Earnestly Contending for the Faith
Book of Jude key verse 4
There are some who will tell you that contending for the faith does not require that you be of necessity contentious, and with that I would agree.
But the word 'contend' means to strive. It requires that you stretch or extend yourself. If you contend for the faith according to the definition of the word, you will strive in relation to those who pervert the faith;
You will be in a fight, a combat; you will strive in debate or controversy, argue with and dispute.
If you do not do those things; if you are unwilling to do those things with whoever is in opposition to the truth, do not tell me that you are contending for the faith. You are not satisfying the meaning of the word. In fact I may be guilty of understating its meaning in the original Greek tongue, for there it require that you do this thing with great earnestness.
You cannot go through the motions of contending or only do it halfheartedly and satisfy this commandment of Scripture.
Now, of you earnestly contend for the faith, you are going to seem to some people to be contentious, which is to say that they will view you as argumentative, quarrelsome, or perverse even though you might not be. There will be three groups of people who will see you in this light:
1. The first group are those against whom you strive. That is, they will profess to see you as contentious whether they really feel you are that way or not.
2. The second group are those who are ignorant of the issue. They are the ones who often say they do not understand what all the debate is about. There are two types of these people:
(1) There are those who are ignorant because they are uninformed. In there case, if they were wise they would withhold there opinion until they came to an understanding of what the debate was about. They are foolish people.
(2) Then there are those who are willfully ignorant. Willful ignorance could be described as being dumb on purpose. Sometimes people are dumb on purpose because they do not like someone one side of the issue. Sometimes they are dumb on purpose because they would have to admit someone they admired was wrong about the issue in question.
3. The third group who will declare you to be contentious are those who will are not contending for the faith themselves who are within the faith. They will declare you to be contentious because you make them either uneasy or jealous.
Contending for the faith takes place within Christendom. You contend for the faith with those who have crept into with what is termed Christianity. Though you may strive with those on the outside, you are not contending for the faith with them.
1. People on the outside need to come to Christ for salvation through the sharing of the Gospel message.
2. Standing against their errors does not get them saved. We stand against error from without to keep our own families and society as a whole from being overwhelmed by the evil nightmares of the devil, the doctrine of demons.
3. At best, convincing people in the world of the errors of such things as abortion, adultery, homosexuality, and the like will only succeed in producing moral infidels, or making them more open to the Gospel message.
The principle of a house divided applies to the urgency of Jude's call that we contend for the faith.
Matthew 12:25&26; Mark 3: 23-27; Luke 11:17&18
1. The devil has sent his men, principles, and ideas into the church to corrupt and divide the church. These corrupting influences strive according to the same principles that the devil seeks to use to corrupt individuals.
2. Because evil men, even those in other churches and denominations are a menace to this church and every church we must oppose them lest their corrupting influence invade our own church.
3. The true church of the Lord Jesus Christ will succeed because it belongs to Him and because Christ is coming back to take the true church unto Himself. The false doctrine of Satan will fail because his house is divided against itself.
Question of the message:
Are you prepared to contend for the faith even though some may label you contentious?
If you are not, are you prepared to explain to the Lord why you were unwilling to stand up for His truths when He appears?
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Buchanan, Georgia 30113