The Warning of a Worried Pastor
BIG IDEA | God will punish the unrepentant.
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As humans, we have a tendency to forget. This can be inconvenient and annoying in our personal lives. But in matters of faith, forgetfulness can have fatal consequences. That’s why “remember” is a constant theme through all of scripture.
As a pastor, Jude was deeply concerned about this and addressed it head-on in his letter to the early Christians. He issued an urgent warning to them by giving three examples of God’s judgment of sin in the Old Testament. He pointed to God’s past actions in order to drive home the point that there have been - and always will be - consequences for unrepentant rebellion against God.
A message like Jude’s is direct and even hard to hear, but it brings into focus an important characteristic of God: He is always more committed to our care than our comfort. He is more than willing to wound us in the present if it saves us in the future.
Here are three warnings from Jude’s message not to rebel against God:
1. Don’t PRESUME on God’s PLENTIFUL grace. (v5)
Grace is never grounds to go ahead with sin. When we mistake God’s grace for apathy and remain unrepentant in our sin, He is not mocked. We risk condemnation as a result of His wrath.
2. Don’t PUSH against God’s POSITION of authority. (v6)
An unwillingness to submit to God’s authority is the essence of sin. When we disobey God we defect from the faith. Every sin is an attempt to slip past the authority of God.
3. Don’t PERVERT God’s PLAN for sexuality. (v7)
When we redefine God’s plan for sex we usurp the authority of His Word. Sex is reserved as a God-glorifying gift to a husband and wife in the context of marriage. Any other sexual behavior perverts God’s plan.
Jude is nothing, if not clear in these verses - God has and will punish the unrepentant. The question is, will we bear the punishment or will Jesus? On the cross we see the collision of God's justice and grace. Jesus bore the full punishment for sin and holds out forgiveness as a free gift of grace. The question is, will you repent and receive it?