The book of Jude tells us to fight !!! Contend ! Do battle ! When a apostasy arises, when false teachers emerge, when the truth of God is attacked, it is time to fight for the faith.
A redwood tree fell in California forest.Four hundred years old.
It wasn't destroyed by lightning. Storms had come and gone, but the tree stood. It wasn't felled by winds. Bent by their force, but never uprooted. The tree didn't fall to fire. It had stood when others collapsed.
What destroyed the redwood?
Insects. Termites devoured it from within. It had stood for four centuries against the elements from without, but collapsed because of an attack within.
Jude warns that the same can happen to the church.
Jude is urgent in his warning. What destroyed the redwood can destroy a church. But he is equally urgent in his encouragement. God is strong, Jude concludes, and can help you not to fall.
Can God really keep you from falling? To answer that, go to another tree on a barren hill. A tree older than time. A tree which covers the mistakes of your past and the problems of your future. Be assured-that tree will never fall.
At the beginning of Jude's letter he focuses on the believer's common salvation, but then feels compelled to challenge them to contend for the faith. The danger is real. False teachers have crept into the church, turning God's grace into unbounded license to do as they please. Jude reminds such men of God's past dealings with unbelieving Israel, disobedient angels, and wicked Sodom and Gomorrah. Christians should not be caught off guard. The challenge is great, but so is the God who is able to keep them from stumbling
Contend For The Faith
This Epistle is intensely concerned with the threat of heretical teachers in the church and the believer's proper response to that threat. There are two major purposes.
First:to condemn the practices of the ungodly libertines who were (and are) infesting the churches and corrupting believers.
Second:To counsel the readers to stand firm, grow in their faith, and contend for the truth.
As Jude wanted to write about salvation the importance of the grim news about encroachment of false teachers in the churches impelled Jude to put aside his commentary on salvation and to write this timely word of rebuke and warning.
But you, beloved, remember Jude reminds of the apostolic warning that such men would come and encourages the people to protect themselves against the onslaught of apostasy. The readers must become mature in their own faith so that they will be able to rescue those who are enticed or already ensnared by error.
Defense Against False Teachers
Jude 17-21 Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said before. They said to you, in the last times there will be people who laugh about God, following their own evil desires which are against God. These are the people who divide you, people whose thoughts are only of this world, who do not have the Spirit.
But dear friends, use your most holy faith to build your selves up, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the Lord Jesus Christ with his mercy to give you life forever.
(22-23) Show mercy to some people who have doubts. Take others out of the fire, and save them. Show mercy mixed with fear to others, hating even their clothes which are dirty from sin.
The proof of religious conversion is to demonstrate that we have both added a relationship with Christ and that we have subtracted sin (repentance). And we multiply proof to a weary world by what we do-our deeds, our obedience. What we do must confirm what we say.
A changed life is one that has added Christ and subtracted sin, that attracts a world weary of worn-out words. Obedience is the proof.
Talking about surviving.
India witnessed a super cyclone a few years back which mainly hit Orissa.A super cyclone is referred as wind speed over 200 km/hour,generally a cyclone-Tropical Revolving Storms a bad storm is 150 km/hr.
This storm uprooted trees ,raised bulding, destroyed homes but surprisingly not a single temple which was build hundreds of years ago got damaged to the extent that the flags on top of the temples were still intact.They are mainly Shiva temples in Orissa.God works in a dimension which totally defies logic
Interesting post-- but I got a little distracted by the termites. I have never heard of termites "devouring" a redwood tree, due the chemical composition which repels termites and ants.
Redwoods are more likely to come down from wind or fire-- though they resist these elements pretty well, too.
You might want to choose another tree (not cedar either) to illustrate your point.
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