Now Playing: To what or to whom are we looking for comfort ?
Then (ver. 2) we have, "mercy unto you, and peace and love be multiplied." This is the only place where mercy is wished to the saints generally. When writing to individuals, to Timothy and Titus for instance, the apostle says "Mercy," but when to the saints generally, "Grace and peace."
Why does Jude bring "mercy" in here? Because they deeply needed the comfort. An individual ought always to feel the deep need of mercy, especially in the face of danger, and also in the sense of personal unworthiness; and now Jude gives the comfort of it to all these saints because of their imminent danger. I do not know any saints more in danger than ourselves, because grace has given us to feel for Christ's honour and name, and to have confidence in the scriptures as the word of God.
We should not look at a single word in them as a dead letter. I do not suppose that there is a single person here present brother or sister that has a doubt of a single word that God has written. It would be difficult nowadays to find yourself in such a company generally. People think inspiration is a very lively term, and that we must allow for the errors of those good men who wrote the Bible. What could we expect from such men even if learned? They judge by themselves, not by God, nor by the Holy Ghost.
Many of these men have not, I think, abandoned Christianity; but they are darkened by the spirit of unbelief. The spirit of the present day is as bad or worse as in any age since the Lord died and rose. There is one thing that marks it, and, that is lawlessness. A want of respect for everything that is above self, and a determination to have one's own way that is lawlessness. I do not know anything worse. It is what will characterise the whole of Christendom.
Now it works in individuals, and it also works largely in whole companies, but it will soon become the reigning spirit. And that is the distinctive name of the antichrist, "the lawless one." Christ was the Man of righteousness, Christ is the Man that gives everything its place according to God, and Christ is the One that gives God His place. As to everything and every person, He was the Man of righteousness; lawlessness has nothing but self as its great ambition, a fallen self man fallen from God.
The danger is great in the present day, and so it was when Jude wrote his Epistle. Therefore it is "mercy," not only "peace and love," but mercy unto you and peace and love be multiplied.&&&
Jude 20, Jude 21.
Well, now we come to a very comforting word. "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in [the] Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in [the] love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto life eternal" (vers. 20, 21).
So then we are not to be cast down, we are not to be disheartened, even by these terrible pictures of evil. They are revealed in order that we should not be deceived, that we may really know what the actual state of Christianity is before the eye of God, instead of yielding to false expectations and wrong and imperfect judgments of our own. But even in the face of all that, there is this call to these beloved saints to build up themselves on their most holy faith. This is very carefully worded.
There is nothing at all said in this Epistle about leaders, or guides, or rulers, or preachers, or teachers either. In a general way, as far as there were any, they have a very bad character, not of course that all who preached or taught were so, but that there were many of this class that were so especially. The saints themselves are here exhorted directly.
And he further adds, "Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." I think that mercy is brought in here especially because of the great need, because of the distress, because of the weakness, because of everything that tended to cast people down. No, he says, do not be downcast, look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Is it only by the way? No, it is all along the way, to the very end "unto life eternal," the great consummation. This could not be unless they already had life eternal in Christ now; but this mercy of God, "of our Lord Jesus Christ unto life eternal," looks at the full heavenly consummation.
Jude, William Kelly
(selected by D. Hopkins)