Maintaining Faith in the Face of Faithlessness

Maintaining Faith in the Face of Faithlessness

This is an exposition of Jude 1-25. This message by Pastor Rod HarrisFebruary 26, 21017

Intro:

Years ago I read an article about the “Blasphemy Challenge.”  The Blasphemy Challenge encourages people to go on YouTube and leave their own video denying the third person of the Trinity and mockingly prove God does not exist.  I checked the site this week and they have 1,082,481 views as of this past week.  Here is what you will find on the Youtube video:

It’s simple. You record a short message damning yourself to Hell, you upload it to YouTube…You may damn yourself to Hell however you would like, but somewhere in your video you must say this phrase: “I deny the Holy Spirit.”

Why? Because, according to Mark 3:29 in the Holy Bible, “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” Jesus will forgive you for just about anything, but he won’t forgive you for denying the existence of the Holy Spirit. Ever. This is a one-way road you’re taking here.

Once you have shot your blasphemous video, just follow these two easy steps…what follows are simple instructions for posting your video.  If you take the challenge they’ll send you a free video – all they ask, according to the site, is your soul.

This is the world we live in.  This is the world in which we are called to live our faith.  For some help with living faithfully in a faithless world we turn to the little New Testament book of Jude.

Text: Jude 1-25

Written sometime between 66-70 A.D. by Jude the half-brother of our Lord.  Much like our own time, Jude lived when the church was pressured both from without and within.  In addition to the unbelievers mocking this new faith, Gnostic, mystical notions were reshaping the truths that had been handed down by the original apostles.  Thus Jude felt compelled to write.  As we work our way through this epistle we are reminded that:

Thesis: As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we are called to live faithfully in an increasingly unfaithful world.

In order to do that we must remember to do 4 things.

  1. Faithfulness demands we are in the faith.  (1-2)
  2. Faithfulness demands we intentionally and forcefully contend for the faith.  (3-16)
  3. Faithfulness demands stand against error while we seek to build up and preserve others.  (17-23)
  4. Faithfulness demands that we trust wholly in the gracious work of our God.  (24-25)

Conclusion:

Jude ends where he began – God’s gracious work in us and for us.

We live in hostile times.  We are called to a difficult task but by God’s grace we’ll demonstrate that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.

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