WHEN IS IT TIME TO FIGHT? In the little epistle (letter) of Jude in the bible, this earthly brother of Jesus and James, said this, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s Holy people.” (Jude 1:3 NIV) When a person is surrendered to the work of the Holy Spirit, as Jude was, sometimes the Holy Spirit compels you to do something contrary to what you really desire to do. Such was the case here. Jude would rather talk about the glorious salvation found in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on man’s behalf but there was a problem that had arisen in the church body of believers. The time was about 67AD and this problem was evidently spreading rapidly. And it is still with us today. Jude describes the problem in this manner:
“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 1:4 NIV) When we survey the religious landscape today in the American church, though the problem is not unique to us, we see how far the church has traveled in a downward spiritual spiral from the church’s origination in the first century. If Jude were alive today he would be even more of an advocate for contending for the faith as he would see how liberal the church of today as become and the progression of so called “Christian” churches and individuals into the LGBTQIA movement. What do those initials stand for? It stands for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual movement. Jude would be absolutely astonished today if he was alive. There definitely is a time for Christians to fight! And now in America real Christians need to get in the ring of contention and fight and churches and Pastors need to speak up for morality in the public arena and speak loudly and clearly in the public spheres in which they live. And they need to keep the government from pushing the “rights” of the LGBTQIA community into the pews and body life of the church. Right now there is a big uproar over sexual abuses of men on and toward women, and rightly so if conducted in a correct manner and not assuming guilt of those accused until all the facts are in. But where is the outcry by the Christian and social community in the other major moral failure areas in our society?
Jude reminds the believers of his day that they need to be aware of what is happening, “But dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” (Jude 1:17-18 NIV) Unless you are totally unaware of the world around you, you know these things already. Jude spends the majority of this little letter consisting of 25 verses warning Christians of the dangers around them and the ultimate judgment of God on those who are rebelling against God and attempting to corrupt the church. And by way of examples he gives a long list of how God has dealt in judgment on spiritually rebellious people in the past. And the images he shares are very striking. You need to take time to read these 25 verses from your bible.
So what is Jude’s advice for the Christian living in a spiritually dangerous environment both within and outside the church? “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 1:20-23 NIV) Now it is time for all Christians to “put on their big boy (or girl) pants” and get in the spiritual ring and “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” And don’t forget to share the good news of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as you contend for the faith.