we must loathe and detest even the smallest notions and examples of sin. And not just the sins that are obvious, but also things attached to those sins, so that we can maintain holy lives. Do we have this hatred of sin?

Verses 24&25

  1. “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,

  2. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion, and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

It is God who can keep us from ‘falling’ or sinning. It is Christ Who can present us as holy and pure, without sin, to God on the final day. And on that day there will be overflowing joy and happiness. Only God is wise and only God is our Saviour, therefore only He can be given glory and majesty. Only He has all power and might, with endless power for eternity. So be it!

 

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Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
Wales
United Kingdom