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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.”—Jude 11 (NIV)
The Book of Jude is just one chapter, and yet the bulk of the chapter is a dire warning. At the start, Jude expresses his eagerness to share in the joys of salvation with fellow believers. But there was a serious matter at hand that he quickly addresses: Perversion had slipped into the church, and there wasn’t a minute to waste.
The Bible is filled with reminders that our biggest concern is not the sins of the world but the sin that can infiltrate the four walls of the church. Jude warns us against the “way of Cain.” Back in Genesis, Cain chose his preferred plan rather than God’s chosen sacrifice. Likewise, today there are those who have adjusted the gospel to meet their own comforts. Some even disregard the truths of the Old Testament and deny the inerrancy of Scripture. Conforming God’s ways to meet man’s desires will always have grave consequences.
Secondly, we are cautioned to stay away from Balaam’s error, which was employing God’s name for a financial windfall. We must be wary of those who use the work of Christ to meet their selfish desires. This does not mean that servants of God must be destitute or struggling financially, but when you preach a gospel that equates God’s highest blessing with monetary wealth, you are in dangerous territory.
Finally, we are reminded of the destruction that followed Korah’s rebellion. Korah revolted against Moses and Aaron in an attempt to acquire a priestly position for power. Sadly, there are those who seek ministry opportunities for personal fortune and fame. True leaders are known by their humility, their desire to serve, and their interest in bringing fame to God’s name. When a leader is motivated by pride, he will bring down all those around him, as Korah did.
Jude concludes this book by focusing on Jesus, who is our Prophet, Priest, and King. In obedience, Jesus submitted to the will of the Father, saying, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42 NIV). In contentment, He walked the earth without a place to lay His head. In humility, He lived a life of service modeling true leadership.
And so with Jude we declare: “To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 25 NIV).
DIG: Read about Cain (Genesis 4:3), Balaam (Numbers 25:1-3; 31:16), and Korah (Numbers 16:4-7 ).
DISCOVER: Pray that God would reveal any impure motivations in your heart.
DISPLAY: Share the Doxology (Jude 24-25) with a friend via text, e-mail, or a phone call.