November 30 2021
Today, Tuesday November 30
The Defilement of an Evil Report
Jude 1:22-23 “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”
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 spiritual discernment and to act on the basis of that discernment. He describes the condition of these people who need spiritual help, and how we should approach helping them.
There are are those who are doubting. We are to reach out to them with compassion. Then there are some who have already joined with the false teachers and are in the “fire”. They are in grave danger of becoming an apostate themselves. We are to try to help them with “great caution”. We are to be very careful because we might also get “defiled” in our interaction with them.
In trying to help those who have erred, we must be careful not to be trapped ourselves! Many a would-be rescuer has been drowned himself. When an unstable believer has been captured by false doctrine, we must be very careful as we try to help him, for Satan can use him to defile us. In trying to save him, we may be stained or burned ourselves!
The principle Jude was laying down was that stronger believers must never think they are beyond satanic influence. Even while serving the Lord and seeking to rescue one of His children, we can become defiled by those we want to help. The Old Testament Jews had to be very careful to avoid ceremonial defilement, and this included even their clothing (Leviticus 13:47; 14:47; 15:17). If a "clean" person touched an "unclean" garment, then he was defiled.
We certainly must love God's people, but we must also hate sin. Wherever there is sin, Satan has a foothold and can go to work. Defilement spreads rapidly and secretly, and it must be dealt with drastically. If the Jewish priest thought that a garment was infected with leprosy, he had the garment burned.
Not every Christian is equipped to deal with false teachers or with those they have influenced and captured. It takes a good knowledge of the Word, a faithful walk with God, an understanding of Satan's devices, and certainly the fullness of the Spirit of God. It also demands spiritual discernment. It is much easier to instruct new Christians and keep them away from the false teachers than it is to snatch them out of the fire.
I can remember many wonderful, loving and serving believers who forgot to be careful and they listened to the gossip and slander of the “murmurers and complainers”, and they became “defiled” by their evil reports. And it wasn’t long before these good people became distracted and ended up joining the disgruntled trouble makers.
The defilement of an evil report is a terrible thing and can cause great damage to the fellowship of believers or any group for that matter. If you have been “defiled” by someone who shared gossip or slander with you, you must immediately take the time to get cleansed! You can do this by washing yourself with the Word of God and confessing any known sin in your own heart and life. And then stay away from the “defilers”!
Final word! Be careful!