Lost and confused people need saving
False teachers bring false comfort to confused people. Instinctively they know something is not quite right but they do not know what. Persecution also brings confusion to weak believers: should they give up or stay true to Jesus? Jude wanted them to be built up in Christ; not abandoned or condemned. But in the whirlpool of spiritual confusion the church can forget that everybody who has not heard or responded to the gospel urgently needs to be saved.
The expression ‘snatch others from the fire’ is strong and urgent. Jude was convinced that the fire of hell is inevitable for all unless they repent and believe in Jesus. Even the worst sinner or backslider can be rescued. Therefore each believer has a personal responsibility to communicate the gospel and urge people they know to receive God’s grace and be saved. Those who are believers, but confused, need to hear from God’s people about His merciful love so that they come away from the false teaching and build themselves up in the truth.
There is an urgency about the gospel which many believers fail to recognise. They rightly rejoice in their own salvation but seem indifferent to the eternal plight of those who are outside Christ’s kingdom. Some wrongly believe that because people are born-again by the Holy Spirit, the believer is not involved in the ‘business of salvation’. Jude would not agree. It is essential that those who are saved should explain the gospel to those who are not, urging them to repent and receive Christ. This is not just a job for ‘professional preachers’; often the most effective communication comes from friends and colleagues who are known and trusted. That is why we carry the Word to work and everywhere else in our hearts: but it needs to be let out of our mouths as well, so that confused, compromised and corrupted people may be snatched from the fire.
© Dr Paul Adams