Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Snatching Them From Danger

Chuckle: Only a Southerner knows the difference between a "hissie fit" and a "conniption fit," and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.
Quote: "Let those who thoughtfully consider the brevity of life remember the length of eternity." --Thomas Ken
We know Jesus wants Christians to be in the world but not of (like) the world. In the little book of Jude, we find some graphic words of instruction and warning. "Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren't contaminated by their sins" (Jude 22-23 NLT).
As I read today's passage, I'm reminded of the times I've cooked hotdogs or hamburgers on our backyard grill. More than once a patty or wiener has fallen through the grill into the red-hot coals below. My instant reaction was to quickly snatch the meat out of the fire before it is was consumed while, at the same time, trying to avoid being burned myself. To me, that's the picture Jude paints for us here. He says we are to show mercy to the unsaved, and to those who have fallen into sin, mixed with fear lest we become stained (burned) by the same sinful (corrupted) ways of the world.
The first thing we see from this passage is that we should look with mercy upon non-believers and those who are doubters. We are to see them through the eyes of Jesus with the same love and compassion that He has for them. In love and mercy, we are to do everything we can to "snatch" them from Satan's clutches and bring them into the comforting love of Christ -- as the Holy Spirit gives us strength.
When reaching out to those to whom we witness, we must be careful not to fall into the quicksand of compromise. Always be careful not to become so much like non-Christians that no one can tell who you are or what you believe. Draw others for Christ, but don't allow them to draw you into sin.
How can we avoid being drawn away from our Lord and into the ways of the world while maintaining contact with those who need Christ in their lives? By keeping our eyes focused on Jesus; By spending time regularly in prayer and Bible study; By relying everyday on the Holy Spirit for strength to resist the various temptations that Satan places before us; By being faithful and active members of a Bible believing church; and by "Living in such a way that God's love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you" (Jude 21 NLT).
We also have responsibility for our brothers and sisters in Christ who stray into sin. At the first indication that they are being drawn away from our Lord and into the ways of the world, we should befriend them and do everything in our power to love them back into the warm and loving fellowship of believers. In my experience as a pastor, I have discovered many "Christians" who have left the fellowship of the church for various reasons, and are convinced that nobody cares. It's up to us to prove them wrong. . . .
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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