THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE:
Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them. Jude 1:14-19 (NLT)
THOUGHTS FROM STEVEN:
A few months ago, my wife and I sprang out of bed at 3AM to the sound of every smoke alarm in our house going off. There was no low battery chirping indicators to warn us – only the sound of what we assumed was ‘fire-blazing,’ ‘house-is-going-down,’ ‘impending-doom’ alarms from all areas of the house. In fact, we were convinced that when we opened our bedroom door, we’d see our kitchen fully engulfed in flames.
Thankfully, it was just a bad battery in one of the smoke alarms that set off this chain reaction, waking us from a cold, dead sleep. And guess what – no fire. No smoke. It was only a warning. The low battery chirping signal of the smoke alarm is a constant reminder that we are placing ourselves and our families in danger. Don’t you sometimes wish a similar alert went off when we meet people who would cause us danger?
Christian leaders who came before Jude predicted that dishonest people would cause catastrophic destruction in the Church. Jude explains their warnings, saying, “They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.” (Jude 1:18-19 NLT)
Jude tells us about these sideways-talking people so that we won’t be surprised by them; so that we won’t settle for anything less than the true message of the Gospel. So how will we know a scoffer when we encounter one? Jude gives us a few indicators:
Paul, in the book of Timothy, even describes ungodly people as those who are “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
- They do not have the Holy Spirit in them.
- They teach based on natural instincts, not the Bible.
- Their goal is to divide people, not unite people.
Anytime we are warned over and over about something in the Bible, it becomes clear that God is trying to grab our attention. Just like the low battery chirp we hear from a smoke alarm, a gut-check from the Holy Spirit and the wisdom we read in the Bible are God’s way of protecting us from potential dangers.