Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

Lost and confused people need saving

Jude 22-23
Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (NIVUK)

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?  Instead, Jude wanted them to be built up in Christ; not abandoned or condemned.  But in the whirlpool of spiritual confusion, churches that have slipped from their spiritual moorings can forget why they exist.  They are to announce eternal life through Jesus Christ, and judgement for those who refuse to believe (John 3:16-18).

Living by faith is hard; doubt is common when we cannot clearly see the way.  But in the same way that Father God is merciful (Psalm 123:3; Luke 6:36) we too should be merciful to those who are lost or confused so that they may desire to be part of His people (1 Peter 2:10).  

The expression ‘snatch others from the fire’ is strong and urgent.  Jude was convinced of Jesus’ teaching that the fire of hell is inevitable for all unless they repent and believe in Jesus (Luke 16:23-24).  But 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 (2 Peter 3:9). 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 (1 Peter 3:15).  This is not just a job for ‘professional preachers’; often the most effective communication comes from Christian 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.

Saviour God. Thank You for saving me and for the security I have in Jesus. Forgive me when I wander from that safety and allow myself to be confused by false teaching, compromised as I slide into sin, and corrupted by people who Satan uses to drag me away from my Lord. And forgive me when I fail to tell others how they may be saved. Please inflame my heart with a fresh urgency of the awesome responsibility to share the gospel with my friends, colleagues and others who have not yet received Christ. In His Name. Amen.
Bible Book: 

© Dr Paul Adams