I am getting ready to teach the final lesson on Jude. It has been an amazing and eye opening study. I have enjoyed the past 4 weeks and know that this week will also be a good one. I am praying for all of the students who took this class, that the Word would penetrate their hearts and motivate them to make disciples of the people whom God has placed in their lives.
Here are some of the previous lessons.
- Contend earnestly for the faith
- Contend earnestly for the faith part 2
- Evidence of genuine salvation
- An ungodly person does not submit authority
How do we patiently and eagerly await the coming of the Lord? What does that look like? What specific things do I need to do? What do I need to avoid? Let’s turn to the Word of God, written to us by Jude.
I. My part
In Jude 17-25, there are 7 things that God tells us to do, through Jude.
- Build yourself up in faith – Like building endurance, or building muscle, there are certain things that must be done in order for this to happen. First, you must be in the Word of God. You must be challenged by others to study and obey the Word of God. This is what Jude has in mind when he writes, “remember the Word of God”. They had already been taught the Word of God. They need to continue in the Word of God. They need to be reminded of the Word of God, the Word that they had already been taught. In fact, this is the first step in point number 2, building yourself up in faith. The Word teaches us what faith is. It also teaches us how to have faith. This is something that needs to be done corporately. We do need to study the Word individually, but in the Scriptures, we see more corporate Bible study than individual Bible study. In Acts 2, this was what the process of discipleship began and ended with. The rest flowed out of that. The natural outflow of studying the Scriptures is that you pray. When we open the Word, the Lord speaks to us. When we pray, we talk to the Lord. This is the essence of a personal relationship. If these are not daily aspects of of our lives, how can we claim to have a personal relationship with God? Again, the natural result of Bible study and prayer, along with fellowship with others, is obedience to the Lord. Those around you encourage you to obey the Lord and you encourage them as well. Pretty much everything around us encourages us to disobey God and do what we want in order to please our sin nature. If we isolate ourselves from other like minded believers, we will get away from the Word and prayer, which will lead us to sin. As we build ourselves up in faith through corporate Bible study, corporate prayer, and obedience to the Lord’s commands, we will form a team, learning how to work together. What do we need to work together doing? We need to work together to make disciples. That is why the next command is . . .
- Have mercy on some – Reach out to them with the love of God. Bring the power of God, which is the Word of God, into their lives. Teach them how to know God through His Word. Teach them how to pray to God based on His Word. Teach them how to obey God and encourage them to be part of the team. This will change their lives, giving them a new purpose. This opens up the door to the next command, save people. I cannot save anyone and you cannot save anyone but what we can do is introduce them to the Gospel, which is the power of God to salvation for those who believe. Now, while in the trenches, we will be surrounded by sin because we will be on enemy ground. The next command is crucial.
- Hate sin – We know what it does to us because we know the Gospel. We know who we are, that we have a sin nature. We also know how easily we are tempted. Therefore, we must hate sin, while at the same time, we love the sinners who need to be rescued as we have been rescued by the power of the Gospel.
II. God’s Part
In Jude 17-25, God tells us what He also has His part in this process of helping us eagerly await the coming of the Lord.
- According to verse 24, He keeps us from stumbling, especially as we are being attacked by the ungodly in the church.
- Also in verse 24, He is able to make us stand in the face of this opposition.
- He will make us blameless. This means that He will purify us along the way, removing more and more of our sinful tendencies.
- He will give us His great joy as we contend earnestly for the faith. It will not be easy. It may not even be very pleasant, but, in the midst of the battle, God will give us joy that surpasses all human understanding.
- He will cause us, one day, to stand in His full presence in all of His glory.
God will always do His part. He has done everything to let us know what our part is. If things are not happening as they should, we cannot blame God. He has promised always to do His part. That is why God constantly wants us to examine our hearts and our walk with Him, to see where sin has crept in, to see if we really are building ourselves up in faith. Why is there such a need for me to do my part, both for me and for those who are around me? Let’s find out.
III. The need for action
The Word of God is under attack, from outside of the body of Christ and from inside the body of Christ. Verse 18 teaches us the the ungodly, both without and within, are mockers. To mock means to delude others about someone or something. This is done by making fun of that person or that thing. If you watch television shows today (something that I do not recommend doing) you will notice that Dads are portrayed as goofy and not good for much. The Moms seem to run the show because of the goofy Dads. This is a prime example of mocking the family structure that the Lord ordained. His plan is that the man is the head of the household and is the competent spiritual leader. The way the media makes fun of that and portrays this image of the family, casts doubts in the minds of people about the legitimacy of God’s plan. This is what Satan did in the Garden when He asked the woman, “did God really say”? The Word of God is mocked all over the place, even in the church. Why do people want to cast doubt on the Word of God and get others to agree with them? They do this because they want to follow after their own lusts and in to calm their conscience, they need others to approve their sinful actions, even though those actions are condemned by God. They want to cause divisions, getting others to join them and fight on their side of the argument. When people doubt the Word of God, they open themselves up to living worldly minded lives. If the Word of God does not fill our minds, the thoughts of our sin nature will fill them and we will act accordingly. The ungodly act the way that they do because they are devoid of the Spirit of the Lord. It is not that they have the Spirit and are choosing not to obey. They do not have the Spirit and they cannot obey the Lord. Instead of facing reality, they try to discredit the source by mocking the Word of God.
Are you building yourself up in faith? How much time do you spend in the Word of God, by yourself and with others? How much time do you spend in prayer? How are you being encouraged by others to obey the Word of God? How are you encouraging others to obey the Word of God? Are you doing your part? Are you working with others as part of a team? Are you seeking to make disciples? May the Lord help us eagerly wait for the coming of the Lord!