So far in our study of the book of Jude, we have been walking through the darkness. We have witnessed the beliefs and behaviour of the apostates. In verse twenty of this book we turn the spiritual corner and the Lord says, “But ye.” He speaks to those of us who are His children. The Bible says in Jude 20-21, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Notice the first two words in the 20th verse, “But ye.” One cannot read this passage without realizing that God wants our attention. Does He have your attention?
Perhaps you have heard the old farm story about the farmer who sold a mule to a neighbouring farmer. He promised the farmer to whom he sold the mule that it was a good, hardworking mule. He said, “Once you tell the mule what to do, he will be glad to do it.” The fellow who bought the mule had him out the next day trying to plow, but he could not get the mule to do a thing.
So the farmer went to the fellow who sold him the mule and said, “I need some help.” The fellow who sold the mule walked over, picked up a fallen tree limb, and hit the mule in the head knocking him to the ground. He then whispered to the mule. “Now plow.” The mule got up and started right off to pull the plow. The man said, “I forgot to tell you that you have to get the mule’s attention first.”
The Lord wants our attention. Turning from these apostates, He speaks to the genuine, Bible-believing Christians, saying, “But ye.” We are called upon to live right in a wrong world.
There is a difference between the way a Christian lives and the way an unbeliever lives. Unbelievers think differently than believers think. They behave differently. The world should be able to look at someone who is a Christian and know from the way that person lives and speaks that he is a Christian.
If Christians would just be Christian, we would have the greatest revival in our history. We have gotten to the place where we talk about good Christians and bad Christians, cold Christians and hot Christians. We should just be able to say, “That person is a Christian”—with no adjectives. That should be enough.
I don’t know where we got the idea that we are doing God a favour if we are faithful to church, when we are suppose to be there. People think that if they tithe their income they are doing God a favour. The Bible commands that Christians should tithe. The tenth belongs to God.
We are stealing from the Lord if we do not practice tithing as a conviction. We are not doing God a favour. It is part of the Christian life. We are not doing God a favour by reading God’s Word and praying. We are commanded to do these things.
The Christian life is life that honours Christ. The only hope is this world is found in Jesus Christ. The only way this world is ever going to see Christ is to see Him in the lives of Christians.
Through these words, Jude penned under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. God has called our attention again and again to these apostates who say one thing but live another. They speak great, swelling words, but their hearts are just as black as the charred walls of hell.
We notice first of all the call to live right. Again, in the closing words of this letter, the Lord turns to His own, saying, “But ye.” In a wrong world, we must live right.
God gave a warning to the children of Israel in the 5th chapter of Isaiah. It is tremendously appropriate for our day. The Bible says in verses 20-21, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
God says, “My people are doing evil and calling it good. My people are living in darkness and calling it light. These people speak of bitter things as being sweet.”
We have moved from the violation of God’s standards to the repudiation of God’s standards to the popularization and glorification of evil. To violate the standard of God is to declare, “I know it is wrong, but I’m going to do it anyway.” To repudiate it is to say, “That is not for me. I refuse to acknowledge that the standard even exists.”
When our Lord Jesus brought His disciples before Him to instruct them how to live. He said in Matthew 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
The chemical makeup of salt is not destroyed, but salt becomes ineffective when it is contaminated with other things. When looking at the contaminated salt, one finds the chemical elements that make it salt, but it has no power remaining because it has become infiltrated with other things.
The Lord Jesus said, “You are salt, but you lose your savour, if you get so contaminated with the world, you have no power.” So many who proves to be Christians live just like the rest of the world, look like the world, go where the world goes, and speak like the world speaks. Something is dreadfully wrong with their walk with God.
“Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” — Colossians 2:7