Our scripture this morning is Jude 1:17-23.
But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them. But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
The Epistle of Jude is one of seven general letters in the New Testament, written to Christians across the world rather than to a specific church or community. Tradition tells us that Jude was the brother of James, that in some passages he is referred to as Thaddeus, and counted as one of the Twelve. His teaching begins with a warning that is still important today.
He writes that there are divisive forces in the world and in the church, people who do not have God’s spirit and do as they please (v. 19). We are taught to keep ourselves safe in God’s love and to “show mercy to those whose faith is wavering” (v. 22). Jesus gave us the example of love for those who do not yet believe when He forgave those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34).
We are called to share God’s love with everyone, including those who oppose us. It is not always easy, but it is the commandment Christ gave us. We are to reach out to the world, that all may come to know His truth and love.
Heavenly Father, You have called us to be part of Your plan to redeem all Your children. Make us strong in our faith to go into a dark world with Your light. Amen.