Jude 22-23 “And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
Today we look at two verses which may not be understood by some. We’ve covered these verses once before, when we went through the entire book of Jude in the past. Yet let’s be reminded again of what God says in His Word today.
We see in the Word of God here today, two different ways of witnessing to people. One is with compassion, making a difference in their lives and others’. The other shows that another way, is to save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh!
These two things should always be remembered. There are those people in the world, who will best respond to the love of God. They are the ones we need to show the Love of God, and how the Love of God was shown to us through Jesus Christ, who came and died on the cross so that we may have eternal life, and we can indeed have a relationship with the very one who Created us! There are more hurting people in this world, than many realize. I have come across those who on the outside appear perfectly fine, and yet on the inside I could tell they were hurting more than anyone else I had ever met before. Then there were others who could compete and maybe win at being the most annoying and hard-to-handle people in the world, yet I knew inside they were hurting and were close to breaking. Those are the ones who, when you know and meet with them, you must work hard to let them know how much you care, the Lord cares, and that they need Jesus . . . showing them the love of God. No matter how much they try to push away, or not talk to you, or be mean to you, you have to push back by making it a habit to talk with them, even hug them when possible. Not too long ago, a brother-in-law of mine threatened to do just short of killing me. He had a gun in his possession, and told me that if I stepped foot out of the house, I’d better be careful. He also threatened my mother, and put my sister (his wife) in danger. Well, he still does not like me, but recently I went out and bought him a gift. It took him by surprise, and while I was not able to hand it to him in person, those around him when he received the gift, told me later on that for hours he just sat there, staring at it, thinking. When I went out and bought that gift, another family member asked me what I was doing, and when I told them they laughed and said something like, ” What, are you getting him a brick?” and in reply I said, “No, he may not think so highly of me, but I’m going to make sure I go the extra mile with him.” Now, my brother-in-law isn’t the type that will be broken by love alone, he also needs to be shown the fearful warning of Hell itself, if he doesn’t turn to the Lord Jesus. However, in that example we are reminded that sometimes, many times, certain people will respond to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus, best through the love of God, and we have to show them the Love of God, even if it isn’t easy!
Some teach that the only way we should witness to people, is by the Love of God. It’s true that we, toward all people, all the time, should show the love of God and have compassion. Afterall, loving someone with the Love of God also means you love their soul, and would do nearly anything to make sure that person does not go to Hell! Yet some teach a “love gospel” which completely neglects repentance, and actually FOLLOWING the Lord. Yet God Forbid that we teach such a thing, because if we do not cast off the path of unrighteousness which we walk on while lost, and turn to follow Jesus on the narrow road, then we have not chosen to follow Jesus, but just acknowledge Him, while we continue in our sins, on the road to damnation in hell. The Word of God tells us in today’s first verse, to have compassion with some, making a difference. This does not mean excusing everything and completely forsaking the uncompromising truth. It means to go the extra mile and show COMPASSION toward them. Go the extra mile, ask them if they need any help, ask them about their day, let them know you care. As I said, many are definitely hurting in these last days. Some don’t realize it and others do and try to hide it. Pray to the Lord, that you are given wisdom to know HOW to witness to them!
The second verse for today shows us that with some, we must save with Fear, pulling them out of the fire and hating even the garment spotted by the flesh! It is true, that with some they need to feel the flames of hell before they realize they need Jesus in their lives. Some children of God even, who have turned away from the faith, need to feel the flames of hell for them to repent. Some would disagree, and say that we witness with love only, and we never should invoke fear in a person. Yet we have to remember, this verse doesn’t mean we give a person a heart-attack, or we threaten a person that they’d better turn to Christ or we’ll kill them! No, all we do is let them know the truth that without Christ, the only thing they have to look forward to is eternal torment in the lake of fire! Jesus often outright warned and told a person often, of the flames of hell. In fact, He is the one who speaks of Eternal Torment the most!
Imagine a scenario where a man is not watching where he is going, and is about to step off a cliff, and fall to his death. Right before he takes that step though, you run up to him and try pleading with him to follow this other way, trying to warn him that if he doesn’t, he is about to die! The man just scoffs at you and tells you to leave him alone. He then turns forward, and takes that step right as he looks down at the empty space beneath him, and his death. However, you are still right there, and you immediately grab hold of him, and pull him back away from the cliff. Now, after that man has seen that, will he listen to you now? Of course, there may be a very small number of people who are so hard-hearted, so adamantly against the Lord, and stuck in their sins that they will thank you, but then go right back and fall to their death. Yet most, will thank you, and believe you now, and will not just start walking the path you said, which is to follow the Lord, but will probably RUN as fast as possible, on that path and away from the cliff! It is just as some children, whom you can tell not to do something until you are blue in the face, yet they will not listen until they get burned or hurt themselves. Yet just like the children, when that happens we cannot look at them and, with a smug look on our face say, “I told you so! Now what are you going to do? I tried to help you and you didn’t listen, now I’m not helping you this time!” We have to remember to PULL THEM OUT, of the fire. Let them see the flames, let them feel the flames and the heat, but then pull them out and once again remind them of how if they do not turn to the Lord, THAT will be what they will face for all eternity!
Something good to note also, in the second verse, is that with fear we will save them, and even hate the garment spotted by the flesh. Imagine that a person walks right into a furnace, and you immediately grab hold of them, and yank them out before they perish (yet after they’ve gotten a taste of it). When that person comes out, their clothes will be on fire now! You and the person then as quickly as possible, with fear and extreme urgency, rip those flaming clothes off and give the person new clothes. In the same manner, a person who sees the end result of sin, will understand the urgency of getting rid of the sin in their lives, because that sin leads to death.
Praise God! We have to remember that we witness to certain people who will respond more to the Love of God, and yet some who will only repent if they feel the flames of hell. Let us always be in prayer, to know who needs what, and remember that with many, BOTH are needed!
I love you dearly, and do always continue to pray for you. I pray that we are guided, and given the right words to speak, when we witness to people, and when we altogether live our lives for Him! May God Bless you greatly and abundantly, and you be sure to have a wonderful day today!
Love in Christ, Always,
Your friend forever,
Psalm 48:8 “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.”