Jude – it’s that small book in the bible just before Revelation – very easy to miss. It might be small but it certainly packs a punch and it’s probably not the subject of a sermon that we hear much in church these days. It’s key messages are as relevant for today’s church as they were when Jude wrote them.
Jude warns us to:
- Watch out for people who are just pretending to be holy but abuse the grace of God & sacrifice of Jesus and keep right on sinning, then repent & sin again – especially sexual sin. There is no intention of true repentance. Don’t follow their example or be led astray by their behaviour.
- Watch out for people who despise authority -they are not submissive but proud and will not listen. They cause division and stir up trouble.
- Watch out for those who speak disdainfully & disrespectfully about things they do not understand – especially things of the spirit realm.
- Such people are selfish & motivated by greed and a desire for recognition. They are takers not givers.
- These are people who will change their opinions and allegiances – they are easily swayed. They will agree with whatever view is popular. They have no firm faith.
- These people are grumblers & faultfinders – always moaning and complaining. Nothing is ever good enough. They are dissatisfied & disappointed.
- They are boastful and living for their own pleasures – people who will flatter & manipulate for their own benefit.
- These people follow the flesh and not the Spirit.
We need to be aware of any such behaviour so that we do not agree with it, align ourselves with it or fall victim to it. Jude’s advice is:
- Build our faith up in Jesus, keep praying in the Holy Spirit and rest in God’s love & mercy;
- Discern those who are doubting or weak in faith – help to disciple such people and build their faith;
- Show mercy and reach out to help those that are weak – treat them with compassion. We can all stumble and fall and need a helping hand from each other. There is a difference between those who are wilfully being disobedient to God and doing ungodly things and treating the sacrifice and blood of Jesus as an excuse to sin.
- Warn about the consequences of such ungodly behaviour (in a Godly & truthful way).