Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. – Jude 1:3-4
Jude’s intention of writing this letter appears to have been changed by the stuff going on around him in the church of his day. He clearly set out to write an encouraging letter about the joys of Salvation they all shared through Jesus. But he felt compelled to take a different route. He saw the people he cared about being influenced by deceitful people that had infiltrated their ranks. And he could not keep quiet about it.
He saw godless people changing the grace of God into a license for immortality. I wonder if they were running around preaching the same message we hear so much of today. The “feel good” message that only tells people about God’s love without reminding them of the very real fact of God’s judgement. The message that doesn’t want to offend anyone with the word “hell” even though that is the guaranteed destination of people that do not put their faith in Christ alone for salvation. The message that gives people the false assurance that God is somehow okay with their sin.
If we dare to accept the calling of Jesus to go into the world and spread the gospel, we better make sure we are spreading the right message. The Gospel of Christ is very straight forward. You must turn from your sin and confess Jesus as the Lord of your life. Every part of your life! That although God loves you as you are, he does not want to leave you that way. That once you become a child of the Living God he will begin the lifelong process of making you more and more like his Son, Jesus, until the day he brings you home.
If you are truly saved and you are still holding on to sin in your life, you need to let go of it and hold on to Jesus instead. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it’s okay because God loves you anyway. It is not okay! God’s grace was never intended to make you comfortable in your sin. It is intended to pull you out of your sin and bring you into an eternal relationship with God. God is loving, but whether it makes us comfortable or not – God will judge!
I love how Jude closes his letter with a call to persevere. And in the midst of our perseverance, to “be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” (v. 22)
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. – Jude 1:17-25
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. – 1 John 1:5-10