POWER IN THE WORD (JUDE)
The book of Jude seems to have been written for our time. It’s as if Jude could clearly see what would be going on in many of our “churches” here in the twenty-first century. And he does it all in one short, powerful chapter.
Jude was the half-brother of Jesus and brother of James who wrote the book of James. At first Jude did not believe Jesus was who He said He was. After the resurrection, Jude became a believer, in fact, he became a forcefully loyal believer in his brother, his Savior and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
God inspired him to write a warning for Christians living in the end times. It’s the last warning before the prophecies in the book of Revelation become reality and the world falls into utter chaos. It’s a letter all Christians should read and pray about often.
Jude addresses his letter to Christians everywhere. That includes us.
He intended to write quite a different letter than the one we find in the Bible; one more focused on salvation, but the Holy Spirit led him to write a stern warning about false teachers.
Jude says, “…godless teachers have wormed their way in among you, saying that after we become Christians we can do just as we like without fear of God’s punishment. The fate of such people was written long ago, for they have turned against our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (v 4, TLB)
Do we see that happening in our churches today? I believe we do. Some examples probably came to mind when you read that verse.
Jude tells us that the apostles also warned about scoffers who would rise up in big numbers in the last days. The Apostle Paul even says some will want to have these false teachers in their churches. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4, NASB) We are seeing that today, so-called “Christian” teachers, spewing out clearly unbiblical ideas from the pulpit, in books, on the radio and TV, and at "live appearances" every day, all of it in the name of the Lord. Millions have fallen for, and even asked for, the deception. The impact of the Church on this lost and dying world is diminishing, in large part, because of these false teachers and the inability of Christians to recognize them.
Jude uses the example of Sodom and Gomorrah to show what will happen to these false teachers and those who follow them. That horror should get our attention. Read about it in Genesis 18:16-19:29.
So, you may be asking, where is the power in reading and knowing this tiny, sobering book?
First of all, there is great power in the warning Jude gives us. It’s a holy heads-up for Christians to watch out for false teachers. As I said earlier, this letter was written for our time. The warning is for us. Jude has armed us with facts that can help us recognize false teachers and avoid their deadly snare.
Secondly, Jude tells us what we can do to combat this evil. He says, “But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.” (v 20, TLB) How do we "build up our lives?" We must read in God’s Word every day, and I literally mean, every day. We must strengthen our foundation (faith) every day. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) We must read, know and, as much as God allows, understand His Word. And we must have a real and close relationship with Jesus Christ, (v 21) “the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2a, NKJV) And we must listen to the Holy Spirit always, and pray, pray, pray.
Also, as we saw in the last chapter, we must put on the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
All of that will protect us. Under His protection, God tells us to be merciful and help those caught up in the end time deception. But, again, as Jude warns, we must be careful not to get snagged in the deception ourselves. That is a possibility we must be constantly on guard against.
Jude closes with a wonderful benediction, full of powerful praise and worship “To God our Savior, Who alone is wise...” (v 24-25, NKJV). Read and meditate on the benedictions found throughout the New Testament. They are powerful in there own right.
I urge you not to neglect Jude, the often over-looked, but critically important sixty-fifth book of the Bible. There is a wealth of spiritual power in it.
And while you're at it, read the book of Revelation and marvel at the power of God revealed in the end times and the glorious beginnings of the spiritually purified new heaven and new earth that will last for eternity.