JUDE 1:24-25: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Will the true church please stand up?! As we look at the world around us there is a blurring that is taking place within the church. We are watching the great falling away right before our very eyes. One by one, those who used to stand up for the truth, now espouse a revelation that is leading them away from the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. How do we navigate this difficult time?
This is nothing new. There has always been a difference between the true followers of God and the false. The concept of the remnant is taught throughout Scripture. In this short letter from Jude, he warns his readers of the growing apostasy of the church and the continuing decay of the world around us. He likens it to three examples.
The first example was the children of Israel who rebelled against God in the wilderness as they escaped from Egypt.
- “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” Jude 1:5 NKJV
The second was the angels who fell from grace when they followed Satan in the rebellion against God.
- “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;”. Jude 1:6 NKJV
And, the final example was the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who were judged for their immorality.
- “…as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1:7 NKJV
Jude then pivots to the present-day apostasy that he was facing, which was a foreshadow of the great apostasy that would take place before Jesus’ return.
- “Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries…But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.” Jude 1:8, 10 NKJV
This reads as something ripped out of the headlines of the news of today. As cities burn, as individuals rise against authority, as they speak out against our elected rulers and police, we see the growing fulfillment of these words. We wonder what will happen. We pray for peace and security. We vote for our Biblical values and pray for candidates who will uphold law and order. Yet, still, in the depth of our souls we wonder – is this enough? How will we make it through these hard times?
We have two great assurances in this short letter from Jude. The first is the promise of Jesus’ return and His judgment on the ungodly and the brokenness of our world. It will not be a candidate, a political party, or a military with might that will bring judgment and peace to our world. It will be Jesus Christ!
- “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 1:14-15 NKJV
The final assurance that we are given is what we read in the verses of this reflection. In all of this – Jesus will sustain us. No matter what happens in the stock market – Jesus will sustain us. No matter who is elected into office – Jesus will sustain us. No matter how bleak this world may seem – JESUS WILL SUSTAIN US!
So what do we do in the interim? Jude gives us this exhortation.
- “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 1:20-23 NKJV
We are to build ourselves up in our most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit and by keeping our lives centered in the love of God. We are to fix our eyes upon the second coming of Jesus Christ and the sound of His trumpet when He will rapture the church. We are to anchor our souls on the hope of eternal life as we look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. And – we are to engage in the spreading of the Gospel in every way that we can so that we might rescue as many as we can from the coming judgment!
Our call is not to hide. Our call is to engage. We are to engage our faith. We are to engage in prayer. And, we are to engage in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ until we hear His trumpet call! This will take courage and it will take the grace of God. We must change our attitudes from one seeking comfort to one seeking the will of God, on earth, as it is in heaven. We need to have the same attitude as the church of Smyrna!
- “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” Revelation 2:10-11 NKJV
Heavenly Father, pour out Your Holy Spirit upon Your Church. Grant us the grace to “…be faithful, even unto death.” Let us walk in the blessed assurance that,
- “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25 NKJV
In Jesus Name!