Saturday 31 October 2020


The Letter of Jude

I want to turn with you to the smallest book of the Bible, the Letter of Jude.

This week the Church remembered Jude on a midweek day, he being a leader in the early Church, and was the half-brother of Jesus. He does not seem to qualify to be included in the Sunday Lectionary, no doubt as he wants to abolish teaching which is not according to the Bible.  

This Letter is seldom preached upon.  It is loathed by the liberal establishment, nor does it lie easily with the political correctness of today’s society.   The only time I have heard it preached. was by an old Scottish Minister on Stornoway.  It is probably the most unpopular Letter in the New Testament, and it seems so wrong that it should be so neglected, but it is an anathema to the politically correct elite who dominate our society, as it deals with absolutes and does not support the loose morality which exists. 

It is a call to arms for the Christian Church, and it should be a matter of concern that this Letter is so neglected.  However, militant Christianity is not popular in the Church at the present generally. It should be accepted that this Letter, whilst written so many years ago has been included in the Scriptures, and therefore its message is valid and indeed relevant for us today.

Having described who he is, Jude tells that he started to write a letter about understanding the faith, when news reached him of an outbreak of false teaching being given by men who had crept into the Church professing to be Christians, but were changing the grace of God into a licence for immoral living ,preaching false doctrine and advocating a gospel which fitted within their desires and approach.  They taught that the grace of God would forgive any sin. Jude saw a dishonouring of Christ, which led to a deceiving of souls.  This is why it is so relevant for us today, for we have to face an identical situation.

The church of Jesus Christ is under severe attack in a manner not previously seen, due to modern technology. Forces are striking from the outside, seeking to undermine our existence, but more insidious , as we in recent times have shamefully watched men/women holding high Office in the Church betraying God’s Word.  How prophetic it was of Jude.

The Bible states, ‘some from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.’  But  God in his amazing grace will support those who remain faithful to Him, even when in adversity.

Today, when all the great fundamental truths of the Christian Faith are being denied, from within the Church, it makes verse 3 of this Letter so vitally important. I appeal to you to earnestly contend for  the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.’  It is in fact a call to arms for Christians and the Church, especially in Western countries, and it should be a matter of concern that this Letter is so neglected.

Jude wrote this Letter out of a sense of urgency and necessity, declaring that every Christian should contend for the faith. By faith it is meant the gospel, that body of truths that make up the exclusive Christian gospel.

What Jude is saying is ‘wake up Church it is time to get back to the gospel that was once given’.

The unique birth of Jesus; His coming to perform the work God set for Him, working miracles of healing; but primarily to pay the price for the redemption of all sinners, by giving His life up dying a cruel death on the Cross. His resurrection and ascension; His giving of the Holy Spirit and continued intercession for us in heaven. Such is our message.

 This had been given to the Church by the Apostles, who had been taught and instructed by Jesus to pass on, it was once given to remain so for all time.    

This tells us our faith is not that which someone has made up, but rather comes from God.  Furthermore, it was given with the understanding that nothing needs to be added, amended or subtracted from.  Anyone who does so is a false teacher.   Jude indicates that God will not ignore false teaching, and later in the Letter points out the judgement God passes on such people. 

For many hundreds of years this country has been Christian. During this time Christians

have played a major role in the abolition of slavery, the development of hospitals and education, and Methodist Christians were prominent in the formation of trades unions and workers rights, and generally the Church has been a force for good.   

In two world wars men/women fought and gave their lives, to preserve the country’s Christian heritage and freedom to worship and speak. 

This is why all Christians should contend for our faith with the same intensity that other faiths do. To be loyal to God and Jesus, and not to betray all the men and women who died or were seriously wounded, fighting to preserve our Christian heritage.

I once received a letter from a war veteran who said she was attacked for being ‘old fashioned’ just because she held Christian beliefs. I don’t believe she is old fashioned.

As I look at society today, it does not appear as if the new and current fashion is anything to boast about. The main purpose is for people to have no responsibility, just be allowed to have what they want, when they want it. Pope Benedict made an understatement when he said we are becoming a secularised society. 

