Defending The Faith
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" Jude 3
As I was reading my Bible this morning preparing for this Wednesday's Bible Study this verse stood out to me for several reasons. "Earnestly contend" must first be defined as they are key to this verse and understanding the book of Jude, this post is not going to be a comprehensive breakdown of Jude however. "Earnestly" means in a serious manner, and "contend" means to strive in opposition or against difficulties. In other words we are to "In a serious manner strive in opposition" for the faith. We are to defend the faith from attacks from without and within. By defending the faith through apologetics and calling out false teachings for what they are we are also furthering the charge given to us to spread the gospel.
Many Christians today live their faith in secret, essentially placing the light of Christ in a closet. The Bible tells us that if we deny Christ He will deny us to His Father in Heaven. Hiding one's faith is exactly that. To be honest this is much more common among younger Christians today in my experience. They also often will not attempt to defend their faith when it is challenged. Their desire to fit in and be liked by their peers is a big reason why.
Parents, I'm looking at you. Your children reflect considerably on you as a parent. Did you fail to teach your children the importance of defending the faith, sharing the Gospel and witnessing to others? Did you fail to teach them to stand on their principles? You can't pass the blame to anyone else, the buck stops with you. Fortunately we as a species are still having and raising children, this can be reversed in the next generation of Christian parents.
Adults in the workforce and in social situations are also guilty of this at times. Society has told us that religion should be kept private. What does the Bible say about this though? "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Matt 16:15. Think about how bold that is. Some may say, "I don't want to lose my job or my friends" or "it's not worth ruffling any feathers over." You can't live for God and the world, we are to live in the world but not be of the world.
Jesus publicly died for your sins ensuring that you will have everlasting life and you don't want to ruffle any feathers? Think on this, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." Mark 8:35. Ruffling feathers is much less than dying for the faith don't you think?
A revival is needed in the hearts of Christians today. We look to other parts of the world like China and Africa where Christians are persecuted unto death yet they boldly proclaim the Gospel and their faith in Jesus despite it all. We need that spirit in today's American churches. That is the revival I wish to see.
We see today these mega churches with millions of dollars preaching the false prosperity Gospel, they have turned God into a divine ATM. The danger of this is that by preaching a false Gospel, a false God, and a false Jesus, they are leading souls that hunger for God and His truth straight to damnation for their financial gain. They are stealing souls for the devil. Don't be blinded, these so called preachers are children of the devil, of this I have no doubt!
What are we to do? The answer is simple, earnestly contend for the faith. Boldly proclaim Christ wherever you go. Share the Gospel with everyone that will hear it. Don't just speak the truth, live it. Live your life for Christ and let your actions be your greatest witness to the world. Study the word of God so that you can defend the faith when challenged. Always act in love, even when you're mocked, ridiculed, and even persecuted unto death. Teach your children this same boldness and fire for God.
Together we can make this revival a reality by first making the change within us, then our children, then the world! Then we will see a revival unlike anything seen since the Apostle Paul first spread the Gospel to the gentiles! You are loved by God, share His love with the world!