JUDE — A CALL TO ARMS - 7
MERCY IN PERILOUS TIMES
The human instrument God used to pen this little book of one chapter was most likely a child born to Mary and Joseph after the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. He does not refer to his relationship to Christ in human terms, but begins by saying, “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ.” The word “servant” here means one born into slavery; he is declaring that by a spiritual birth he was a slave to Jesus Christ—a bondslave. The only desire of Jude’s life was to please and serve the Lord.
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father…”As indicated before, “sanctified” means “to be declared holy, regarded as holy, and becoming on a daily basis more like the Lord Jesus Christ.” “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”
The Word of God declares in verse two, “Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.”
Not only do we find this word “mercy” in verse two, but we all also notice the divine order. The Bible says, “Mercy…and peace, and love.” Before we can have peace and know love, we must have God’s mercy.
The Bible says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Bible speaks of “peace with God” and then speaks of the “peace of God” in Philippians chapter four. This peace with God is because of God’s mercy. We have peace, but it is impossible to have peace unless we first know of God’s mercy.
The Word of God teaches that we are to have love multiplied. The Bible declares in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
I have a love relationship with God and with others who know the Lord. The fellowship of believers is a fellowship of love. If I am going to know peace with God and have the peace of God and learn to love and let love be multiplied among the brethren, this must all begin with mercy. If I said to you that we have the grace of God extended to us, I would mean that God has extended something to us that we we do not deserve. In the simplest definition, “grace” means “God giving us what we do not deserve. “ We have not earned it, and we cannot earn it. We do not merit it, and we cannot merit it, but God gives it to us.
If we say that we have mercy, we are declaring that God has withheld from us what we do deserve by the way of punishment, condemnation, and wrath. Jude writes, “Mercy…unto you.
God gives us mercy for perilous times. We are living in perilous times. Often we are filled with feelings of nostalgia, having the idea that living in yesteryear would be much better than living in the present. People like to retreat to the past in their thinking. If we are not careful, we will live in some kind of fantasy world, envying bygone days, other eras, and past times. In God’s wisdom and providence, He has allowed us to live in these times.
The times in which we live are perilous times. These are not ordinary times. In these perilous times, there is a certain spirit of anarchy the land. It has always existed, but not with the same intensity as in these perilous times.
This church age had a beginning. The church started with Christ and His disciples and was empowered at Pentecost. It also has an ending. It consummates at the coming of Christ for His own.
There is an ending, a concluding, of this age. God’s Word says in 2 Timothy 3:1, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Following this statement, the Lord gives us a list. The things on that list have always existed. They did not start in these perilous last days, but God calls out attention to the intensity of these things in our day.
The Bible says in verses 2 through 4 in 2 Timothy 4, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
Notice what the Bible says in verse five, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” The most dangerous thing in these perilous times is not what we find in verses two through four, but what we find in verse five, “having a form of godliness.”
What makes these last days so perilous, so risky, and so dangerous is apostasy, meaning “religion without truth.” This is the distinguishing characteristic of these last days. The earth is filled with religion. We have religion everywhere, but it is religion without the true God, without Christ, and without the Bible.
The Bible says that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. God has deposited the truth in the church by His Word and His Spirit. We are to communicate the truth of God in every age and in every generation. The church is to lift up the truth in love.
The Bible is the Book of truth. No wonder there is such an attack on the Bible. Every word of the Bible is the Word of God. It is without error.
There is a great need of those who know God to take a compassionate stand for the truth. We are living in perilous times. What makes these times so perilous is this form of godliness, this religion without God’s Word, without truth, and without Christ. We have been called of God to live at this time. So in these perilous times, God says, “Mercy unto you.”
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” 2 Timothy 3:1-2