All Christians should be most concerned at the way things are going.  The position is serious, and if Christianity is pushed out, the spiritual vacuum will be filled by something which might be quite unpleasant. 

There are preachers one hears and you wonder why they bother.  What point is there in preaching if you don’t mention the Cross, the teaching of Jesus, the requirement to acknowledge the authority of revealed Scripture?

What's at stake here is the central Christian message, which the Church must preach. It is the duty and responsibility of the Church to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ as it is written.  God chose forty men and used their distinctive personalities to write what He inspired them to write and that is what Christians should live by. It is God’s Word and we have to defend and guard it.

There are others who teach that the gospel can be revised and re-interpreted to meet today’s culture, as if God was only for first century Christians.

The Christian message is that all people have rebelled against God and tried to reject Him.  It is felt we can do a better job ourselves and say to God, ' I want to run my life my own way.'  We deserve God's judgement for that, but God in His mercy doesn't want it to come to that. He wants us to be forgiven and change our ways and let him have His rightful place in our lives. That is why Jesus was sent to redeem us by dying on the cross in our place - taking the judgement we deserve so we could be forgiven. That is the Bible’s message.

False teachers want to completely change the Church’s teaching, so that all religions are equal, all sexual relationships are acceptable and equal

 The Bible is unequivocal that God loves all people, but is also clear that God saw marriage as the bedrock of society; 

that men and women are equal in His sight but have 

different roles in life, and Jesus is the only Saviour.

 This is what makes evangelism so hard. People seeking spiritually look at such wrangling, and understandably say, ‘if the Church itself cannot agree on such matters, how can it teach us?’  

So we have a Church struggling with false teaching within, against a world which refused to accept Jesus Christ and His teaching.

It is hard to quote the Bible without someone saying ‘Oh you shouldn’t say that.’  The Bible states, ‘salvation is found in no other name under heaven except Jesus Christ’. 

The Bible states’ Jesus said no one can come to the Father except through me’, yet many preachers are dodging quoting this.  If we avoid telling these verses how are people ever to come to know the gospel.

Have you ever heard a Muslim cleric deny or challenge any words in the Koran?  They show the kind of total commitment our clerics should be showing to our Holy Book.

One of the biggest problems the Church faces is apathy, which is why Christianity has fallen to such low level, and why morality is so poor.  It is so easy in the times we live in to opt out, saying, ‘there is no point in fighting them.’  Can you imagine what would have happened if Winston Churchill had have said in 1940, ‘there is no use in us fighting, the enemy is too powerful.’  (Wir wurden alle Deutsch sprechen)

Let us remember there are Christians being persecuted in non-Christian lands with violence, arson, and yes even murder.  Hundreds have been killed in the last few months in Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia and Nigeria.  Whole villages ransacked, yet they valiantly fight on for their Lord and Saviour.  How pathetic if we let some vociferous secularists silence us.  

We need to be contending for the faith, especially to any non- believers in our families, and challenging those who mock.  Can you imagine the outcome if Islam was abused in the same way as Christianity.

The country is in spiritual death throes and in need of intensive care.  This is why we must contend for the faith.  How God must weep when He sees the Church singing His praise, pretending to be holy, whilst countenancing and failing to speak out on moral issues and totally ignoring His written Word.

Idealistic people say we just have to do our own thing; God will provide and look after His Church.  God will indeed provide and care for His Church, but He requires His people to do their part.

My friends, it is the duty of the Church to teach the gospel and not to budge from it.  We are not to be superficial believers. Hold fast to the gospel once given by the Apostles who were taught by the Master Himself.  Today people are being drawn away from the doctrines of the Bible as judgement is becoming a censored word.

When we study and keep the Word we are keeping apostolic teaching delivered to the first Christian Church.  We cannot stand fast unless we hold fast the traditions.  When any Church forsakes apostolic teaching it will fall into error and weakness will ensue.

Living by God’s standards makes a nation great, but disgrace comes to those who ignore God’s truth.” We as a nation have forgotten God and turned away from his Word.

Billy Graham used to say,  “If God doesn’t judge America and Britain, he’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.’


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