last days – #001

For us disciples and followers of Christ, who read our Bibles regularly regardless of versions and formats, we should know there are still many prophesies yet to be fulfilled in these “last days” before the return of Jesus.

From the time Jesus ascended as recorded in the Book of Acts Chapter 1, believers have been looking forward to the return of Jesus.

This period of waiting apparently became well noted as “last days”, coupled with many prophesies of judgements and warnings while affirming God’s promises and faithfulness.

 

Well, it’s been a very long “last days” but no matter how much longer we have to wait, that day will finally come when Jesus will return.

God in His mercy and kindness left us these prophesies as warning and reminder that we should stand firm in our faith in Jesus.

Apparently there are situations which God foresee, but very often we human over-looked, took for granted or were expecting something else. It is true that our Christian faith is constantly under attack, from entities and personalities who are against the will and commandments of God taught by Jesus.

Therefore God’s message constantly warned us – stand firm! God knows how often we become lax, get too comfy with the world, stray to deceptions and succumbs to persecutions and attacks against our faith.

 

Now let’s consider what was written by Jude –

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (Jude 1:17-21)

The letter written by Jude, although a short one but contained many important warnings that we should take heed least we be stumbled or deceived by any surprised-attack from the enemy.

Jude obviously warned against personalities who will cause disruptions and disturbances to our faith and relationship in Jesus. Eventually their acts of corruptions will brings destruction and eternal condemnation upon themselves, but there are serious warnings not to follow them least we be condemned together with them.

 

Jude’s letter does contain similar warnings of judgements which were mentioned by Jesus and the other apostles, but there is something in the “context of the warning” which made his letter very relevant to us today! – “fellowship and associations”

In fact we are right in the midst of it!

Fellowship and the art of social networking have been the heart and soul of any organizations and communities. And with regards to the church, “Christian fellowship” has everything to do with the characteristic of a church.

If we think of church as community of believers, then we can understand fellowship to be an important part of church. And it is precisely in such context of fellowship and associations we are warned by Jude of the “prophesied dangers” that will hit the church.

 

Let’s look at the details list of the characteristic of those personalities whom Jude identified in these “last days prophesies”, personalities who will cause disruption and destruction to our faith and relationship with Jesus –

 

1. designated for condemnation, ungodly people(Jude 1:4)

Now what kinds of people are “designated for condemnation”?

Remember in the days of Noah when God was grieved because the “intentions of the hearts” of people were evil. Jude was warning about personalities with intentions and planning to go against the will and commandments of God knowing that their actions will be judged.

These are classified as “ungodly” personalities due to their willful rejection against the will and commandments of God, and expressing no fear of God in their actions.

 

2. pervert the grace of our God into sensuality, deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4)

Jesus preached about sin and repentance. Repentance is a fundamental doctrine of the kingdom of God. Jesus Himself warned against sins of sexual immorality.

Jude was warning against personalities who willfully rejected Jesus’ commandments against sins of sensual nature and lust which leads to immorality, and marginalizing God’s demands for repentance.

 

3. indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire(Jude 1:7)

We have an obvious incident today of “Christian” personalities who practice active homosexuality and unnatural sexual acts while broadcasting promoting and re-educating the world their deeds are not sin.

In fact we are living in a time people who named themselves as “Christians” are demanding for a redefinition of “sin” and the obvious reason for doing so is that they may continue in their sinful ways.

 

4. relying on their dreams(Jude 1:8)

Jude warned us, these personalities are choosing fantasy and rejecting truth.

Those dreams of theirs are of their own imaginations and desires, nothing concerned about God’s vision and God’s will.

 

5. way of Cain, Balaam’s error, Korah’s rebellion (Jude 1:11)

As according to Biblical records, Cain Balaam and Korah are examples of people who knew God but willfully revolt against God by imposing and demanding their way their choice against the will of God. Observers who followed in their acts suffered their judgement and condemnations.

 

6. grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires, loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage(Jude 1:16)

In today’s context these are social activist with a specific intention to rebel against the will of God, personalities who engage in active social interactions with organized schemes to suppress and revolt against the will of God on a massive scale.

This is a very different situation from good minded people who do social work to help the poor and needy.

 

7. ungodly scoffers, cause divisions(Jude 1:18-19)

Jude warned us these personalities practice mockery against the will and commandments of God, being sarcastic against the judgements of God.

Be warned and be informed these personalities will cause divisions among the believers’ communities.

The most recent U.S ruling on same-sex marriage and various “Christian” responses to it have brought to light very clear and obvious “divisions and distinctions” among Christian communities across the world.

 

How do we know we are on the right path for Jesus?

Let look again in Jude’s letter –

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 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)

Jude gave us his clear mandate to stand firm in our faith in Jesus –

 

Holy Faith – God did not call us to unrighteousness and immorality. We who believe in Jesus are called to come clean away from the corruptions of the world! We are to be separated from sin and be holy for Jesus.

 

Praying in the Holy Spirit – we pray in agreement with the will of God and we discipline our hearts and will to obey God. Our prayers ought to reflect the eternal plan and purpose of God for us.

 

Keep yourselves in the love of God – Jesus said if any one loves Him that person will keep His commandments. The opposite is true; those who rejected and attempt to change the will and commandments of God are showing they have no true love for Jesus.

 

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