“But dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’ These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” – Jude 17-23.
How often do we speak with such boldness as to call someone a scoffer or corrupt? Yet the early church wasted no time in calling those voices claiming unbiblical truth these names. Why are we so afraid to call a spade a spade? Why does the fear of being accused of being a divider among the ranks of the elect cause us to hole up? And it’s clearly because “truth speaking” doesn’t always bring a positive message, and to speak contraire means you are negative and really don’t know God’s love. Happy, positive messages are not the only support of the Gospel – for if they were, we’d all never have any troubles. Yet we are growing up in an age of covering our ears if we don’t like the message. And if we don’t like the message we merely insinuate that the voice is a naysayer – not a messenger of God. It is true; some who speak only of doom and gloom are just this – not messengers of God. But the one underlying principle test that always adheres to anyone, anywhere is the test of motive; and the test of motive will show itself as Jude said, “…there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.”
Men and women who use the name of Christ (His love, grace, and mercy) to continue in their sin or to gain an advantage for themselves do not have the Spirit living within them – they merely do what is best for them. They are attractive to the masses, and even gain great followings, but they themselves are far removed from the Spirit of God’s message and the truth that has been evident since the beginning of Creation. And that truth is that God redeems those who are broken and contrite – those who recognize their fallen nature due to their sinful behaviors. He gives them hope that He will restore them through the forgiveness of sins offered to them in His Son Jesus, and He will become their eternal Father.
Lord, give me the courage to speak the truth even when I know it will stir up a hornets’ nest, even when I know that debate will incur. AMEN.