One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Sat., Dec. 8, 2012: Jude 1:1-25
3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3-4 (NKJV)
Jude is a small book that carries a hefty punch. We are encouraged to stand strong in "the faith once for all delivered to the saints." But, we are also made aware of a surprising challenge. While we are called to evangelise the world, sometimes it seems that the world is evangelising the church!
This is a bit of hard truth. Jude points out something that Paul spoke of in Romans 9:6 when he said, "For they are not all Israel who are of Israel." In other words, not everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus is the real thing. But even more, they are coming into the church diluting the fervent love for God that should be evident. Right in the middle of a powerful move of God, there can be a snake. Jude calls them "spots in your love feasts."
What are we to do about this? It is simply not possible to run some sort of litmus test. Only the Holy Spirit could do that. So, what are we to do?
Jude gives us two simple words of instruction:
1. Don't be shaken or shocked when you find our there are fakes or hypocrites in the church.
2. Keep yourself built up in the faith.
We will always be faced with challenges to our faith. While we seek to invade the world with the good news of Jesus, the world also seeks to invade the church with a false faith. Today, renew your commitment to a vital, joyful, Spirit-filled life of carrying forward the truth and grace of God.