14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.—2 Timothy 2:14-15 NIV
Paul is instructing Timothy (and us) about the destruction and divisions that are caused by debating over doctrines. He is instructing us that our time would be better spent in meditating on God’s Word and doing exactly what it says without adding anything to it. This is what the scribes and Pharisees had done to the Old Testament law. They had added their own interpretations to it and were weighing the people down with useless requirements. Some of us do the same thing today and then wonder why our church attendance is down. The important thing for us to remember is that God made the plan of salvation very simple for a reason. It is not a burden to bear, it is easy to understand and for us, it is free, even though it cost God His only Son. Anyone can do it.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.–John 3:16 NIV
Is there more to the story? Yes, but just believing and repenting is all there is to salvation. Knowing the rest of the story will help you enjoy the journey.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
12 They are like dirty spots in your special Christian meals you share. They eat with you and have no fear, caring only for themselves. They are clouds without rain, which the wind blows around. They are autumn trees without fruit that are pulled out of the ground. So they are twice dead. – Jude 12 NCV
Jude continues to warn us about the ungodly people that have wormed their way into our churches. Some have risen to leadership positions and influence others to follow them. They are blowhards that spew out evil without regard to conscience. They are like the wind that blows clouds without rain during a drought. They promise much but they yield nothing but dryness and false hope. These ungodly people join in when we are honoring our Lord by the taking of the communion meal. They participate without accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior ignoring the warning that the Scriptures give us:
27 So a person who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is not worthy of it will be guilty of sinning against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 Look into your own hearts before you eat the bread and drink the cup, 29 because all who eat the bread and drink the cup without recognizing the body eat and drink judgment against themselves.–1 Cor. 11:27,28 (NCV)
These people are constantly complaining and blaming others for their sins. God is coming with thousands of His angels to punish all these ungodly people. Avoid fellowship with these people at all times. These are the kinds of people to whom Jesus was referring when He said:
23 Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you.’–Matt. 7:23 (NCV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. – Jude 5-8 NLT
Jude continues his warnings to the early Christians and to us to stay alert for false prophets and those teaching false doctrines. When we look around us in today’s world, we see the same things happening. We often wonder why God allows it to continue. God’s judgment may not come on these people when we think it should, but we can be sure that it is coming in His timing. The people who deny God’s existence will be punished as surely as these people in the Old Testament. There is a heaven and there is a hell. There are angels and there are demons. Those who do not believe this live immoral lives and tempt others to do the same. We must continue to stand firm. The end will come and the earth will be consumed by fire. Of this, we can be sure. We don’t need to focus on how or when this will happen. We just need to keep our eyes on Jesus and know that one day we will see Him face-to-face.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
As time passes and the return of Jesus gets closer and closer, we can expect that satan will increase his efforts to turn people away from the Gospel of Jesus. He will do this by increasing persecution, deception, and false teachings. We see these things increasing all over the world each day. More and more of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being imprisoned and martyred each day. We even read of things here in our country that earlier generations would have thought impossible. There are so many people whose consciences have become”seared” over. This speaks to a condition where people have gotten to the point that they feel no remorse for the wrongs that they do. Everything God created is good, but some of those things can be used for evil. Money. power, authority, sex were created to be used for good, but in the hands of some, they become evil. We must be very careful not to require more for a person to be saved than what Jesus requires. Believe that He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified on a cross, was buried, arose after 3 days and later ascended to heaven where He sits at the right hand of God. That is all that is necessary for salvation. Anything else, is doctrine or works, which may or not be good, but they certainly can’t save you. We need to spend time with Jesus each day so that we are not easily deceived.
31 “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
32 For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? 33 God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.– 2 Samuel 22:31-33 NLT
2 Samuel 22:31-37 What a mighty God we serve! No religion can make the claim that we Christians can make about our God. No religion can make the claim that they have a God who loved them enough to send His only Son to die for them and redeem them from the curse of sin. There are other so-called gods but they are all dead and buried or if they were only idols having no life, they have been destroyed. We serve a living God, a risen Savior and we are guided by an indwelling Holy Spirit. That is why Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with a living Lord. The Bible is a book about our God and what our relationship with Him should be. How many times have you read a book and wished that you could sit down and talk with the author? Well, we can do that everyday with the Author and the Finisher of our Bible. Every day of our lives, we can sit at the feet of Jesus and learn about Him from Him. When we do that faithfully and obediently, we learn that all of His promises are true. He is our protector, our Solid Rock, our fortress, our Banner, our Physician and the list goes on and on. Our God is everything we need when we need it the most. He cannot and will not fail us. He is able to deliver us and bring us home to His glory! Praise His Name!!
9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. — Hebrews 13:9, 10 NIV
Ever since lucifer revolted and was thrown out of heaven, there have been those who disagree with God. This will continue to be true until Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom here on earth. They teach all kinds of differing philosophies in an effort to deceive people. Some are openly opposed to the Bible and easily discerned. There are those that are very subtle in the way they teach their beliefs and the misconceptions are hard to discern. Everyone needs to believe in something and therefore everyone establishes someone or something as their “god”. There are those who will never consciously admit that they have an allegiance to some false deity because they do not want to be accountable to anyone or anything. They choose to think that they are “in control” of their lives. No matter what we hear, it is our responsibility to pray for a discerning Spirit so that we will not be misled. It is up to each of us to decide who our god or gods are going to be. Do not be deceived there is only one true and living God.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. — Gal. 6:7, 8 NIV
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ — Mark 12:29, 30 NIV
He created us and loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross for us. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is now at the right hand of God interceding for us. He is the one God has chosen as worthy to be Lord. He and He alone is worthy of our allegiance, our praise and our worship.
11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they were created
and have their being.” — Rev. 4:11