But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Be merciful to those who doubt…
Now that Jude has warned his readers about these false teachers, he instructs them to persevere. He instructs them to “remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.” The apostles warned about false teachers (wolves) who would sneak into the sheepfold to wound and kill the flock of God. Once again, this should not be a surprise to anyone. Remembering the truth of God’s Word is a critical component for our spiritual formation. Otherwise, how will we recognize false teachers and doctrines when we hear them?
The apostles warned about “scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” Here we see that the desires of these apostates are totally apart from God and from the will of God. They are motivated by their flesh and void of God’s Spirit.
Jude closes out this letter by instructing believers what to do in days of apostasy. First, he writes, “build yourselves up in your most holy faith.” This means that we must become serious students of the Word of God. Next, he writes, “pray in the Holy Spirit.” This means we are to be continually in prayer for ourselves and all of God’s children, remembering that we are dependent upon Him for all things. Next, he writes, “keep yourselves in God’s love.” This means we are to always remember the love God has for us and let His love shine forth from our lives.
Next, Jude writes, “wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” This mean that Jesus wants us to live in a mindset of expectation for His return. Next, Jude writes, “Be merciful to those who doubt.” This means we are to have compassion and patience toward those who struggle to believe. Next, Jude writes, “snatch others from the fire and save them.” This means we are not to give up on those who appear hopeless. We must continually reach out with the Good News of Jesus to a world that is separated from God. This does not mean that we can save people but that we have been entrusted with the message and ministry of reconciliation. It is the Word of God that the Spirit of God uses to convict a sinner’s heart. We must be faithful to proclaim the gospel even to those who seem hopeless.
Lastly, Jude writes, “hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” This means we are to hate anything that the flesh produces. Everything we do in the flesh is repulsive to God. Instead we must desire the things of the Spirit. What the Spirit produces is godly and accepted by God. We must love God and the things of God and let go of our attachments to the things of this world.
Questions to Ponder
How are you able to persevere in these last days? How are you strengthening your faith in these troubled times? What does “praying in the Spirit” look like for you? How are you being reminded of God’s love daily? Do you live in constant expectation of Christ’s return? Do you have a heart of compassion for those who don’t know Christ? Who is in your top three?
- Worship the Lord as the lifter of your head, lover of your heart, and constant companion. The Almighty, who is powerful, is also your Papa, Abba.
- Ask the Lord to infill you with His Holy Spirit to grant you strength and power to live in the light, to persevere and endure.
- Invite God to grant you and His church eternal encouragement, to run the race marked out before them.
- Ask Him to reveal Himself to you today, to love and encourage you through His Word, others, a situation, etc.
Good Shepherd, I ask that You lead me and Your church today by Your love. Cause our hearts to be tender with compassion towards those around us who do not know You yet as Savior. Help each one of us to walk in step with Your Holy Spirit, to yield to You in obedience.
I pray Paul’s prayer starting in Colossians 1:9 for Your church. Fill us with the knowledge of Your will through spiritual wisdom and understanding, that we may live a life worthy of You, oh God, pleasing You in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of You, God, being strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to You, our Father, who has called us out of the dominion of darkness and brought us into Your glorious light. Amen.