Jude 1: 1-16
The book of Jude begins with a shout-out to the folks he was writing to:
“...to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” Jude 1: 1
This tells me that this letter isn't just for everyone. Oh no! The readers had certain characteristics to be qualified to read this thing. Here's a breakdown of those qualifications:
What does it mean to be sanctified? That's a mighty big word for me, so I had to look it up. According to my resources, it says it means to be set apart for God's divine use. It's a transformation process where we grow to become more like Jesus. It's something that happens on the inside-out.
This would be the growing process that Christians go through when, after they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they actually begin following Him. This would mean turning from their sinful nature and living by the example that Jesus gave us in the Bible. It would involve applying the lessons learned from His Word to their lives. I call this process 'Walkin' the Walk'. You know what I'm saying? It's living the holy and righteous life that God wants us to live.
The first thought that comes to mind is the cool thing we do in the South. We can our fruits and vegetables in Mason jars and add a little something-something to them that makes them last for years. Our grandparents are known for doing this and it's something we have to look forward to when we get grey-headed and wrinkly.
The dictionary says 'preserve' means to keep from harm, damage, danger, evil, etc. Also it means to protect and save. If you wanted to keep a photo and make it last a long time, you would probably wrap it up in plastic and bubble wrap.
For the Christian, we are preserved in Jesus because He gives us eternal life. By following Him in life, He protects us from evil spiritual poop that could harm us. The ultimate price for sin is death.
Being called is how we became saved to begin with. The day we realized we were a bunch of sinners was because the Holy Spirit dealt with our hearts and convicted us of it. We felt guilty and knew we needed a Savior. This drew us to Jesus and so we prayed.
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” - John 6: 44
Knowing this, there are a lot of people out there that think they're saved because they simply repeated a sinner's prayer. They didn't have a 'calling' or 'drawing' to repent and seek Jesus. Their situation may have been part of a group of pre-schoolers during a youth function where the teacher or preacher asked, “Ya'll wanna be saved tonight?” and the whole class said “Sure. Our friend Susie's doing it. Looks like fun! Plus, we'll even get a free Bible for doing it.”
I believe many folks are being misled today. The simple 'repeat after me' prayer isn't going to save you. The 'called' are the ones that are genuinely saved because God the Father has drawn them.
Jude was excited about writing this letter. At first he wanted to simply talk about salvation and how awesome it was, but he felt the need to talk about something else. It was about the struggles they would face for being Christians.
Jude knew that there were false teachers among them and had slipped their way into their group. These false teachers would change the truth of God's grace and would deny Jesus as Lord. This would cause a lot of immoral junk to happen. This sin would be considered acceptable because of the false understanding of God's grace.
I read in the footnotes of my Bible that these false teachers would teach that it was OK for people to live how they wanted to without fear of God's punishment. Their agenda may have been to grow the congregation for money purposes. If you make people feel comfy in the church setting, this would mean more money in the offering plate. Cha-ching! This kinda stuff goes on today.
Churches teach about God's love for humanity. And that's good because He does love us all. We get excited about a message like that because we know we are all a bunch of sinners, according to the Bible, and this message lets us know that no matter how bad we are, God will just keep on loving us. And He does! The wrong part of this is that we feel that we can just continue doing what we're doing because we think God will simply overlook it. This is not true!
The fact is God doesn't approve of sin and will judge us for it. There will be a price to pay!
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: - Colossians 3: 5, 6
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. - Galatians 5: 19-21
The fact is, if your church or the teachings you're receiving make you feel comfortable in your sin, it is considered false teaching. It's just not right! God wants us to turn from it and live holy and righteous. This would mean making every effort to follow Jesus' example in the Bible.
A Redneck's Guide Series is available from Amazon worldwide:
Australia | Brazil | Canada | China | France | Germany | India | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Spain | United Kingdom | USA
A Redneck's Guide Series c/o ToonIt Up! Graphics | PO Box 71972 | Newnan, GA 30271-1972