The previous commentary on Jude was all about false teachers already in operation in the first church. But false teachers were not only around in the first century. The apostle Paul vehemently charges young Timothy to a proclaim and respect the Word of God in 2 Timothy 1.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patients and teaching.
Why does Paul say this, what is he so concerned about?
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Paul continues on to warn that people will not put up with sound doctrine. He seems to think that eventually people will no longer be interested in what the Bible teaches. People will want teachers that simply tell them what they are eager to hear. Hmm….
Peter also writes to the church about this. In 2 Peter 1-3
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
John also writes about this in first John 2 and 4. He says already many false teachers have gone out into the world and that this is why we need to test the spirits to see whether or not they are from God. We are charged to watch. Because many Antichrists have come and will continue to do so.
This is why I do this. There is something to be said for holding the line. I believe that. I don’t make the mistake of thinking I am the only one, but I want to be one of the ones who do. I think we are already seeing this all around us. People who want to deny Hell, people who want to deny that sin is sin. People who want to call darkness light and good evil. It is very easy to follow a culture when a culture is collectively moving in one direction. Our country did it when it was walking after God in its infancy and they are still doing it as it walks away from him in its so called maturity. This is why mass appeal for the Christian church should always raise an eyebrow. If we are attracting the world to our services we should be prudent enough to ask ourselves why?
Have we created doctrine to scratch their itching ears or are they falling on their knees and repenting before a Holy God? One message fills churches and makes people happy, the other is the heart of Jesus getting people to a place where he pronounces that their sins have been forgiven.
I have even seen this a bit in this blog. My most read blog are the ones that encourage and remind that God will come through in hard times. My least read ones are the ones that remind that God has some hard things to say to his people as well. But God brings both messages as his followers we must as well.
I thank God that we live in a country where we can stand up for the truth. But the other side of the coin is that the acceptable truth is being more and more regulated. I see a future where in order for America to preserve its current and evolving way of life it will become necessary to curb the freedoms that granted it. It will be more important than preserving the truth that allowed for that way of life to come about. It may still be years off but we are already seeing some trying to compare all religion to the radicals that want to tear down our world. If they can make that link in enough people’s minds than our Christianity will be truly relegated to a personal religion not free on the streets.
The answer so far has been to get in line, acquiesce, and thus we get the people that Paul and Peter and Jude were talking about. The other option is to take their encouragement to heart and to continue on. But this may and probably will result with us getting to experience the persecution that Jesus talked about. The kind that only those other countries get to live with.
I want to hold the line and be faithful to the end. This may sound like I am being presumptuous, but I don’t think that the apostles were just given to drama.
Are we a dying breed? I hope not, let’s continue on.