Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings in the Scripture
Jude: 17 But you must tremember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
How are Christians supposed to respond to “the end times?” I’m afraid for many, the response is purely a fear based one. On top of the problem of reading the United States into Biblical prophetic circumstances (of which there is not a single reference to be found), are the myriad of merchandisers hawking everything you need to survive the coming world holocaust. The problem being, none of these address the real issue. None of these take a Biblical approach to a Biblically
defined reality. None of them seem to take into account that the Bible itself has an “end times survival plan.” It is recorded for us in our text today.
Note first, a good description of what’s coming. No, it is not exhaustive. But it is representative.
a. There will be scoffers. We ought not to expect Christianity and its claims to become increasingly globally popular. Don’t be
b. These scoffers will be those who follow their own ungodly passions. They won’t pursue godly ends by godly means. Don’t be shocked.
c. This will produce divisions even among Christians. Don’t be shocked.
d. They will be “worldly” – oriented around life in this present age and system – not accounting for eternity. Don’t be shocked.
e. They will NOT be able to manifest anything of God’s Spirit – they don’t possess Him. Don’t be shocked.
Well how are we supposed to respond to that? How can we prepare to live in such a hostile, godless, passion-driven, sin-laden age? Jude gives us the genuine keys.
1. “Build yourselves up in your most holy faith.” Don’t stop pursuing growth in Christ and His truth. Study His Word. Seek the holy skill of living a life that displays you are “in the faith”, informed by the world-view portrayed in Scripture, not by the World itself, or mere human reason. Grow in Christ.
2. “Pray in the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit’s ministry is to reveal Christ. Pray in concert with His aims and goals. Pray in accordance with His work within you, to conform you increasingly to the image of Christ. Pray according to His work in the world, convincing men of righteousness, sin and judgment. Pray in tandem with the reality that it is both the Spirit and the Bride who say “come”.
3. “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” Immerse yourself in the amazing glory of being the object of God’s infinite, incomparable love of God in Christ Jesus. Major on lavishing yourself in it. Never forget it. Never let it go. Let no circumstance of any kind lead you to doubt it. And if and when you do – gaze at Calvary’s cross until it melts your soul in love again.
4. “Waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” Live in constant anticipation of Christ’s return, and the grace that is to be yours in that hour. Never forget that all of human history is moving toward the consummation of the ages in Christ Jesus.
5. “And have mercy on those who doubt.” Don’t grow hard against those who do not see yet. Be merciful to them as God has been to you. Keep a heart of mercy for the lost, and especially for the weaker brothers and sisters who flag. Don’t let their doubt infuriate or discourage you.
6. “Save others by snatching them out of the fire.” Continue to preach Christ and Him crucified. Don’t neglect the Gospel. We can begin to imagine some are not worthy to hear it. No one is EVER worthy to hear it. Not you, not me, nor anyone else. That’s what makes it grace.
7. “To others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Many of those around us will be steeped in sin. Bound. Be merciful and not hard against them. Hate the sin that has them in such a state. Pity their condition. And show them the mercy which has been shown to you. Whether they can take it in and appreciate it or not. Don’t get hard.
Seven steps for surviving the end times.
Post them on your fridge.
You never know when you’ll need them.
Like right now.