17th June 2016
Last Sunday, we looked at the remaining verses in the Book of Jude as we continued with the second of a 2-part sermon series called the Clash of the Titans.
From verses 17 to 25, we see Jude moving towards exhorting his readers, a switch from emphasizing on the godless earlier. Hence this concluding passage in Jude is very applicable for us as believers living in days where we are facing many threats! So let’s understand the second battle described by Jude, The Scoffer verses The Merciful.
Jude tells us 3 things to be mindful of in this battle:
1. Be Mindful of the Scoffers (vv.17-19)
Although in a mode of edification, Jude first reminds his readers that there will be Scoffers in the last days – as foretold by the apostles. But who are the scoffers? Jude reveals that they will divide the church. We have seen how that has already happened today with the LGBT dividing the church with the different generations within. We have also seen that with many who have embraced the hyper-grace teachings – criticizing churches and pastors for not teaching “proper grace” and inviting church goers to leave their own churches to join them in their “better” church. This is in line with what Jude revealed in these verses, that scoffers will cause divisions because they follow their natural instincts and do not have the Spirit!
2. Be Motivated to Pray (vv.20-21)
Jude continues his exhortation by saying that there are 2 things that a believer must be motivated to do. First, be built up in faith. This is similar to what Jude said earlier in verse 3 (please refer to last week’s sermon). Second, believers are called to pray, and their prayer should be the deep, inner cries of prayer (in the Holy Spirit). Like Aaron in Numbers 16 standing in the gap between the living and the dead. This is our call to battle! Not with criticisms, not with anger and not in argument, but in prayer for the church and the scoffers who have risen to divide her!
3. Be Merciful to those who Doubt (vv.22-23)
Jude concludes his exhortation with a call for believers to be merciful to those who doubt, those who need to be saved from fire and those deep in sin. But would it be fair to think that the church’s response should be one of retaliation and action? However Jesus in His very wise Parable of the Weeds prophesied that in the last days the “Weeds” are allowed to grow with the “Wheat” (Matt 13:29-30)! Meaning that evil will grow with the good because if we attempt to pull out the “weeds”, we risk pulling up the “wheat” as well. Instead the separating of them will be the role of the angels, not ours. Our role as the church is to extend mercy and reach out to those who are now more in need of the LORD than ever and gently restore them!
I certainly hope that as we journeyed through the Book of Jude in the last 2 weeks that you have been given insights on the threats that the church is facing and what our response as believers should be. Please catch the first part of Clash of the Titans from the CPBC website if you missed it. Have a great week ahead.