Jude closes his epistle with an encouragement to not be simply spectators to the destruction of the disbelieving, disillusioned, and disobedient. All deserve the judgment and wrath of God. Many will receive it. But a loving Christian will not stand idly by and rejoice at the destruction of other souls, no matter how deceitful and how wicked.
This is the point of the gospel. Jesus, the sinless, saw the sinful in need and acted. In Ezekiel 18, God tells us that it is not a joy to Him to watch the wicked be destroyed. Romans 5 takes it a step further and says that we were enemies of God in our wickedness, but He was willing to reconcile us. He says, furthermore, that while we were sinners Jesus died for us.
He cared so much about our desperately lost situation that He was willing to die to accomplish our reconciliation. It didn’t matter that we were His enemy. Our sinfulness separated us from Him, but not so far that He would not lovingly engage us. Rather, God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us that we might have a chance.
We were hopeless, but Jesus brought us hope at the expense of His own comfort and safety. When we see those around us, and even those in the church whose willful disobedience to God disgusts us, we must remind ourselves of the fact that at one point when we were without the grace of God, we had our rough edges too. We must then with the mind and heart transformed by gospel truth, lovingly engage those around us.
Jude says “have compassion,” “live in the love and mercy of God,” “help them.”
Now, how will you lovingly engage those who at times frustrate you? How will you seek to reconcile those who are absolutely wrong in their assumptions and actions? What will you do to further extend the grace of the gospel of Jesus to them so that they can be saved from the death that you have been saved from?
Those who have found hope must become agents of that hope. Those who have been forgiven must proclaim that forgiveness. The delivered must help deliver. The saved must help save.
Food for Thought: Who do you know that could use a little more compassion from you than judgment? What will you do about it?