The last time we were together Jude told us to watch out for those masquerading as believers. Their actions can cause a LOT of trouble. But today he tells us how to deal with such people.
Jude tells us to “have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garments stained by the flesh” (verse 22). Dictionary.com defines mercy as:
“compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy,
or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence”
Jude breaks our mercy down into a couple of categories. The first category is for those who doubt. The second is for the one stirring up dissention or confusion.
Those who doubt would be those who are still wrestling with their need for a Savior and Who can fulfill this role. These are the lost and hurting of this world. It can also include those who have come to the church looking for answers. Don’t turn them away! Reach out and help them find the answers their soul is searching for. This is how we snatch others out of the fire. We snatch them out of the eternal fire as well as snatching them out of their everyday fires. Someone pointed the way for us, the least we can do is point the way for others.
We need to be wary of the second group. Allow mercy because God is the judge but DON’T get down in the mud and play with them. As much as is possible, separate yourself from their influence. Don’t hang out on the edge of their gossip group tsk tsking. Don’t tune in to their conversation, just so you can be informed on what is going on. PRAY for them but also STAY AWAY. This group can drag you down with them if you don’t put some distance between you and them.
There is something even more important that we are supposed to be doing to protect ourselves from those who would lead us down the wrong paths; “But you. beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (verses 20-21).
We are to get so close to God that NOTHING can tear us away. We are to study the Original so NO counterfeit will fool you. Study His word. Talk to Him in prayer. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Develop a deep relationship with Him and deepen it on a daily basis.
When bank tellers are trained in spotting counterfeit currency they are not given a bunch of examples to see what is being passed off. They are trained with original currency and get to know it in such detail that ANY abnormality immediately is noticed. This is how we should train to protect ourselves from false teaching too. Get intimately familiar with the Original so we will immediately recognize ANYTHING passing itself off as real. And ALWAYS trust our Supervisor when He says something is “fishy.”
Father God, I’m sure I don’t spend enough time in prayer each day. That is probably a BIG part of why I can get so cranky over the little things. How I handle the “little things” is just as important as how I handle the bigger stuff.
Holy Spirit, make Your presence so strong in my life that there is NO room for doubt to creep in. Fill me with the REAL. Refill me every day too as I have a tendency to leak. Hopefully my “leaks” are watering places You want watered. (The story of the cracked pot.)