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Myopia

“But you must remember, beloved, the words of foretelling by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they spoke to to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who follow after their own desire for ungodliness.” Jude 17, 18

As I have mentioned lately, there is a risk, I say, of reading Jude myopically. The verse above tells us that there will be scoffers within the community of believers to whom Jude is writing.  Scoffers can be those who mock and disregard others to the point of taking a persons life.  Yet this does not seem to be the threat in Jude.  Scoffers can also be those who are simply at play like children.  Children have a difficult time learning reverence.  It is difficult to teach a child the concept of “worth” or “esteem.”  In fact , I believe what makes this so difficult is that we as children have, what seems to be, a preconditioned inclination towards irreverence.  And the people Jude has been talking about are simply this, irreverent (see v.12).

They have no regard for what is sacred to the community.

They have no regard for the benefit of others.

They have no regard for God’s law.

They have no regard for The Lord’s authority.

They have no reverence.

Like children they put on a show that will ultimately benefit themselves (see vv. 11, 12, 16).

Children! Irreverent godless babies! Immature infants!  Fools! (v.10)

They have no regard for….godliness!  They have no fear of holiness!

And here is the risk of the potential myopia mentioned above:

These people have crept in (v.4)…

Unnoticed…

The sound like you and me…

They eat like you and me…

They worship like you and me…

The warning from Jude is that they are difficult to distinguish at a moment’s glance…

These people who appear to be Christian and are in fact recipients of the wrath of God in Christ.

15 to execute judgment on all

and to convict all the ungodly

of all their deeds of ungodliness

that they have committed in such an ungodly way,

and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners

have spoken against him.”

Jude 15 (ESV)

We become nearsighted when we look to the godless world in order to confirm our salvation.

We can begin to reorder Christianity this way.  And please remember that Jude is about contending for the faith once delivered to all the saints.

That faith once delivered to to stay in order.  Unedited.  Unchanged.

There is only one way to hope.  One way to life.  One pattern.  One system. One path.  One faith.  One Lord.

Christianity was not born out of a contrast.  To be different for difference’s sake is not a reason to live.  It’s not a sufficient reason to go to death satisfied either.

Christianity was born when the force of God appeared.  Israel was born when God appeared.  Not because Israel decided to buck the system in order to be different.

And this is what we can miss in Jude.

You were not saved just to be different.

You were not saved so that you can feel better about what you do and do not do.

You were not saved so that you could find the scoffers, condemn them, and simply feel glad that you are not them.

You were saved to:

Behold, the Lord God…

Isaiah 40:10 (ESV)

See!  God!

See! His Holiness!

See!  His Power!

See! His Effect!

See! His Holiness!

See! His Salvation!

Regard!

Regard!

Fall!

Weep!

Sing!

Die!  Die! Die!  Die! Die!  Die! Die!  Die!

before Holiness…

Revere Him.

This brings the power for contending.

This is godliness.

Stop looking down!  Christian!  Stop looking to the world!

Set your minds on things that are above,

not on things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:2 (ESV)

God says, “Be Holy.”

For he is Holy.

Lets contend for holiness, not difference.