Thursday, January 18, 2018
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Jude: Conditions Revealed for Last-day Christians

 The book of Jude is small—one chapter 25 verses long—tucked in just before the Revelation. Just as Genesis is the first book of the Bible and Revelation the last, the position of Jude is equally significant. It holds a spot that parallels Esther in the Old Testament. The Book of Esther is the last of the historical books for the Hebrews in the Old Testament. It was meant to be prophetic foreshadowing of the future history of the Jewish people, largely taking place over the “times of the Gentiles.” Immediately following is the Wisdom Literature, and then the prophets.

The book of Jude holds a similar anchor in the New Testament, providing the last instructions for the Church Age. Prophetic in character, it foreshadows the fate of the Church and Christians for the period between the epistles and the 3rd chapter of Revelation.

Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote this epistle with one main objective in view: “[…] That ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).

Why? Because: “[…] There are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 4, KJV).

Jude is writing expressly to prepare the Church against teachers of falsehoods, corruptions and the fleshly philosophies of mankind. “Contending for the faith” is the very line of defense that falls when the gospel is distorted and corrupt doctrine is adopted.

We can see here that the Church was attacked very early by false teachers who had “slipped” into its ranks even while the apostles were still alive. These false teachers are sneaky and devious … not going in unto the sheep by the front gate. Jesus warned: “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1). Because of their slipperiness and subtle ways of encroaching upon the Church, Jude then lays out a list of diagnostic characteristics by which to recognize them, lest the Christian be caught unawares.

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