Jude wrote this letter in an effort to remind the church of the need for constant vigilance - to keep strong in the faith and to oppose heresy.
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While the book of Jude is rather short, being only 25 verses long, it is generally divided into two sections:
- The danger of false teachers (1-16)
- The duty to fight for God's truth (17-25)
Jude wrote to motivate Christians everywhere to action. He wanted them to recognize the dangers of false teaching, to protect themselves and other believers, and to win back those who had already been deceived. Jude was writing against godless teachers who were saying that Christians could do as they pleased without fear of God's punishment. While few teach this heresy openly in the church today, many in the church act as though this were true. This letter contains a warning against living a nominal Christian life.
Major themes contained in Jude include:
- False Teachers - Jude warns against false teachers and leaders who reject the lordship of Christ, undermine the faith of others, and lead them astray. These leaders and any who follow them will be punished. We must staunchly defend Christian truth. Make sure that you avoid leaders and teachers who distort the Bible to suit their own purposes. Genuine servants of God will faithfully portray Christ in their words and conduct.
- Apostasy - Jude also warns against apostasy, the turning away from Christ. We are to remember that God punishes rebellion against him. We must be careful not to drift away from a faithfull commitment to Christ. Those who do seek to know the truth in God's Word are susceptible to apostasy. Christians must guard against any false teachings that would distrat them from the truth preached by the apostles and written in God's Word.