Jude

21 Nov

In my Bible reading this morning, I read through Jude and I was overwhelmed by the power pouring out of my Bible.

It’s this tiny little one chapter book tucked right before Revelation, and yet, it might be some of the most intense study time I’ve ever had.

For the sake of not writing an essay… I really just want to hit on Jude 17-23

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

First it can’t be overlooked that this warning is FORETOLD.  That means, we should already know this is going to happen, not be surprised by it, but be prepared to handle it.

The church today isn’t prepared to handle much because most are not studying God’s Word at home, or even at church.  We’ve taken to topical studies and book studies in large number (which are not bad) however, we’re laying aside the study of scripture in context on a habitual basis because it isn’t “attracting” people in large number.

Because we’re not prepared… we’re being taken under by this reality of being divided by people who follow their own ungodly desire and mere natural instincts.

The Spirit of God is not divided.  We wouldn’t have division in the Church if we hadn’t been divided by scoffers without the spirit leading people astray.

How many times have you heard “I just don’t believe God would ….”  That’s a natural instinct.  Those kind of statements come from a desire for God to fit into what we want him to abide by.  Scriptual arguements start by “God’s Word says here …..”

Sometimes you may hear it said as “A good God wouldn’t…”

And the primary absolute number one way to pinpoint a divided person is by this number one rule….

When they use scripture against itself.

It will either be in the form of ignoring something stated in scripture and using a verse out of context to try to cover up the area of sin in their life that they don’t want to remove.  – Typically used in the forms of “do not judge” or “if you believe Jesus existed then you’re going to Heaven.”

OR

It will be in the form of taking one verse and building an entire theory or religion off of one verse.

Scripture is repetitious of itself.  In almost every case imaginable, if you see a theme somewhere, you’ll find it somewhere else.  If you happen to find something worded in a way that isn’t repeated anywhere else, or is further explained in another section that gives it more clarity that seems a little different from the way it was first read…. it is crucial to pay attention to those further understandings AND to do word studies to get back to the original context as the English language can alter meaning for meaning translations, even ever so slightly.

So those of us who ARE studying God’s Word… what are we to do?

20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Be merciful to those who doubt. Mercy that is mixed with fear.

I LOVE THAT!

There has to be a level of mercy that says, I feel for you because you just don’t get it and you honestly need to get it.  But also a great level of fear of them because they have the ability to divide the church.

We know from other sections of scripture that they can have smooth talk.  They can twist words and try to confuse and frustrate the believer and their witness.  They can debate and elaborate on areas of scripture that are hard to uncover completely and lead people astray with doubts.

I’m encouraged to show a heavy level of mercy today for the lost, but with fear that I will protect myself through prayer and power in the Holy Spirit from being led into a division of the gospel.

Practical Application:

Verse 20-21 says

Pray

Stay in God’s Love

Be merciful – but mixed with fear.

 

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One Response to “Jude”

  1. peacefulwife November 21, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Praying today for unity in Christian marriages and in the church of God around the world! Praying for divisions to be torn down and the strongholds of the enemy to be torn down and for mass repentance of God’s people and a HUGE move of His Spirit. Praying for us to be a Spirit-filled people who share the mind of Christ and who are known for our love!

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