Today, Wednesday November 3
Facing God’s Judgment
Jude 1:5-7 “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
It is so clear in these three verses that Jude is reminding us that a day of judgement is sure to come! In these three Old Testament illustrations we see that God’s judgement fell on Israel by “destroying those who did not believe”. God had the fallen angels put into “everlasting chains to await for the judgment of the great day.” God’s judgement fell on the sexually immoral people of Sodom and Gomorrah who “suffered the vengeance of eternal fire”.
From the New Testament we learn that there are several judgements of God that are sure to come. There is the judgement of the Seven Year Tribulation period on the earth that will take place after the catching away of the church (Revelations 6-19). There is the Judgement Seat of Christ for the believers where our work for Christ will be revealed and we will either be rewarded or ashamed (2 Corinthians 5:10). Then there is the Great White Throne Judgement at the end of the Tribulation where every sinner will stand before God and the Book of Life will be open and if their name is not in it they will be cast “into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
The sin of Israel was rebellious unbelief (Hebrews 3:12). The sin of the angels was rebellion against the throne of God. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was indulging in unnatural lust. Unbelief, rebellion against authority, and sensual indulgence were sins characteristic of the false teachers. The conclusion is obvious: the apostates will be judged. But, meanwhile, God's soldiers must stay on duty and see to it that these false teachers do not creep into the ranks and start to lead people astray. "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:16).
What can we do practically to oppose the enemy and maintain the purity and unity of the church? For one thing, we must know the Word of God and have the courage to defend it. Every local church ought to be a Bible institute, and every Christian ought to be a Bible student. The pulpit needs to declare positive truth as well as denounce error.
Second, we must "watch and pray." The enemy is already here and we dare not go to sleep! Spiritual leaders in local congregations need to be alert as they interview candidates for baptism and church membership. They need to seek the mind of Christ as they appoint Sunday School teachers, youth sponsors, and other church leaders. Congregations must exercise discernment as they select officers.
Third, congregations and members must be careful where they send their money. "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?" (2 Chronicles 19:2) Finally, we must have the courage to maintain a position of biblical separation from those who deny Christ and the fundamental doctrines of the Word (Romans 16:17-20; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 John 6-11). This does not mean that we separate from fellow believers over minor doctrinal differences, or that we practice "guilt by association." God's true army needs to stand together in the battle for truth.
I’m convinced that we are living in the “last days” and must take heed to these warnings and warn others of the “judgement that is coming.” Please determine to love and live for Jesus today!