Jude 1:17-25

But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; for they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.” It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions.

But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on some who are wavering; save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies.

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:17-25

So how many different branches of Christianity are there? To what degree is the Body of Christ divided? Every once in awhile someone will ask me that question and I never answer it well. It is too confusing. Just read this article and try not to get confused. Or discouraged.

Jude tells us this morning that divisions within the church are caused by “scoffers”, by “worldly people” who are “devoid of the Spirit.” Of course Jude would say that. That is what we all say. Few leaders, in any of the thousands of twigs of the Christian tree, are going to say “our fellowship exists because of the teaching of a disbelieving worldly leader who wanted to steer us away from the one true faith that existed before we came along.” But we’re not above saying (although not so impolitely) such things about others outside of our tribe. This isn’t good. It is a tendency rooted in something other than love. It soils the Christian witness to the world.

And yet these are the words from today’s reading that catch our attention. It is the splinter in our neighbor’s eye that we are so quick to notice, despite the log in our own. Thankfully Jude leads us away from judging others and redirects us back to getting our own house in order.

What are we encouraged to do? To grow in our faith and understanding, to pray for help, to rely on the love of God, to anticipate the mercy of Jesus Christ, and to lead with that same mercy in our relationships and witness to the world.

That sounds good to me.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, you are merciful to us, may we be merciful to others. You love us, may we love others. Rather than tearing down other Christians, use us to build up our common witness – that we all might grow in faith, understanding, mercy, and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One Response to “Jude 1:17-25”

  1. Mateen Says:

    200,000 people currently without power and the snow is still coming down… comparatively I am doing quite well! I’m warm and dry, so I co12ln&#8du7;t ask for much more at this point.

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