Jude’s call for Christians to take seriously their interaction with the world is very counterculture – even in Christian circles. When it comes to our interaction with the world, I can think of no better thing to reflect on than our goal for this life. Think about it: Jesus’ goal was to accomplish the Father’s will of reconciling man with God. Everything that Jesus said and did on earth was for the purpose of making that goal.
So, what’s our goal?
As Christians, we are to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Triune God, and teaching them to observe all that Jesus taught. Our goal is to see sinners saved. In one sense, it’s a branch of the Father’s will of reconciliation. If, then, our goal is to save sinners with the gospel, then all of our interactions with people should be with the purpose of making this goal happen. How Jude calls Christians to interact with doubters and those who are stained by the world is in relation to this goal.
Consider the following questions for yourself or your small group discussion:
1. When someone voices doubts (and maybe that’s you), know that it’s okay. Doubting is not sinning. In fact, doubting is a sign that you’re actually thinking about your faith! When someone does voice doubts, are you more likely to gossip/judge them? Or are you more likely to show mercy to them? Who in your life right now needs mercy? Who do you know that needs you to sit down with them and chat about life and faith?
2. Every Christian knows a friend or family member who once tasted the goodness of God, but have started to play in sin and slowly turned away from the faith. Jude calls Christians to snatch them out of the fire. Understanding what this means, can you think of anyone who you need to be straight with? Who do you know that needs confrontation or a wake up? Remember that this “snatching” is not done in a spirit of pride, but a spirit of brotherly love.
3. Jude calls Christians to even show mercy on those who are stained by the world. In some ways we all are, but in other ways we’re not. A true believer has Christ’s blood washed over them. Have you thought about the fact that you’re unlike the world? Have you considered yourself as holy (set apart)?
4. Do you find yourself easily swayed by worldly trends? Jude calls us to hate the garment that’s stained by the flesh. We often hear, “love the sinner and hate the sin.” You could also say, have mercy on others but be very careful not to allow their sin to lead you into sin. Do you think critically about those you interact with?