It’s Later Than We Think!

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” (Jude 1:3,4,10,19 NIV)

We spend so much time trying to encourage one another to stay strong and to stay focused on what Jesus and Paul say, that we tend to forget what Jude said in defense of Godliness. In fact, we must remember there are more writers in The Bible than those who wrote the history, the psalms, the wisdom, and the instructions for church doctrines. They are all good, but we must also remember that when God speaks--He speaks to more than one person–saying the same thing, in a different way (in the mouths of two or three witnesses shall every Word be confirmed), and Jude is often overlooked, except by some–who repeat the last two verses as a benediction–signalling the end of a service.

Jude reminds the Believers of what has come before with immorality and ungodliness as he points out–in his time–history was repeating itself. And here we are–in 2015–watching history repeat itself, again. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeating it” (Santayana). Jude summarizes the events from Sodom and Gomorrah to his present time, in warning them to know the enemy’s influence.

Have we learned nothing from reviewing past events? Or are we so immune to learning history that we deliberately establish our fate–a fate of gloom and doom for the masses?

There are those who scoff at Believers’ convictions about eternity and the lake of fire. That is their right to do so, but it doesn’t change what God has already determined. People–in their logical minds–can attempt to change anything they want to change, but it is only those things that God has established and ordained from the beginning that will matter in the end. As Jude said, those whose only appeal is to their own logic are not guided by Holy Spirit and therefore whatever they think, matters not.

But we who Believe and know that Holy Spirit will never guide us into changing what God has said or encouraging us to promote ungodliness, should act on what we know is Truth and not get caught up in the trends of this world. We have the mind of Christ and it’s time the world knew that. We who know Truth should never be conformed to the dictates of the flesh which guide ungodliness.

We are told that “judgment will begin at the household of faith” for the Believers. If the Believers will not be able to stand before God and be judged–according to righteous judgment–what hope then can unbelievers have?

The time is far spent–it’s much later than we think. Whenever Jesus returns–we are closer to that return than ever before, and it’s time for Believers to stand on God’s Word, no matter what the enemy does to influence people to live in opposition to God. For the Word has said that rebellion is as witchcraft–they who rebel against God have been unduly influenced under an evil spell–and it is up to us who believe to counter the attack–with all godliness–living according to God’s Word and sharing the purpose of salvation to all who will believe, allowing Holy Spirit to guide our every word and deed.

Dear Jude

“But you, 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. 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” (Jude 1:20-23 NLT).

Dear Jude,

Your letter has been received and read among all those professing belief in the Lord Jesus. However, I must admit that there are some who have been completely bamboozled by those in leadership and many have fallen from grace–choosing to live their lives any way they want to live.

I appreciate your reminding us of all that was said and done before now. Many of us have tried our best to warn and encourage all who profess belief in Jesus Christ to live it and not just talk it.

It would appear that some–as you mentioned–have crept in and taught a contrary gospel–deceiving those who were not strong in the faith and have caused them to err in judgment. Mercy has been extended time and time again, but they would rather encourage people to live according to their fleshly dictates rather than according The Word of God.

While I am often discouraged at the way The Church–the entire Body of Christ–accepts every wind of doctrine that comes along because it sounds good and those who would rather seek the praises of men by contaminating truth with political correctness, I keep going–keep praying–and keep my faith alive in Jesus Christ because I know that one day, it will be over and His return will reveal all who truly believed and those who misled others.

Jude, thank you for being concerned enough for the welfare of all Believers. I realize that even in the position you were in, you were still thinking about the rest of us and wanted us to keep the faith and to keep promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And now that the end is closer than we think, I must move forward, encouraging, warning, and promoting the love of Jesus Christ so that as many who desire to live according to The Word, and desire to live holy, will be found faultless in the presence of the Most High.

Sincerely,

This Humble Believer of Christ Jesus

Building Faith!

“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:20,21 NIV).

In this passage of scripture, we find a reminder that we are not to think too much about what “scoffers and unbelievers say or do” since they are operating without benefit of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in their lives.  Indeed, we are told that they are only concerned with their fleshly desires and allow those desires to dictate their actions and influence others to do likewise.

But we are reminded that we can “build up our faith” and pray in the Holy Spirit to keep ourselves in right standing with God (receiving all His benefits) as we wait for the return of Jesus Christ for our eternal resting place.  Upon reading all of Jude, we understand that the persecution and downright ridicule of believers is not new and we are warned that the things  occurring right now, were foretold long ago.  It’s just human nature.  Whenever human beings think that appeasing flesh is more important than anything else, we have upheavals in spiritual matters (faith in God, etc.) and an open season on believers who dare to adhere to The Word of God and do so in public forums.

We know that God’s timing is not ours and we can rest assured that we will receive that eternal resting place promised to all believers and just as we will receive the promise made to us; so will others who choose not to believe,  receive what they were promised.

Lord, have mercy on those who walk in unbelief and provide for them an opportunity to see You for who You are and what You mean in their lives.  Stop the mouths of those who are influenced by the enemy and who would cause many to turn away from You and Your goodness.  Provide those who do believe with wisdom and direction in promoting the Gospel so that we can stand before You, justified in being obedient, knowing we have done all we can do to bring others into a right relationship with You.  Fill all with Your Spirit that we might have peace in the land while we are yet present in this realm until Jesus reappears. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!