November 28 2021
Today, Sunday November 28
Mercy and Compassion on the Doubters
Jude 1:22-23 And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Did you notice that right after Jude told us to be “looking or waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 21), he tells us to “show mercy or have compassion on the doubters”. It appears as we study the Scriptures, that in order to find the mercy and forgiveness we need for ourselves, we must first be willing to give mercy and compassions of those around us.
“For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13) Jesus taught this truth in His Sermon on the Mount as He was teaching us to pray and ask forgiveness for our trespasses: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
In the two verses (vs. 22-23) we are looking at in Jude today, we learn what our attitude should be toward the young, growing Christians around us who are being influenced by the apostates. Jude instructed his readers to exercise discernment and to act on the basis of that discernment. He described three different kinds of people who need spiritual help.
The first are those who are doubting. These are the people who are wavering. They are probably the "unstable souls" Peter wrote about (2 Peter 2:14). These people are converted, but they are not grounded in the faith. Our responsibility is to have mercy on them, or show compassion toward them, by seeking to lead them away from the influences of the apostates. This kind of ministry demands a great deal of love and patience, and we must keep in mind that immature believers are like little children who think they know right from wrong. If you say no to them, they will only rebel and become more stubborn!
One of the best ways to draw them away from the false teachers is to magnify all that they have in Christ and to share His love for them in practical ways. Make their salvation so wonderful and the Word so exciting that they will lose interest in the teachings of the apostates. It is not enough merely to refute the false doctrines. There must also be a warmth of love that assures the young believer, "We care for you."
It is an open secret that false teachers prey especially on disgruntled church members. Remember in Jude 1:16 Jude called these apostates, “murmurers and complainers." It is important that the pastor and the people show special love and concern to new immature believers in our fellowship as they also minister to the mature members of the church, lest somebody stray because of neglect.
Paul sent Timothy to the young believers in Thessalonica so that he might establish them in their faith (1 Thessalonians 2). And he also gave these instructions to the church: “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)
Every young Christian needs a more mature believer to teach him how to stand and walk. May the Lord help us today to be patient and have mercy and compassion on the “doubters”.