By Melissa McLaughlin
The End is in Sight
I love a good hike. There’s nothing quite like breathing in the fresh air, feeling the sun on your face, hearing the steady rhythm of your feet, God’s green earth beneath you.
The joy of the first step is almost as exuberant as the joy in the final step. As the hike nears its end, there is a different kind of joy in the heart. Our legs now weary, our lungs now heaving, the end point takes on new glory. We are almost home and though we plod along more slowly, our eyes are lit with the sight of the finish line up ahead.
The End of Our Journey of Faith
Our journey of faith in Christ can take a similar feel. We have such joy when we first begin, overwhelmed at the love and grace of Christ. We travel up and down hills and valleys, with delights and downfalls along the way.
Each day of life, we are one day closer to our final day on this earth. Whether we breathe our last breath or whether Christ returns, the end is drawing near.
Messages for the End – Finish Strong
There are important messages to hear as we approach the end.
God has provided one such message in the book of Jude. The second to last book of the Bible, the book just before Revelation. Just before the end. Its placement in the Bible and its unique warnings and encouragement for end times believers are fitting.
- As we gaze out upon a culture that has turned farther and farther from the truth of God’s Word…
- As we witness more churches, pastors and believers lay down their Bibles and take up the world’s teachings…
- As we grieve the many Christian leaders who have turned from their high calling in Christ, to instead teach or seek sexual sins to please themselves…
We see how desperately we need the message God provided through Jude, so that we can finish strong.
Here are 5 lessons from the Book of Jude
1.Contend for the faith.
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:2-4 (ESV)
Contend for the faith: both in your heart and in your actions.
We must cling to the gospel. We are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. We are not saved by our own merits or good works. (Romans 10:9)
However, a transformed-heart is demonstrated by a transformed-life. Not perfect, but humbled, surrendered and growing toward the image of Christ. (Romans 12:1-2)
Our faith is authenticated when we desire to live in obedience to Christ’s commands, even in areas of sexual morality. (1 Peter 1:14-16) The bloody grace of Christ which covers my sin and yours, is not a license to sin even more. If that is our mindset, one can only wonder, have we really met Jesus? How we live matters. (John 14:15)
Following after Jesus is not a cake-walk. (Matthew 16:24-25) We must count the cost. But you can be sure, Jesus is worth it.
2.Remain faithful to Christ day by day.
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:5-7
Remain faithful to Christ day by day.
Past beliefs, past positions, past protection of God cannot be assumed if we oppose Him in the present. Furthermore, the lesson in this text is that unbelief in God is made evident by actions.
If we now reject Jesus in our hearts, demonstrated by our rebellious choices, how can He welcome us into His kingdom? We cannot be with Christ if we refuse Him. Jesus will not force Himself on anyone.
There is always forgiveness for those who have fallen, who then repent and return to Christ. Jesus is always waiting with open arms. Jesus is always calling us to come back home. However, we must be willing to reach for Him and receive the forgiveness and salvation of Christ.
May we cling to Christ and finish strong!
3.Be ready for scoffers.
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. Jude 1:17-19
Be ready for scoffers and false teachers, IN YOUR MIDST.
Jesus warned us repeatedly, in the last days, there will be those who mock Christians. False teachers who twist God’s Word will be rampant. The tactic that Satan used in the Garden of Eden, “Did God really say……?” is alive and well.
God’s Word will stand forever, long after every fleeting opinion of mankind has fallen. Let’s anchor ourselves to Christ and His Word, the Bible.
There are many today who are asking God to bow His knee to human opinions, instead of us bowing the knee to God’s eternal truth.
May we hunger and thirst for the Word of life, God’s Word, the Bible. His Word nourishes and feeds our soul with God’s unchanging truth. God spoke this whole universe and our very frames into existence. Is it any wonder we need His Word to survive?
4.Build yourself up in faith and love of Christ.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21
Build yourselves up in the faith and love of Christ.
As Satan stirs up more division, animosity and hatred between people, may we return to Christ again and again, prayerfully looking at our Savior on the cross. As we pray in the Holy Spirit, may our hearts be melted at the mercy and love poured out for us through His blood, that we may be loving and merciful to those we meet.
5.Snatch others from the fire.
And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Jude 1:22-23
Snatch others from the fire.
Whenever possible, speak the truth in love to all who are willing to hear and turn to Christ. Pray for them and never stop praying. May we remember above all, that earthly blessings are temporal. Eternal blessings are forever. May we keep an eternal mindset in these days we have left.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
May these 5 lessons from the book of Jude, help us keep our eyes on Jesus Christ. The One who saved us, is the One who will keep us and present us to our Father in heaven.
Oh, help us walk with you now and forever, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world! May we finish well!