“But dear friends…”

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.

Jude 17-19

Jude is sharing his final thoughts now, thoughts that are both encouraging and practical.  The first of these is to remember what the Apostles have taught, with a characterization reminiscent of both Paul and John, not to mention of Jesus Himself.  There will be “scoffers”.  Jude has already stated that they scoff at Christ, authority, angels and at anything they don’t understand. Having rejected any authority, what are they left with? Only their own evil desires with the result that they are teaching others to engage in sexual immorality; how convenient! At the risk of stating the obvious, if a person wants to be sexually immoral, he or she will need someone to do it with… These are people who cause division in the church as they pry some away from the Truth of Christ, and away from godly teaching.

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.

Jude 20-21

Now Jude turns to the practical: When faced with false teaching of any sort, we have a choice. This is true with any kind of temptation; there is always a choice.  We can choose to build ourselves up in our faith and by praying in the Spirit we can keep ourselves in God’s loving presence.  Over the years I’ve had conversations with quite a number of people who were struggling with temptations and sin; they just can’t seem to shake them off.  When I ask how their prayer life is going, they always tell me how strong it is and how great their relationship is with the Lord.  At first, this would confuse me, but then I learned to listen more carefully, to ask more questions, and sooner or later they always reveal whether intentionally or not, that they don’t have much of a prayer life, if any at all, and that they really don’t have much of a relationship with Christ. It always comes down to the same thing in the end, for they are focused almost entirely on themselves.

It doesn’t have to be that way!

Start talking to God; work on that relationship.  It doesn’t need to be anything so formal and difficult, just start talking to Him.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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1 Response to “But dear friends…”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Am mostly always encouraged whenever I fully read your message. Many of us really do struggle with our Christ-life at one stage of our lives and if care not taken, we find ourselves back where we were before Christ saved us.

    I personal know that my prayer life isn’t strong, I had been given the give to speak on tongues but I don’t even use it because I hardly pray on my own. Though myself and my husband pray most nights but Being the only one blessed with the mysterious tongue, I feel uncomfortable praying in tounge when he’s presence and this have affected me. But I also haven’t made room for personal relationship. With that I struggle even though my intention are right.

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