This morning's news included a report of an incredibly heroic act. A young man was on his way for a late stop at a gas station to fill his car in Lafayette, Indiana, just after midnight. Along the way, he came upon a house in flames. The report described how this young man snatched five children from the dense black smoke and intensely hot flames at his own risk and sustained injuries in the process of being these children’s savior.
In his epistle, St. Jude encouraged Christians to “contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints” (v3) as he compares the lawlessness of the world and the life in Jesus Christ. In his encouragement, he calls believers in Jesus Christ to persevere in a world that is hostile to the true and saving faith and wait upon the Lord for His mercy and strength that leads to eternal life. He also encourages Christians to have mercy on those who struggle with the faith (v22) and to “save others by snatching them out of the fire” (v23).
At great risk to himself, the young man of Lafayette snatched children from a consuming fire. Christ Jesus went beyond the risk and laid down his life to save all people from the eternal fire of hell and damnation. His atoning sacrifice snatched all from the condemnation of the Law and the eternal cost of sin. His bodily resurrection bears witness that His sacrifice was sufficient and all who call upon His name have life eternal. Therefore, since He is the firstborn of the dead, He has the means to “keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before His glory with great joy” (v24).
With this sure and certain promise, St. Jude reminds us 21st-century Christians that the Christian faith is not a passive faith. Regardless of how difficult it is to be Christians in a society that is increasingly becoming more godless, we are called to be engaged; to snatching those who are spiritually at risk from the flames of damnation.
It is easier to be passive. To live out your faith quietly and even to pull back from a collapsing society. God’s Word says differently. We need to be out there and engaged. St. Peter reminds Christians to always be prepared to give an account for the hope that is in you (1 Pet 3:15). Again, this means we need to be in society not running away from it; trusting in God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to preserve and keep us in the true faith. In the holy name of Jesus. Amen.
Photo: Rheo Ryan Balbuena