Instructions from Jude, Part 2
Last week I started a look at a portion of the book of Jude. Today I want to return to that portion of Scripture and look at another verse in this section.
Jude 17-23, “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt, save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”
Last week I mentioned those who scoff following their own ungodly passions. The very next verse states, “It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.” Sometimes we focus too much on those who may scoff or even how we are treated by those who follow their own ungodly passions. Instead of being grieved and saddened by those who are devoid of the Spirit, we focus on being mistreated. Instead of having a desire to see them come to Christ, we can develop a persecution complex. The world is against us and is out to get us.
While in a lot of ways the world does reject most everything we stand for and believe in as Christians, I pray that regarding those who are worldly people, devoid of the truth, we are not bitter. I hope that we pray more for them rather than focus on how we are put out by those who disagree with us.
When Christians strive to set up an us vs them attitude toward those in the world, the Gospel gets lost in the culture war. It even happens in the Church, as we can become those who cause divisions by our own worldliness and our squabbles over secondary issues. There are things we can disagree about as brothers and still not be divisive. May the world see how much we love one another, and may that love be used by God to draw more and more people to Himself.