But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 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 20-23
I am intensely interested in saving people from hell. The biggest obstacle to my mission is that so many people either don’t really know what that means, or they don’t believe it is factual. There are many reasons why people are challenged in their faith. Here, our scripture makes a distinction between two types of people, but the Amplified translation (of verses 22 -24) shows there are actually four conditions that exist within those who do not believe.
Some simply like to argue, we are to refute them with conviction. Others waver and doubt, with them we extend more mercy and patience in our instruction. Then there are people who are overly sensual who demand that we, out of pity, warn them sternly about the dangers of continuously pleasuring the flesh. Finally, there are some who are just “hell-bent” in their approach to this life, needing forceful confrontation. All of these categories are in danger of the “fire”, and it is any Christian’s job to sound a clear alarm to them.
Notice, however, the emphasis in this passage is first upon our own conduct! It reminds me of the emergency instructions I hear every time I fly, “…first secure the oxygen mask around your own head and face, then do the same for any children or others in need of help around you.” If we want to be of any value to those who are spiritually dead we must be spiritually full of life! This means being full of faith because we are building our lives through real communication with the Holy Spirit. It means keeping our hearts firmly immersed in the first-hand experience of God’s love. It means having an outlook that is aware of the Lord’s mercy upon our own sins and past lives. When we walk like this the message we send will be distinct. More than what we say, it will have become who we are.
This excerpt was taken from Everyday Preparation For Jesus’ Return by Rocky Veach.