Sunday, May 13, 2012
Scripture Sunday: The Book of Jude
In the book of Jude, the writer starts off with a bit of "contend[ing] for the faith". The Christian faith needs to be defended from the inside, not the outside, at this point because there are ungodly people (who even deny the existence of Jesus Christ) joining themselves to the church and spreading their false teachings.
Jude paints a rough picture for what awaits these people. Jude talks about how God killed many of the Israelites he delivered from Egypt because of their unbelief, and God also cast many rebellious angels out of heaven. Purging the church of false teachers would be perfectly within the realm of things God can do. Jude has some very vivid and unflattering comparisons for the false teachers:
"These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." (Jude 1:12-13)
But there is always hope for the faithful believers. We don't have to listen to the false teachers, and we don't have to get swept up in their punishment when the time comes: "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." (Jude 1:20-21)
After all his harsh, imperative warnings, Jude reminds his audience that it is God himself who we can lean on when these conflicts arise. He is the one who is "able to keep you from falling".