This reading is Jude (again).

Again, the general theme of Jude is to avoid false teaching. He highlights past examples of false teaching and examples from his time then gives guidance on how to avoid it and achieve victory over it.

God is serious about sound teaching: Jude 4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Verse 7 references Sodom and Gomorrah and notes how they were destroyed because of their sexual immorality and perversion. This and other Bible passages show how rampant, unrestrained homosexuality was the real sin of these towns, despite some revisionist claims that their real sin was inhospitality. It is true that inhospitality was a serious social error in those times, but God isn’t in the habit of annihilating multiple cities because humans violate their own customs. If you read the original account in Genesis 19 it is clear that to call the citizens’ behavior “inhospitality” would be a gross understatement.

Verse 11 contains three references to Old Testament passages: Cain, who killed his brother out of jealousy, Balaam, who pretended to serve God out of greed and encouraged others to sin, and Korah, who rebelled directly against Moses and indirectly against God. Verses 14-16 point out how serious rebellion is and how it will eventually be judged.

The last section emphasizes perseverance, or staying the course. Living the Christian life can be very hard at times, but we can trust that everything works out for the best in the end. As long as we are focused on Christ and living for him we won’t have any regrets.

Verses 18-19 still apply today: “They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” I blog on the divisions and bad theology in the church fairly often at 4Simpsons Blog. We need to ask God for wisdom, which He gives generously (as we learned in James!).

Verse 21 emphasizes that Jesus brings us eternal life. Thanks be to God for that!

Jude 22-23 show how and why we should act by sharing the truth in love: “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”

The next reading is an overview of Philippians. This is an exciting letter from Paul, written while he was in prison, and it is full of joy.


Jude overview

This reading is Jude.

Jude is only one page, but it covers a lot of topics. Sometimes a little background information or further study will be in order to be able to understand the references. We’ll cover it in two segments. It is another book worth reading twice. It comes just before Revelation at the back of the Bible.

It was written by Jude (surprise!), who is generally thought to be a half-brother of Jesus. He is modest in his introduction. He could have done the ultimate in name-dropping (“It’s me, Jesus’ brother!”)

The general theme of Jude is to avoid false teaching. He highlights past examples of false teaching and examples from his time then gives guidance on how to avoid it and achieve victory over it.

It is interesting that the church was only a few decades old and false teachers had already slipped in. Most of the New Testament letters correct false doctrine, and Jesus himself spent a lot of time pointing out the false teachings of the Pharisees. More verses on the importance of sound doctrine and rooting out false teachers can be found here.

Jude highlights the doom of people without Christ, and encourages believers to persevere in their faith.

We’ll go over some specific verses next time. In the mean time, be encouraged by verses 24-25:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

The next reading is Jude (again).