Jude is a small book in the back of our Bibles and some might think, because of its slight dimension, that it doesn’t have much to say.
However, Jude is a true powerhouse of a book, one that gives wise warning to Christians to stay away from false teachings while also encouraging us to ensure that we are properly honoring God in all our labors.
Jude, who was a brother to our Lord (although he does not identify himself this way in the
book), was interested in encouraging followers of Christ to remain true to their faith at a time when false teachers were making names for themselves.
Does that sound like a picture of today? There is so much deception around us these days and it is little wonder that so many people fall away. One need only turn on the television at any given moment to find some form of misinformation that is likely designed to fatten the wallet of a few people … and not to honor Christ.
The Liberty Bible Commentary says, “[Jude’s] letter assumes an existing danger of apostasy into immorality and deep sin because of the influence of shrewd and greedy teachers. Jude writes to correct this.”
Don’t we need some courageous voices today to draw people away from false teachings while calling them to the fullness of true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!
This is a key reason that we are so involved in planting churches across our nation and across the globe.
You see, our church planting ministry and pastoral training ministry are designed to raise up a new generation of leaders and churches that will eschew the many false teachings of the day while (1) calling unbelievers to faith in the Living Christ and (2) calling Christians to be compassionate, vocal champions of the Gospel.
In Jude 1:4, we read this: “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (NKJV).
That is strong language. Jude utilized sacred Old Testament writings to prove the point that the judgment of God is upon false teachers. Take a look at Deuteronomy 13:1-11. We see in this passage that people who ensnare others in false teachings and turn others away from the Living Christ are condemned and identified as the enemies of God.
It is serious business to challenge God. Jude goes on to give a litany of persons who seek to challenge the work of God. We see in verse 19 that these are people who cause deep division. And, my goodness, don’t we see a lot of division today — in the political realm, in our society, on our college campuses, in many families and sometimes even within the church.
God does not want division among His people.
He wants us to be unified in Christ, forgetting our own selfish desires so that we are reaching people with the Gospel and seeing the Good News of Jesus Christ proclaimed throughout the land.
While Jude is full of stark warnings about denying or altering the Gospel, Jude also concludes with a wonderful encouragement to Christians to persist in serving the Lord.
Verses 20-23 read, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”
Jude is telling us to guard ourselves. He encourages us to keep ourselves in love with God. And we know that the best way to keep ourselves attached to God is seen in the above verse — to be praying in the Holy Spirit.
I believe the only way to see a movement of God in our nation is to continue prayerfully planting churches that stand on the Word of God without compromise and without apology. That is why we are sending out men and their families into cities and towns that need a fresh outpouring of the Gospel and God’s love.
Your Friend in Christ,