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Waiting for Christ’s return expectantly

Have mercy on those who waver; save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Jude 1:22-23 CSB

Paul told Titus to remind Christians in Crete as they wait for the fulfillment of Christ’s promise of eternal life to not take sin lightly and not to take for granted the salvation they received from God. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works” (Titus 2:11-14). This is also what Jude reminded the believers: to stand up for their faith. Jude, from the text, calls believers to watch and care for other. They have to have mercy on fellow believers who may have moments of doubts, especially when false teachers try to entice them with false doctrines. We need to be merciful to them and help them grow in their walk with God, in prayer, love, and hope. We ourselves are recipients of God’s mercy. Second, we need to share the gospel and do everything we can to “save others by snatching them from the fire (v.23). Penn Jillette, magician and atheist, after a show, was approached by a fan who shared the gospel to him and gave him a Bible. What stood out to Penn was the intensity and genuine compassion this stranger had for his soul. Penn, reflecting on this moment said, “I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.” Jude calls us with vigor to “snatch” them from the fire, for eternity is at stake. We need to show compassion and mercy upon them, but we are also warned to be cautious, “with fear,” and not join in with the sinful actions they may be doing. In fact, Jude gave this admonition: “hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jude gives a plethora of application steps near the end of his letter, giving us a good sense of the enemy so that we know what resources God provided for us so we can contend for the faith. Jude wants the readers to feel intense distaste, even to the point of hatred towards sin. Jude is telling the readers to avoid all contact with sin so that it does not pollute them. We are called upon to hate sin as we would detest filthy undergarments stained by the flesh. Let us take heed of Jesus’ warning as we eagerly await for His return. “Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36).


Isaac De Guzman

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