Part 16 – The Right Way to Care For the Body
As Jude is winding down his Letter he had just begun (verses 20-21) to finally turn the corner in his harsh indictment against the false teachers that are trying to poison the believers that Jude has been a mentor to. As we looked at verses twenty-two and twenty-three (along with verse twenty) we read some words of encouragement for the Christians at these churches to live by. The general principle is simply this (and this is a lesson for all of us): Whatever the false teachers were saying, doing, and teaching – do the opposite!!
We had already seen from the negative things Jude said about the false teachers that Christian pastors (and all Christians, for that matter) need to:
1. Believe and preach sound biblical doctrine (verse 3)
2. Submit/listen to those in authority
3. Feed the sheep/preach the Word
4. Equip the saints for works of service
5. Walk in humility
6. Encourage self-study
7. Encourage the church/sheep to pray
8. Encourage the church/sheep to walk in obedience
As we looked at verses twenty-two and twenty-three we came across three other ways that true Christian pastors/sheep are to walk that is completely opposite of the false teachers of Jude’s (and our) time.
9. Be merciful to those who doubt (Lovingly answer questions to those who have sincere questions about the faith that may have caused some doubt)
10. Evangelize the lost/recover the backslidden (We are to pluck those who have wandered away or who are lost out of the ‘fire’)
11. Show mercy with caution (As we minister to the lost or to the prodigal, we must be careful that we don’t get ‘burned’ or ‘stained’ by getting too close or involved in the sin that we are trying to pluck the wandering Christian or unbeliever from).
As we minister in the ‘right way’ we are to always be trusting completely in God’s Word; counting on His indwelling Spirit; keeping ourselves in and close to the fellowship of God’s family; and completely depending on the Lord God to finish the work that He has started!