This letter from Jude to believers carries so much wisdom for the times we live in today. Jude wanted to write a letter talking about the wonderful salvation Jesus brought us, but false teachings were infiltrating the church and the Holy Spirit led him to write and urge believers to not be swayed by false teachings infiltrating the church by unscrupulous people. It would serve us well as the Church in America to heed this letter and apply it.
In verse 11, Jude speaks of the rebellion of Korah in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 16. Korah, a Levite, led a revolt against Moses because he thought Moses was setting himself apart from the rest of the Israelites. Korah brashly proclaimed that the whole community of Levites was holy, even though they were constantly complaining against God for leading them out of Egypt and into the desert. God quickly settled the issue by causing the ground to swallow Korah and his rebellious group.
These days, many churches only talk about God as a loving and merciful God, and fail to recognize Him as a holy God who hates sin. We get very comfortable with ourselves and, like the Gnostics, think we can sin in our flesh without consequence because we are covered by the mercy of God. Are we not acting a little like Korah and the Levites he led when we arrogantly proclaim ourselves holy while we continue to sin against God?
It is a sad testimony to fallen man that we always look at things selfishly—we want freedoms without responsibility. Our nation is certainly suffering from this as Occupy Wall Street protestors demand a job, a home and a retirement income from the government but they are unwilling to accept personal responsibility and actually get a job that would help them earn these things. Hey, I expect as much from blind sinners. But should we not expect more from ourselves as Christians?
But at times we seem to be no better—we want all the perks that come from believing in Jesus—salvation and eternal life—but we are unwilling to heed his call to pursue holiness, and we pick and choose what to obey and what to ignore.
Korah and the Levites became really full of themselves, proclaiming themselves to be holy when deep down they were prideful and rebellious against God. They paid a heavy price for their pride and arrogance. But many Christians these days act no differently. We ignore the Word of God, replacing it with our own interpretations and beliefs, justifying our sin and rebellion against a holy God.
Yesterday we discussed our position before God—we are His children and He will always love us. But we must also understand another position we hold in comparison to God—we are wretched, sinful people in need of a Savior—a Savior who also insists on being Lord of our lives. But too often we want the savior part of Jesus, but our human pride and sinful nature reject His lordship in our lives. Can we have one without the other? Are we really saved if the Holy Spirit is not active in us, convicting us of sin and drawing us nearer to God?
Christianity in America is in crisis. We are more frequently rejecting the absolute truth of God, replacing it with our perverted version of “truth”. We think of ourselves as pure and righteous, just like Korah and the Levites. Jude warned the church 2,000 years ago of a similar perversion. Should we not heed the Bible’s warning these days?
- The Rebellion of Korah(wayoflife.org)
- Sons of Korah(anakinredeemed.wordpress.com)
- Spiritual formation and neo-Gnosticism lead believers down shakey path(standupforthetruth.com)
- Jude and His Sources: The Hebrew Bible(readingacts.wordpress.com)
- Does the Bible Require Us to Respect Our Leaders? Numbers 16:11(dianneguthmuller.com)
- Jude: Defending the Faith(careyedgren.com)