Thursday, March 17, 2011
"... I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men who change the grace of out God into license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." ( Jude 1:3,4 NIV) * The book of Jude has no "3:16"
Jude, brother of James, and half-brother of Jesus, wrote this short but powerful book of the Bible. His message: warning against apostasy -0 the turning away from God's truth by embracing false teachings. This warning was appropriate when Jude wrote it ;and, it is even more appropriate today! We need to be wary of the "feel good" preacher. If he tells us that everything we do is acceptable, we need to quickly find a different source of leadership. God wants us to be happy, but not at the price of righteousness. He doesn't want us to go around with long faces and heavy hearts. But, substituting worldliness and/or possessions for righteousness is NOT the answer.
(" ...the love of money is the root of all evil." I Timothy 6:10)
God does bless many Believers with prosperity. But, we need to take care not to allow possessions to become the focus of our lives. I love pretty things. I love color. I love arranging flowers, painting , embroidery, pottery... well, you get the picture.. But, first I must seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness; then, these things will be added into my life. (Matthew 6:33).
Here is the prophet Ezekiel's vision of what will happen to those who listen to false teachers: "They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be an unclean thing. Their silver and gold will not be able to save them in the day of the Lord's wrath. They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it, for it has made them stumble into sin. They were proud of their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols and vile images. Therefore I will turn these into an unclean thing for them.: (Ezekiel 7:19,20)
So, beware of godless men who pose as men of God. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing, who, like Satan, come to steal, kill, and destroy. Rather, remain steadfast in Truth.
"Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 15:5,6)