When we are surrounded by lies we need to be reminded of the truth. Otherwise we risk being pulled away from Jesus and becoming a spiritual danger to others. Jude knew that his readers had believed the true apostolic gospel, but false teachers were luring some away to satisfy their own fleshly appetites. So Jude reminded them that their faith was not a nice idea to comfort them so that they could please themselves, but the gospel automatically created a division between those who were content to trust in the crucified Jesus whatever the cost; and those who sought to please themselves.
Jude used the account of the Israelites leaving Egypt. Those who trusted the Word of God through Moses were saved when the angel of death passed over. The Egyptians lost their first born in the plague of death, and later the whole army was destroyed in the Red Sea. Later, many Israelites who had started their journey in faith rebelled against the Lord in the wilderness and perished. In the same way, those who believe the gospel are born again into eternal life; but those who do not continue to trust in Christ’s shed blood will face eternal judgement (Colossians 1:22-23).
False teaching will always encourage us to feel that we can be in control, either through our own efforts or by thinking we can manipulate God into giving us what we want. No: true faith is not a way to feel better, get richer or have more power. True faith accepts that we are sinners and are saved only by God’s grace, trusting the Lord to provide for our needs as we serve Him - not seeking our own glory but Christ’s, and giving up our lives for His service. Those who refuse to continue on that narrow road of faith risk losing everything. It is healthy to remind ourselves and others that the true gospel brings this sobering division.
© Dr Paul Adams