Monday, April 4, 2011

Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment

Jude 14-23 NLT
   14 Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 
   16 These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. 
   17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said.  18 They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19 These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them. 
 20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. 
   22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.  23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

In his quick "note' to the Church, Jude, youngest brother of Jesus, brings light to the life of living Christianly. He writes to warn of false teachers who pervert and twist the good news to their own advantage. He warns against religious leaders in the church who claim authority by virtue of visions they claim to have had. He warns of religious leaders who promote themselves over others. He reminds of the lessons from antiquity that demonstrated how Satan involves himself into the lives of God's people and the national affairs of the people of God. In those days it took strong arch angles to fight against the work of the arch enemy of God where people were concerned and even then some were turned toward evil.

Do we have such concerns in our age of the Church? Is the church being what it was birthed to be two thousand years ago? Are the members of the church reaching out to bring good news or are they just resting in their comfortable circumstances. We know of incredible church around the third world countries where salvation in Christ often comes at the risk of death by believers. There the church is growing so fast that trained pastors cannot be found to lead them. Yet in our comfortable churches, more than likely new members come from other churches rather than from the world of sin. Are you asking yourself, like I am asking myself this?  "What am I doing, Lord to obey you and extend the good news to those who need to know? Am I merely one of the grumblers and complainers who live only to satisfy my desires?"  Jude reminded us about scoffers in our midst and against our focus on creature comfort over obedience.

Instead, in these latter days, we should be guiding each other up in faith.  We read that we should be praying in the power of the Holy Spirit. We see that we must wait upon and trust in the mercy of Christ that he will bring us to eternal life by showing His very mercy to others whose faith might be wavering. We read that we should be working to snatch ' them from the flames of judgment.'  Jude warns us that we should do this with great caution. We should hate sins, but love such sinners enough to risk discomfort to help them find truth.

Read the entire Epistle of Jude this morning and ask God what you should be doing this day in His name?
Your servant in Christ

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