Several times this week I’ve heard a verse from Jude, a calling to read his letter. This morning there was another. So I read this short letter that is packed with warnings of dangers Christians face from the devil that sounds “good”, but is not from God. It is a rule of life that we fight for survival, defending with all our strength what is most precious to us, from every real or imagined attack. And strangely while I was writing this post, weird things were happening on my computer that were moving the words around where they didn’t make any sense. I persevered.
God’s Word and the gift of eternal life have infinite value and have been entrusted to Christ’s faithful followers. Many people live in opposition to God and His followers. They twist God’s words, seeking to deceive and destroy the unwary. In yesterday’s post I wrote that: We are most vulnerable when we are most ignorant. Jesus said that we are to watch (remain spiritually alert) and pray. But God’s truth must go forth, carried and defended by those who have committed their lives to His Son. It is an important task, an awesome responsibility, and a profound privilege to have this commission.
This was Jude’s message to Christians everywhere: Opposition would come and godless teachers would arise, but Christians should “contend for the faith” (v 3) by rejecting all falsehood and immorality (vv 4-19), by remembering God’s mighty acts of rescue and punishment (vv 5-11, 14-16) and the warnings of the apostles (vv 17-19). His readers are to build up their own faith through prayer (v 20), keeping close to Christ (v 21), helping others (vv 22-23), and hating sin (v 23). Then Jude concludes with a glorious benediction of praise to God: “To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (vv 24-25)
The audience to whom Jude wrote was vulnerable to heresies and to temptations toward immoral living. Jude encouraged the believers to remain firm in their faith and trust in God’s promises for their future. This was all the more important because they were living in a time of increased apostasy. We, too, are living in the last days, much closer to the end than were the original readers of this letter. We, too, are vulnerable to doctrinal error. We, too, are tempted to give in to sin. Although much false teaching is around us, we need not be afraid or give up in despair–God can keep us from falling, and He guarantees that if we remain faithful, He will bring us into His presence and give us everlasting joy.
How much do you value God’s Word, the fellowship of the church, and obedience to Jesus Christ? Many false teachers are waiting to destroy your Christ-centered life, the credibility of God’s Word, and the unity of the body of Christ. Read Jude and determine to stand firm in your faith and defend God’s truth at all costs. Check what you hear in a message with God’s Word. Nothing is more valuable.