I’ve been really digging into the book of Jude for the past several days. That may seem a little wierd since Jude takes about two minutes to read, but I’m finding a lot there to think about. Basically, Jude (who likely was Jesus’ brother) writes a note of warning to the church, urging them to “contend for the faith” and be wary of ungodly influences that were sneaking in. He warns the church that those who have previously been considered “God’s People” had not escaped punishment when the turned from God’s ways. The implication is that if the church allows anyone to slip in and lure her away from Jesus, the church ceases to be God’s and places herself in great danger.
Jude writes to remind the church that this shouldn’t surprise them, but they should be alert to people who would “divide you, who follow mere natural insticts and do not have the Spirit.” He calls them “grumblers, and faultfinders” who boast about themselves and flatter others for their own gain. I wonder how many churches today have failed to heed this warning and are led only by what comes naturally instead of by the Spirit of Christ? How many of us rely on our own talents and knowledge base and bank accounts to decide what ministry we will do?
“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.” (I think there’s an interesting use of words between here and verse 1 that you should look into…) In relying on Him, we are enabled to skillfully offer what is needed to those who doubt, to go near enough to the fire to rescue those who are falling in – without burning up in the process.