I read the following verses several weeks ago. I tried to write about them, but often found myself lacking the right words and would often delete my thoughts. Over the last month there have been some local events along with global events that have happened which have caused these verses to burn in my heart. Today I am able to better write about them. Today, you and I walk a little bit deeper into the things of God. It would do you well to read the following verses a second time before reading on. Blessings as you do.
"They (the apostles) said to you, 'In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.' These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying 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; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh."(Jude: 18-23)
Do you feel the spirit of those beginning verses? Do they not take on greater meaning with every historic event in these times? Dear friend, it is only by being completely sold out to God that we will be able to always stand firm. Anything less and it will only become more and more difficult. I am watching people who are in love with Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul and mind standing firm; willing to abandon all for God, not concerned about self, or being politically correct, and yet the fires of life don't seem able to burn them. I didn't say it's always easy. I didn't say that there wouldn't be periods of testing. I didn't say that hearts would not ache or even be broken occasionally, but they do and WILL stand....and stand firmly. When the winds blow, they will not waver. They will instead say, "God let me be like flint when forces not of Your kingdom press in." And God will reward that. He already is. Life has become a great adventure. They are ready to seize the day! Here is where I have chosen to cast my lot.
Now what about those who have never matured? Who just don't seem to grow up? Who struggle with carnality, or who may be living in downright sin? The answer is right there in the scripture. "BE MERCIFUL TO THOSE WHO DOUBT." If someone is not living up to your expectations, love them anyway. This is the only way we will win them over. The rest is God's job. I've washed my hands of changing people. My job is to show and teach people how to live and then to love them without condition. 2 Timothy 4:2...."Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with GREAT PATIENCE AND CAREFUL INSTRUCTION." (You should actually read those first several verses of chapter 4. Talk about a passage for our time.) Then we are to pick them up when one falls down, just as I would want to be picked up by a brother. "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galations 6:1-2) In other words don't go around talking about people. Instead keep gently lifting them up.
But what about the person who is downright evil or doing the darkest works of satan as hinted at in verse 23? We still must fight against our flesh to find the heart of God. We must look to Him for wisdom and use great discernment in an attempt to "save others by snatching them from the fire." We must be careful, though, because this task is not for everyone to directly be involved with. It will take a strong spiritual heart to know how to reach those who are deep into evil without also being contaminated. It is in my heart to one day soon write about the most sadistic satanic playgrounds so that we can better expose and then dispose of them. For any reader of this blog that has been involved with or exposed to the darkest things of satan, I do, by the blood of Christ, wage war on those things until you are set free. I am waiting, though, for the Holy Spirit to let me know when the time is right for me to write of these things. Jesus, however, never stops loving and will always rejoice when a repentant heart yields. Even on the cross He still cried, "Father, forgive them........" as He was drawing His last breaths; after the nails had already been pounded and smashed in. The murderers! Remember Saul? Jesus responded to Saul, the murderer, with grace, mercy and love. Can we do the same? Take time before answering. I have to believe that Jesus snatched Saul from the fires of hell. As Saul repented he soon became our great Apostle Paul. That wasn't to say that Paul didn't at times suffer consequences because of his former ways. When God's ways are violated there are usually consequences to pay, but again, that is not our responsibility. That is in God's court and sometimes very often in the courts of the land. 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us that God does not desire for anyone to perish, but "for everyone to come to repentance."
Jude 18-23. There is something about those five verses that will become even more significant as the days continue on. As they bring truth and light to our eyes, darkness will have to shrink back.
Together, let us seize the day!