Friday, March 22, 2013

22 March 2013 ~ Roxie

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Deut. 1,2; Psalm 59; Luke 15
Today's scripture focus is Jude 1:5

Jude 1:5 (New Living Translation)

So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. 

Jude 1:5 (New International Version)

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

Jude 1:5 (The Message)

I’m laying this out as clearly as I can, even though you once knew all this well enough and shouldn’t need reminding. Here it is in brief: The Master saved a people out of the land of Egypt. Later he destroyed those who defected.

Jude 1:5 (Bible in Basic English)

Now it is my purpose to put you in mind, though you once had knowledge of all these things, of how the Lord, having taken a people safely out of Egypt, later sent destruction on those who had no faith;

I am so sorry that such a deep, controversial verse is not going to get as much examination as I would have liked to have given it. Here in the Manitoban Interlake (among other places), the weather has been bitterly cold these last few weeks, especially at night and our farm is in the midst of calving season. I have been working my half time paid job and the evening and/or night shift on the farm when I am not at the Health Centre. SO tiring and time consuming...I will not go into how my home looks right now!!

On to more important things: I know that it is only verse 5 (and I had so much trouble choosing a you are stuck with 4), but it is clear that Jude is on a mission. A mission to remind, to “put you in mind”, to “[lay] this out as clearly as I can”. He does  not  want Christians to forget that God is God. God is a saving God, a rescuing God and a delivering God. He carried His chosen people out of slavery, out of Egypt to safety, just like any concerned, doting papa would.

But God is God. Those who have no faith have no place in His presence. Those who do not believe...who do not remain faithful are destroyed. Destroyed. 

Just typing this has nearly brought me to tears. I think of many members of my family, blood and in-laws, who once followed Christ with exuberance and passion only to lose that joy and excitement when times got hard or the distractions of life made the effort too hard, too boring, too restrictive, too unpopular.

And this verse tells me that destruction comes to those who do not remain faithful; those who do not believe; those who defect. Destruction. Destruction will come to all the people who are being deceived by the very strong movement infiltrating our churches teaching that hell does not exist and that all will be in heaven together because God is too loving to send anyone anywhere horrible or awful. Destruction is in the future of those who follow and then fall away...or defect.

To defect, according to my helpful computer dictionary, means to “abandon one's country or cause in favor of an opposing one”. To defect from the side of God, to not believe, to not remain faithful is to choose in favor of the opposing side. And who opposes God?? Satan does, that’s who. Jude is not afraid to say what needs to be said. He is not afraid to speak the unpopular opinion. He speaks truth, hard, difficult, unrelenting truth: God is God and He wants your everything for always.

We must urge one another to keep God’s Word on our hearts, on our minds, on our lips that we might remain faithful. And we must pray and pray and pray for those who are perishing...especially those who know the truth, but choose to ignore it.  

Monday's scripture focus: Jude 1:6-7
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Deut. 9, 10


LaughingLady said...

Yeah, this is the side of God that is so uncomfortable ~ the HOLINESS part. Merciful, forgiving, loving, yes, DEFINITELY. But still holy. Absolutely, by His own nature, unable to tolerate imperfection. Which makes what He sent His Son to do for us so incredibly awesome. In the fullest sense of the word.

LaughingLady said...

Oh, and I was thinking this before but got side-tracked....

The whole "destruction of the unfaithful" should really make us uncomfortable with NOT sharing our faith with others. We have become very close friends with a family who moved to the area a few years ago and they are very vocally anti-religion of any sort. We are praying for wisdom and discernment to know when and how to steer the conversation to in Whom we place our trust and why. But it's hard to believe we'll ever have the opportunity without seeming like we're shoving it down their throats because they've been so clear about not wanting to hear any of it EVER.

But when I think about the end that God promises for people who've never put their faith in Him, I feel like I probably shouldn't care so much about keeping my earthly friendships comfortable. Eternity, and where we spend it, is somewhat more important!

(And obviously, this applies to all my friendships with non-believers, not just this family. We've just been together with them a fair bit lately, so they spring to mind more quickly.)

Miriam said...

I've had much time to reflect on what this verse speaks about in recent months. Nothing makes you think so much about the hereafter as attending funerals, and we've been to three in just over a year - all family. Do I pray enough for the people in my life who are perishing? Not nearly.

Pamela said...

Thanks for your thoughts in the midst of an exhausting time. I hope you find time to catch your breath soon.

This passage makes me uncomfortable too as I too don't spend nearly the time to talk with and pray for the people who are not walking with God.

TammyIsBlessed said...

All these verses are terribly convicting.

If we believe hell is real (and we do!) then why are we not doing more to spread the only Good News that can save our unbelieving friends and family from it??