Jude 3-4 (NASB), “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into indecent behavior and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

The Epistle of Jude, perhaps because of its small size, is a New Testament book that is often neglected, but there is much to absorb in this wonderful little epistle. Jude may be small in size but is mighty in Truth. The contents of the Epistle of Jude are a vital part of the Christian’s life in the war on the Christian faith during these last days. 

We all must pay close attention and heed the warnings of Jude, mining the depth of this warning and plea to contend for the Faith – this letter, written to believers by our Lord Jesus Christ’s very own half-brother.

The Epistle of Jude begins in a fascinating and eye-opening way. Jude explains that he had originally desired to write to his audience on the subject of the wonderful salvation and faith in Jesus Christ that believers share. But, Jude suddenly and abruptly makes a profound turn in verses three and four, writing about something he did not intend.

He had initially planned to write about the joys of believers’ common salvation, but something disturbing had been brought to his attention: the Church was under attack from the inside. 

 What would have been a comforting message became a call to action and battle in the war on truth. We don’t know exactly what information came to him or how he received the information, but Jude’s call to fight- to contend for the Faith- became a battle call that believers must answer.

The theme of this mighty little epistle is found in Jude 3=4, and the deeper we delve into this message – this warning and plea to the saints of Jesus Christ – its depth, meaning, and importance are revealed. The theme of Jude ‘s letter is the attack on truth from the inside, grave danger of apostasy, and every believer’s battle call to contend for the Faith.

The following is an excerpt from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Jude 3:

“Like Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians, “For necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16, NKJV), Jude felt the necessity—a heavy burden or mandate—to write. Agcho, the root of the noun rendered necessity, means literally “compress.” Jude recognized that he was a watchman for the truth (cf. Ezek. 3:16–21) who could not simply watch in silence as his readers slipped into error. His fervent passion for sound doctrine, especially regarding the gospel, made even the thought of false teaching a heavy burden on his heart (cf. 2 Cor. 11:28). He and his readers could not share a common salvation if they lost the gospel. Jude also deeply loved his readers—meaning that he was dedicated to their spiritual well-being. Accordingly, his tone conveyed a genuine care similar to that of Paul, who wrote to the Ephesian elders: “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears” (Acts 20:31; Col. 1:29). Jude could not resist appealing (parakaleo, “exhorting, encouraging”) to his readers that they contend earnestly for the faith. The powerful expression contend earnestly translates a present infinitive (epagonizomai) and stresses the need to defend the truth continually and vigorously (cf. 1 Tim. 1:18; 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7). It is a compound verb from which the English agonize is transliterated. From Jude’s day until now, true believers have always had to battle for the purity of the salvation gospel.”[i]

John MacArthur comments:

“In referring to the faith, Jude is not speaking of a nebulous body of religious doctrines. Rather, the faith constitutes the Christian faith, the faith of the gospel, and God’s objective truth (i.e., everything pertaining to our common salvation). It is what Luke wrote about in Acts 2:42, noting that the early believers “were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1–4; 2 Thess. 3:6). Paul admonished Timothy to protect that faith: “Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Tim. 1:13–14; cf. 1 Tim. 6:19–20).”[ii]

Early saints of Christ heard this call, and even many believers in dangerous parts of the world today hear the call. But as American Christians, do we? We are witnessing Christians being arrested on sidewalks for merely “appearing to pray silently.” There are news reports of pastors being imprisoned in places such as Europe and Canada and reports of houses being raided and Christians being taken into custody by the FBI here in the United States. Churches are being drained of their money and dragged through court battles as they try to separate from liberal LGBTQ+ ideologies flooding into the churches. 

These attacks on the Faith of Jesus Christ, “once and for all delivered to us by the saints,” are no longer slowly creeping in they are flooding in. 

 Only a remnant will remain to contend for the faith. Will we be part of that remnant, defending Christ, or will we wear the badge and uniform of apostates and wield weapons of the enemy? 

The time to decide is now.

Are we truly prepared to face persecution for the sake of Christ and His Bride? Are we diligent soldiers in the war on truth, or have we become cowards – more concerned about being popular than we are about being faithful defenders of The Word?

How would many Americans who profess Christ treat Jesus’ half-brother if he were alive today, making these declarations in this post-truth culture?  

What if this epistle was Jude’s daily post? Would we join him in the fight, or would we shun him? Would we pray for him and help him share the true gospel of Jesus Christ, or would we screenshot and gossip about him? Would we “cancel” him? Would we stand with him or mock him and call him an irrelevant pharisee with a critical spirit? Would we accuse him of being unloving, judgmental, or ignorant?  What if Jude were being imprisoned or put to death for writing these words today? Would we join the crowd condemning him, or would we stand and die with him for the sake of Christ?   

Romans 1:16 (NASB), “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

[i] How to Contend for the Faith – Grace to You. https://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/QA0012/how-to-contend-for-the-faith

[ii] Ibid.

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