“And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jude 22,23
The Lord’s brother, Jude, is sorely concerned over those who have been snookered into misbelief and apostasy. What is occurring within the church that causes such concern?
Rome, the political stalwart, is persecuting the church because of the church’s unwillingness to confess that Caesar is lord. And on top of such persecution, the church is being infiltrated by the Gnostics. These Gnostics are bringing in errant teaching that is introducing errant doctrine. Thus Jude is calling the church to not only defend itself, but to also fight for the truth which had, ‘once and for all been delivered to the saints.’ (Vs. 3)
His words of warning are as applicable to the church in our time as at any time throughout its history.
In love we are to reach out to those who are convinced of false doctrine. We must understand that for many of them they may be more deceived than they are deceiving.
Yet at the same token, we must show extreme caution in welcoming someone as being a Christian, who has vehemently rejected gospel truth. We cannot offer to those who deny the essential doctrines of Christian orthodoxy, the right hand of fellowship. (2 John 10)
‘Snatching them from the fire’ means conveying the truth, but with a degree of urgency, concerning the dire situation they are facing. It does no good to tip toe around them, not wishing to offend them. Your words of warning must come with force. One cannot afford to placate such error and to invite such to come and join you for a warm cup of tea and goodies. Considering the evil of such apostasy, the time for them to be rescued is now.
Jesus modeled such fervency in His ministry. His response to the Pharisees was confrontive, quite blunt, and His warnings were uncompromising. He spoke to them of not just civil judgment which they could face in the legal systems of government, but much more importantly, of divine judgment, devastation and the fires of hell.
So who will rescue them? The fires are hot. Standing upon your most holy faith, extend that same mercy you received in Christ.