Throughout this short letter, you get the impression that Jude is not conveying new information. He’s reminding us of something. For instance, in verse 5 we read: “I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it…”. Then in verses 17-19 he writes:
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
What Jude is saying is that we need to remember that this is to be expected. Don’t be surprised. We have been adequately warned. Other places in the New Testament, we read:
- I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. (Acts 20:29-30)
- Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons… (1 Timothy 4:1)
- But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. (2 Timothy 3:1)
- I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. (2 Peter 3:3)
Throughout the New Testament, we are warned that in the last days – the days between Jesus’ death and resurrection and his coming again – false teachers and scoffers will appear. It is expected. Not only that, but they won’t come from out there. They will arise from within the church. Scripture consistently warns us to expect this and to guard against it, because it’s going to happen. Jude says: don’t let it surprise you.
Jude is saying: False teaching is coming whether you’re prepared for it or not. You can get comfortable and be unprepared when it comes. But if you’re smart, you’ll remember that you’ve been told to expect it, and you’ll be prepared to deal with it when it comes. Don’t be surprised, he says, by false teaching.
When we get bombarded by all the stuff that comes across the news and our facebook feeds, it wears us down. This week a former neighbour of our died of COVID-19, the sister-in-law of a family member, who is a nurse, has COVID-19. This is real. It is not fake news.
We need to make choices if we are to remain healthy.
Ask yourself, on a scale of 1(poorly) to 5(great) how are you doing?
- Be honest.
- What is one thing you will do today that will move you in a positive direction in anyone of those 5 areas?
it could be as simple as:
- emotionally: go to bed 1/2 earlier than you usually do.
- physically: do some gentle exercise.
- mentally: write a short poem expressing how you are feeling.
- socially: if you go for a walk, greet everyone you see.
- spiritually: read and reflect on Psalm 18.
Make the decision to do that one thing