Instructions from Jude, Part 4
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.”
Verse 21, “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
Keep yourselves in the love of God. To take this out of its context one might think that we were to rely upon our deeds to save us. We know that is not the case. Yet in our Christianity, as we strive to live out our faith, we know that Scripture tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). The very next verse reminds us that it is God working in us. Jude, in saying keep yourselves in the love of God, is not telling us to rest in good works. This is a call to strive in our obedience and to do those things wherein we know that God blesses us by His love. The more I am in God’s Word, the more I pray, and the more I seek to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, the more I am reminded of God’s love for me and for His people. I don’t seek to do ANYTHING to try and earn merit or favor with God. Instead, I seek to obey out of love. Even the middle of suffering and hardship I can know the love of God.
The last phrase states, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. None of us likes to wait. Yet, while we rest in the love of God, waiting for God’s mercy is sometimes all we can do. Where would we be without the mercy of God? Whether it be scoffers, or those who cause divisions, or worldly people, or any other trial or hardship that comes into our lives, let us patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. This world and its troubles are temporary. Let us make sure we don’t spend all of our time focusing on the temporal. Let us also learn patience in waiting as we long for an eternity with Christ.