Verse of the Day Devotion. Jude 17
“But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,” – Jude 17
Jude finishes up his letter by reminding his readers of the warning given by Jesus’ apostles regarding the time of the end. “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.” Jude 17-19. Jude gives an ugly picture of what will happen in the last days. He describes people who renounce their religious/Christian beliefs or principles, and he describes them in the darkest sense, informing them there will come in the last time mockers, and with them separatists and sensualists, all of whom will assail the church of the living God. And we see in verse nineteen they will be the ones who bring division into the ‘true’ Church, who they leave behind because they believe they have a superior wisdom regarding how the Church should be. These are not spiritually, but worldly minded, devoid of the Holy Spirit.
But instead, we should live as Christ wants us to live. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” Jude 20-21. It is important that we build ourselves up in the truths of the faith as a whole. The primary reference in most holy faith is the opposite to those unholy scoffers and deceivers. Jude thus addresses the saints just because it is a faith of the sanctified in the Holy One, in whom they are and become holy. We are to spend time in prayer, building up our faith and the knowledge of the truth. By building up ourselves in the most holy faith, and praying in the Holy Spirit, we will do much to keep ourselves in the love of God, and thus waiting with great desire for the eternal life that is in our future.
Then Jude finishes up this thought with the following. “And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Jude 22-23. Some professing Christians are not living consistently with their profession, in whom you can see signs of some sin. Yet there may traces of repentance, which is a reason to hope that they will forsake the evil when they see it to be evil. These we should have mercy and compassion on. We must understand that those who are in error are not all equally guilty. Some are true deceivers and their intent is to fool us, while others have been duped into believing the sin they are doing is OK. We must restore all we can, but their error must be severely dealt with so that they understand their error. They must know their wrong activity is absolutely wrong and must repent of and completely stop doing it. As Charles Spurgeon puts it, “charity to error is cruelty to souls.”
Peter wrote the following regarding who God desires to be saved. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. God does not want any to perish, therefore we should do all we can to help those in sin, professing or pretending Christians. If they refuse to listen, then there is nothing we can do. But we must tell everyone where they are in error and that God requires us to stop all activities not pleasing to Him. I fell into error early in my Christian walk and I was absolutely grateful that someone loved me enough to take the time to correct me. This is our calling per Jude’s words in his letter. Let us all look to make a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ where, in love, we help them to understand where they are wrong and guide them to the truth of God’s word.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.