dateline:November 24, 2016
As we look forward
As we look forward to a new president, I commit to you
the Book of Jude. Jude is a small book. It is an important book for us today
because it is written for the end times, for the end of the church age. Jude
is the only book given entirely to the great apostasy. Jude writes that evil
works are the evidence of apostasy. He admonishes us to contend for the
faith, for there are tares among the wheat. False prophets are in the church
and the saints are in danger. Jude is a small but important book worthy of
study, written for the Christian of today.
Jude 1:1-25 (NLT)
1 This letter is
from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. I am writing to
all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe
in the care of Jesus Christ.
May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.
3 Dear friends, I
had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share.
But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend
the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.
4 I say this
because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying
that Godís marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation
of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master
and Lord, Jesus Christ.
So I want to remind you, though you already know these
things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later
he destroyed those who did not remain faithful.
And I remind you of the angels who did
not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place
where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of
darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.
And donít forget Sodom and Gomorrah and
their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of
sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a
warning of the eternal fire of Godís judgment.
In the same way, these peopleówho claim
authority from their dreamsólive immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at
But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels,
did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, "The Lord
rebuke you!" (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about
10 But these people
scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do
whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own
11 What sorrow
awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his
brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they
perish in their rebellion.
When these people eat with you in your fellowship
meals commemorating the Lordís love, they are like dangerous reefs that can
shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for
themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any
rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no
fruit and have been pulled up by the roots.
They are like wild waves of the sea,
churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars,
doomed forever to blackest darkness.
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
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.
These people are the ones who are creating divisions
among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have
Godís Spirit in them.
But you, dear friends, must build each other up in
your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,
and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep
yourselves safe in Godís love.
And you must show mercy to those whose faith is
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.
24 Now all glory to
God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great
joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
All glory to him who alone is God, our
Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and
authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time!