Verse 17 begins with “But you must remember…” It is here that Jude brings the topic of this letter back to the minds of the readers. He has spent the past eleven verses reminding the readers about the consequences of sin, but now he writes “Remember the predictions of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The word “remember” means to be reminded, bring recollection or be mindful of. This is an active thing. The believers are told to make a conscious mental effort to bring back to memory the promises of God as they contain the predictions of the Apostles.
What predictions are Jude speaking of?
- In the last days there will be men and women who try and infiltrate the church with heresy. (Acts 20:29-30, I Timothy 4:1 - 4)
- The Apostles warned that there would be wolves in sheep’s clothing who will try to dilute or change the message of the cross.
I am not a prophecy buff, so I cannot say with any authority that the state of this world right now is sure proof that the return of Christ is at hand. I believe the Bible teaches that the return of Jesus is imminent (it could happen at any time and any moment) so we do not know the year, the day or the hour of his return. Even through we do not know when Jesus will return to establish his Kingdom but we do we are living in the last days. With Jesus’ ascension to heaven was in fact the start to the beginning of the end of days.
The return of Christ is something believers have longed for and anticipated since the death of Jesus Christ. Since we are in living in the last days we must be on guard, ready and openly share the promise of Jesus in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible explicitly declares the Promise of God through Jesus Christ. The Gospel message or the good news of Jesus Christ is that he willingly gave His life for humanity on the cross of Calvary. Contrary to what many of us have learned Jesus was not murdered by the Jews or the Romans. He willingly laid down his life for humanity. Sure, the Jews and Romans were the ones who beat him, degraded him, mocked him and put the nails in His hands and feet, but the Bible tells us that He GAVE UP his Spirit. He was the one who told death that he was ready… not vice versa. He willingly gave up His life so that “whoever” (by the calling and quickening of the Holy Spirit) believes (puts their faith and trust) in him shall have eternal life. Eternal life is the gift and the promise of God for all who believe. However, the promise does not end here. The promise of the Gospel goes beyond getting saved from hellfire and damnation and inheriting eternal life. Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. This means that our salvation is not only a future event but it includes life here on earth. Abundance means excellent or superior. In Jesus Christ we have excellence, we have an extraordinary life, we have much more than what the rest of the world has. We have a superior life here on earth with the promise of an even better eternity in Christ. We have abundance because Jesus willingly gave his life for humanity and was raised from the dead for our justification (Romans 4:23 – 25). This superior life comes at a cost, one we are never able to repay… fortunately we do not need to repay it we need to receive it.
The second thought for today is to remain or persevere in faith. According to the Believers Commentary our goal “is to stay close to the Lord and live in unbroken fellowship with Him.” This means that no matter what life throws at you, you need to stay near Jesus and continue in fellowship with him. We do this by building one another up in faith. When we gather together as a body on Sunday mornings, home fellowships or in fellowship with one another, we are to build one another up in faith. How do we do this?
- By reading God’s Word personally or in a group, we build one another up in faith.
- By praying personally or corporately we build one another up in faith.
- By taking communion together or fellowship over dinner and talk about spiritual things we build one another up in faith.
- By “Keeping yourself in the love of God.” When the love of God is at the forefront of your life the sin of the flesh cannot win out. Only when we allow the flesh to rule in our lives is when we push the love of God out and according to the flesh.
- By patiently waiting for the return of the Lord.
While we wait however we have a job to do…
- Have mercy on those who doubt. Instead of condemning unbeliever’s show compassion, walk alongside them and help them to better understand the abundant life in Christ.
- Save others by snatching them out of the fire. Proclaim the Gospel message… you must repent, confess, believe in faith. When we do this we are essentially snatching unbelievers out of the fires of hell.
- Show mercy with fear. Those who are caught up in immorality (teachings of the apostates) are to be shown mercy by helping to restore them to true faith. Hating the garment stained by flesh… Essentially hating the sin and all it brings, but loving the sinner as a creation of God.
Jude concludes his letter with exuberant praise for the Lord, who alone could keep the readers from being deceived Victory over apostasy is found in Jesus Christ who is able to keep us from stumbling, and it is in him that we are presented blameless to the Father. “This well-known benediction contains a wealth of spiritual truth for the believer to receive. If we want to keep our feet on the ground spiritually, walk straight, and not stumble, then we must yield ourselves fully to the Saviour. He alone is able to guard us, but we must “keep ourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). For there is only one God and He has acted redemptively for us by sending his Son Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Savior. Jesus is our mediator he is our bridge that has made a way for humanity to have access to the Father. Since God has provided a way then ALL glory, majesty, dominion and authority belongs to Him from eternity past, to present, to eternity future. May we pause (in prayer) as we magnify and glorify our God and King? May we proclaim His kindness to all humanity and live an abundant life in Him and in expectation of what is to come.
MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Jud 20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson study Bible : New King James Version. Includes index. (Jud 24). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. (Jud 24). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.