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.
Our faith is more than mere mental assent. There is grave danger in defining faith as an intellectual pursuit. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:14-26)
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!
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A much needed reminder in this time in which we live Melissa! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Stu. We are living in some heartbreaking times. It is so hard to watch other believers and Christian leaders fall away from Christ and into sin. In some cases full-blown rebellion against Christ. May we cling to Jesus, remain in prayer and spur one another on in our most precious faith. Thank you, for your powerful testimony and teaching. Your life and faith are an inspiration.
It is sad when I hear of pastors falling into sexual sin. Sadly I feel many more are hiding their sinfulness out of fear😥 I would much rather they come out and seek repentance and forgiveness than continue living a lie.
Iron sharpens Iron!
I agree with gently talking to people about Jesus to bring him. I am seeing so many who feel that in your face and challenging others is good. It drives people away and is too confrontational. Doesn’t the Bible tell us to pray for revelation? Then I see arguments and as I see it we should be living by example. We need more love and most of all prayer.
Stacey, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. It is true, we need to pray and show love to others, that our faith is made known by our actions. Most of all, pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of Jesus Christ to the lost. And also that we are listening for His promptings to share the good news of Christ to any who are willing to hear. That is exactly the reason I worded it that way. Soaking in God’s Word, prayer, love and seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing without Him! God bless you!
May he keep us faithful until the end. This is a short but powerful letter and is deserving of a close look as you did here.
Tom, thank you for reading and sharing your insights. This is a powerful word from God and something we need to take to heart deeply, for the hour is late.
This is such a powerful Word from the Lord, from the hand of Jesus’ own brother, a church planter himself. There is so much information here, and it definitely reminds us of the importance of serving the Lord, being true to him, and not being led astray or of falling away in these end times. The Lord wants us to be ready and prepared for the day of his appearing, and this letter summarizes the challenges we all face in these last days!
Amen! Thank you for adding your thoughtful comments, Melinda. When I read the book of Jude, as short as it is, it leaves me breathless. May we remain true to Christ, come what may. He has already told us that many will fall away. May we be found waiting, watching, praying, loving, seeking Him when He returns. May we continue to abide in Christ and His Word that we may be found faithful!
Amen, sister! Amen!
Scripture is filled with lessons. We can glean something new each time we read His Word. Great message.
So many lessons! It’s true, Melissa. God’s Word is an unending storehouse of God’s eternal truth. May we continue to mine it, day by day, for the treasures of Jesus Christ!
I love #4 on your list…so powerful for people of faith! We must build ourselves up in love and faith for Jesus. As we fill our hearts daily with God’s Word, and we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us, we are inwardly changed. This change is ongoing throughout our lives. Instead of being afraid of ‘growing old’, our hearts become more beautiful with time. But, with every sunrise, we begin again. Love must be the cornerstone of our lives, even when it is not easy. However, the deeper we love, the easier it becomes, and we begin to see as God wants us to see…Thank you for your post! 🙂
Keeping ourselves immersed in God’s Word, inviting the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit to mold and shape us more into the image of Christ – this is a beautiful, daunting and fulfilling life of faith! And yes, Linda, how we need to do this very thing. May we continue to press into the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word for renewed strength and love. Blessings to you!
Great post and encouragement to keep my eyes on Jesus. All 5 of your reminders are important and needed as we grow weary in the problems of the world. You helped me to stay focused. Thanks Melissa
Thank you for the kind and encouraging words, Yvonne. It is a soul-wearying time we live in. It seems each day another Christian pastor or leader is walking away from Christ and His Word in one form or another. May we keep our eyes on the prize, Jesus Christ! Blessings to you!
Our world on many accounts looks exactly how Jude describes. The lessons his letter teaches are so needed for today. Thank you for such a great article, Melissa! 🙂 Love your writing!
Thank you, Marcie, for the words of encouragement. I needed that today! All glory to God, for all that He teaches us and helps us to put into words. I agree, the warnings we hear from Jude for the last days, do indeed sound like our days. Lord Jesus, help us follow you and cling to Your Word until you come again. God bless you, Marcie!
Hallelujah and Amen!!
Oh, Melissa, this is such a powerful teaching and lessons the church needs now more than ever! I’ve always loved the verse to contend for the faith! Just like your wonderful analogy of a hike, I want my first step and my last step to be contending for the faith and to be found faithful to Christ. Hallelujah and Amen to this, “a transformed-heart is demonstrated by a transformed-life. Not perfect, but humbled, surrendered and growing toward the image of Christ.”
Amen, Karen! How we need these lessons from the book of Jude. The culture is moving swiftly away from God’s truth and if we don’t contend for the faith, we could be swept along. May our final step be as determined as our first step, when we meet Jesus!
Thank you Melissa for this lesson, may I have your permission to use it in a Bible study…it highlights the points, I need to close on a previous Bible study on the importance of knowing our faith(teachings and doctrines)….Which in these times we are living in, so much emphasis is put on experience, dreams, visions (which God can speak to us)..that many don’t see the importance of sound, solid doctrine….in God’s Word…much appreciated and blessings
Hello Sal, you are welcome. All glory to God! Please feel free to use any portion of this article that aids your Bible study teaching and discussion. May we finish strong, clinging to Christ and the truth of His Word! God bless you!