The Book of JUDE
James J. Barker
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
- There is a distinction between apostates and those who are led astray by apostates. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do for apostates. They are proud and set in their ways. They refuse to repent and get right with God.
- Our Lord said, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).
- However, when it comes to those who have been duped by false teachers, we should do our best to win them to Christ. “And of some have compassion, making a difference…”
- There are many people who have been confused by false doctrine, and some of them can be reached. We must “have compassion” for them.
- Here in the final verses of his epistle, Jude speaks of soulwinning, and he refers to three separate classes of sinners.
THOSE WHO NEED COMPASSION (JUDE 22)
- There are many lost souls who have brainwashed by Romanism, liberalism, false cults, etc. We have had the joy of seeing many of these confused sinners won to Christ.
- They may be stubborn and argumentative. We must be patient with them. My wife had a friend in nursing school who stubbornly defended the RCC. Eventually my wife won her to Christ and they became close friends.
- Bro. Dave was witnessing to his commanding officer in Iraq. He was also a stubborn RC. He eventually got saved and visited our church as soon as he came back to the states.
- He is back in Iraq on his third tour. Here is a recent email I received from him: “I am here in Baghdad, Iraq on a third tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. God has really changed my life while here. First, He saved me while on my first tour, via Brother David and the Holy Spirit! Since then, I have had the opportunity to grow and serve the Lord our God Jesus Christ on my second tour and, even more so, this tour! I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve Him in whatever way He wants. I not only minister to men and women from Peru, Uganda, Kenya, Philippines and Iraq, He also is revealing more and more of His word to me! I have grown in the past several years. It is only through Him and by Him that this is possible. I give Him all the praise, thanks and credit.”
- There are many “hard cases” out there. It took me a few years but I won a Muslim to Christ. The key is, “And of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22).
- Soulwinners need discernment. Some sinners must be avoided. Second John 9, 10 says, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.”
- In his commentary on the book of Jude, HA Ironside wrote: “Second John 10 is decisive and simple as to a willful teacher of what is opposed to the doctrine of Christ. Such are to be shunned, and even refused a common greeting. But other methods apply to dealing with their dupes, often entrapped through ignorance; though undoubtedly a perverse will has been at work or they would have been kept by divine power in the truth.”
THOSE WHO NEED SNATCHING (JUDE 23)
- I use the word “snatching” (cf. Scofield margin) because it more vividly pictures the idea here. But “pulling them out of the fire” is clear enough!
- When I think of the word “snatch” I think of Fanny Crosby’s great Gospel song, “Rescue the Perishing.”
“Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.”
- In her autobiography, Fanny Crosby wrote this:
As I was addressing a large company of working men one hot August evening, the thought kept forcing itself upon my mind that some mother’s boy must be rescued that very night or perhaps not at all. So I requested that, if there was any boy present, who had wandered away from mother’s teaching, he would come to the platform at the conclusion of the service. A young man of eighteen came forward and said, “Did you mean me? I have promised my mother to meet her in heaven; but as I am now living that will be impossible.” We prayed for him; he finally arose with a new light in his eyes; and exclaimed triumphantly, “Now, I can meet mother in heaven; for I have found her God.”
A few days before, Mr. Doane had sent me the subject “Rescue the Perishing,” and while I sat there that evening the line came to me, “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying.” I could think of nothing else that night. When I arrived it my home I went to work on it at once; and before I retired the entire hymn was ready for a melody. The next day my words were written and forwarded to Mr. Doane, who wrote the beautiful and touching music as it now stands.
In November, 1903, I went to Lynn, Massachusetts, to speak before the Young Men’s Christian Association. I told them the incident that led me to write “Rescue the Perishing," as I have just related it. After the meeting a large number of men shook hands with me, and among them was a man, who seemed to be deeply moved. You may imagine my surprise when he said, “Miss Crosby, I was the boy, who told you more than thirty-five years ago that I had wandered from my mother’s God. The evening that you spoke at the mission I sought and found peace, and I have tried to live a consistent Christian life ever since. If we never meet again on earth, we will meet up yonder.” As he said this, he raised my hand to his lips; and before I had recovered from my surprise he had gone; and remains to this day a nameless friend, who touched a deep chord of sympathy in my heart. It is these notes of sympathy that vibrate when a voice calls them forth from the dim memories of the past, and the music is celestial.
- To pull (or “snatch”) them from the fire means their wicked ways have them teetering over the very pit of hell. HA Ironside says we need to “remember that unholy teaching is defiling and linked up with unholy living.” We have seen this over and again in the epistle of Jude (cf. Jude 7).
- “Pulling them out of the fire” (Jude 23) means to do it swiftly and carefully, making sure that we do not get burned ourselves. There is a sense of urgency in Jude’s words.
THOSE WHO NEED CLEANSING (JUDE 23)
- “Hating even the garment spotted (“stained” or “contaminated”) by the flesh” (Jude 23) suggests defilement. Even the sinner’s clothes are contaminated and they smell of sin.
- Some sinners have fallen into the pit of impurity and immorality. While we hate their immoral lifestyle, we must reach out and help them.
- There are some godly Christian women who at one time were prostitutes. There are preachers, deacons and soulwinners who were immoral drunkards and dopeheads. Thank God for His grace.
- Those of us who have been saved out of a sinful background know how useless Romanism and other false religions are in trying to help sinners in bondage to the sins of the flesh.
- The term “the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 23) is interesting. In the Bible, leprosy is a picture and type of sin. According to Leviticus 13, the clothing of a leper was contaminated and had to be burned.
- Leviticus 13:52 says the priest “shall therefore burn that garment, whether warp or woof, in woollen or in linen, or any thing of skin, wherein the plague is: for it is a fretting leprosy; it shall be burnt in the fire.”
- Applying this to the day we live in, certain garments are detestable and ought to be burned – mini skirts, tight “Saran-wrap” shirts, “hip-hugger” jeans, low-cut blouses, etc.
- “Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb” Elisha Hoffman.
- Jude concludes his epistle by saying, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling…” (Jude 24). God is able.
- God is able to save. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.”
- God is not only able to save; He “is able to keep” us saved.
- Furthermore, God is able “to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).
- What a blessing! Before we were saved we were wearing garments spotted (defiled) by the flesh (Jude 23).
- Then after we were saved, God kept us from falling, and will continue to keep us right up until we leave this world.
- And then we will be presented “faultless” before the very presence of God – “with exceeding joy” (Jude 24b).
- These are the three aspects of salvation:
- We were saved – “out of the fire” – from the penalty of sin (hell)
- We are being saved – God “is able to keep (us) from falling.” We are saved from the power of sin.
- We will be saved from the very presence of sin – “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).
- “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 25).
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