Summary: The church exists not just too nurture and encourage Christians, but to be merciful to those who don’t know Him, and except them and love them for who they are.
Key Verse–verse 23
New Life’s Core Group–July 9, 2000
20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to
22 Be merciful to those who doubt;
23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-- hating even the
clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without
fault and with great joy--
25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others whom you need
to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins.
This is why New Life exists. Sure, not only are we here to encourage one another, to see brothers and
sisters in Jesus lifted up, to enjoy His presence through worship, study of His Word and our friendships. But
New Life’s mission statement is clear:
To support the home with family-centered activities and assistance, producing healthy relationships
Providing cutting edge music, leading to hope and peace through Christ.
Remember what Jesus said in Acts 1:8: “ . . . when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive
power and will tell people about me everywhere . . . “ What has happened in the American Church today?
There are 195 million unbelievers in the United States of America. America closes 72 churches every week.
We are the third largest unreached nation in the world. I believe simply put: We have lost our focus, our
desire, His vision.
As we begin to reach people in this community, don’t think for one minute, that the more compassion
and mercy we show for lost people, the less interested the enemy of our soul will become. It doesn’t happen
that way. In order to reach people, to have mercy on them, to rescue them from the flames, to tell everybody
about Jesus, you and I must be prepared as well. Look at 1 Peter 1:13: “Therefore, prepare your minds for
action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Peter’s instructions are simple. But how many born-again Christians follow them? Let’s look at them together
before we dig into Jude.
❶ Prepare your mind for action–Think clearly! If we dig a little deeper this morning and take our
English translation “prepare” and see another definition it may surprise us. The word “prepare” is a metaphor
derived from the practice of the Orientals who, in order to be unimpeded in their movements were accustomed,
when starting a journey or engaging in any work, to bind their long flowing garments closely around their
bodies and fastened them with a leather belt. Why? So nothing would slow them down; nothing would get in
their way; nothing would hinder them from arriving at their destination. We are to literally “bind up” our minds
with the thoughts of Christ, sew them up, and stick close to them as we walk along this journey of life.
Most of you today could give me a name, if not several, of someone who came to Christ, and began
their journey to heaven without properly “preparing” themselves. This is why we have cell group home
meetings. This is why we have “We Build People.” This is why we share friendships with Jesus loving people.
Does this mean we shun the world? Absolutely not. Where did Jesus go? He went out into the world, He
touched people out there, He met their needs out there. He told us to go out there and make disciples, to teach
them, to baptize them, to show them how to obey the commands of the Lord.
This is what makes good discipleship classes so important. Notice I said the word good. Too many
times churches have a program in place, but it really doesn’t teach, encourage and challenge the individual.
We Build People is a comprehensive class that does just that. I think many of you this morning who have
completed Class 201 or have just begun can agree. It is so important when someone receives Christ as Lord
to immediately place them into a good discipleship ministry class and to put them with good people.
❷ Be self-controlled–1 Thessalonians 5:6: “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let
us be alert and self-controlled.” The Living Bible states: “So be on your guard, not asleep like the others.