This is the fifth installment in this series and there will be at least one more after. We find ourselves now in the 17th verse and we will explore to the 23rd. It is a call to remain faithful. It is written to the Church, believers, you and i . . . if you by some chance find yourself here and you are not a believer, this still can apply to you as you ask God to reveal himself to you through the pages of His Love story written to us we call the Bible.
As we have been dealing with judgment we now turn the corner a bit and Jude begins this next section with the word, “But.” “But you, my dear friends, must remember . . .” Take note here, Jude is trying to point something out for us, remember this, “what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted, They told you that in the last times (end of days) there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.” We live in a time that even in the Church people scoff at the Word of God, “certainly,” they will say, “it doesn’t mean that! God is Love. So let us just simply love everyone.” i think we can love someone and still tell them the truth. Consider for a moment what the writer of Proverbs says in 12:1 “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” Later in the same chapter, they write, “An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies. Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.” (17-19) A bit further on in verse 26 we read, “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.” Chapter 12 concludes with verse 28, “The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death.“
i could very easily continue but you get the idea. Jude then writes, 20-21 “But you,” again, take note, “dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.” Why the emphasis in remaining in? i think Jude is stressing the need to remain faithful, connected, and looking out for each other. Why this conclusion? Well, he continues, 22-23 “And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”
So here we ready the delicate nature of loving someone who is steeped in sin. We do not, we cannot condone one’s behavior of sin. The sin is vile and destructive. The person, however, is loved! “For God SO LOVED the world . . .” “While WE were YET SINNERS Christ died for us . . .” Our mission is reconciliation, agents of change in a culture that has wandered far from the Creator, but sent by the Creator to draw as many back as possible, “snatching them from the flames of judgment . . .”
Let us remain faithful, honest, and loving.
You are loved,