Summary: Continuing with our series on Jude, Jude gives his readers four steps to maintain their walk with the Lord.
Escape the Wrath to Come
Text: Jude 17 – 21
By: Ken McKinley
As we’ve been going through the book of Jude we’ve looked at the false teachers that Jude mentions. We’ve seen how we can be aware of them, and that we as Christians need to stay alert. The title of my sermon this evening is “Escape the Wrath to Come!” In all the verses prior to our text this evening Jude has been telling us about false teachers who have crept into the church unaware. He has told us to stay alert and be watchful, and he has given us some insight into these people. Who they are, what they believe, what their goals are; what they preach and teach and how we can spot them. But in our text this evening Jude is now telling us how we can escape the wrath that is going to come to these false teachers.
Now up to this point Jude hasn’t pulled any punches; he’s been straight forward and told it like it is, but in verse 20 he softens up again. He says, “But you beloved…” What that tells us is that we who are Christ’s are different. Jude is making a distinction here. He’s saying “you’re different, so I want to help you where you need help.” And he does this by telling his readers four things that they need to give attention to.
1st Build up yourselves on your most holy faith
2nd Pray in the Holy Spirit
3rd Keep yourselves in the love of God
4th Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life
Jude has just given us four steps to maintaining our fellowship with God. Let me explain this quickly; Jude isn’t saying that a Christian can be lost. God is our Father, we are His, and the relationship is there. However, the fellowship can be broken from time to time when we give into temptation and sin. The relationship isn’t broken, the fellowship is. Jude is saying if Christians will make a practice of these things then our fellowship with our heavenly Father will be all the more stronger.
Just the other day we had a missions meeting. All the pastors… well several of them, some couldn’t make it… so several of the pastors of the association met and we discussed how we could be more effective in missions. Numerically speaking, I would say that the western church is probably the least effective church when it comes to missions. We have lost our saltiness. Turn with me to Matthew 5:13 (read). Back in Roman times, salt was used as a seasoning, and a preserving agent, but if it lost it saltiness, then it was spread on the roads to keep the vegetation from growing, and everyone who travelled those roads walked upon it. Today in the United States of America, Christianity is on the verge of becoming an irrelevant religion. We are being trod under foot. And the reason for that is because soldiers of Christ are AWOL, absent without leave.
So Jude says, “But you beloved…” “You who are different because you belong to Christ; remember what I told you, and what you’ve heard. Remember that there are going to come those who are false teachers. Remember this! But you’re different, so build yourselves up on your most holy faith…”
So we as Christians are to build ourselves up. And we are supposed to build ourselves up ON OUR MOST HOLY FAITH.
In other words, the things that will strengthen our faith and our walk with the Lord. How often do you read your Bible? How often do you think on the things of God? How often do you mull it over and consider it, how it applies to your life, your circumstances and situations?
I want to read a little poem to you if I could.
“Too busy this morning,
I’ll say a prayer, quick.
Tonight I’ll have time,
To study and to think.
Tonight I’m too tired,
To study God’s Word.
I’ll wait until next week,
Then I’ll worship the Lord.
Next week came too fast,
But it seems that I may,
Have more time next month,
Lord, to read and to pray.
Next month, oh yes,
I just wonder why,
My love for the Lord,
Is about ready to die?”
Did you know that a few years ago, a man took a tape recorder and recorded himself reading the Bible. He was going to read it from cover to cover, and record it. He stopped to eat, to sleep, and to go to the rest room. Once he was done, he totalled up the hours of tape and it equalled 72 hours. In other words, he read the entire Bible in 72 hours. That’s 72 hours of actual reading time, at regular reading speed. Did you know that the average American watches 6 hours of TV every night? In two weeks they’ve watched 84 hours of TV.