3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. Jude 3
It’s been interesting to observe which preachers have paused their sermon plans, even briefly, for important straightforward biblical teachings to address the state of advancing and unrestrained evil in the world, in our nation, in our cities, and in some cases, in our churches.
Some have kept their noses to the theological grindstone. Others have opted for messages on love and acceptance, tiptoeing to find something “socially” acceptable to say from the pulpit. Then there are those who focus almost exclusively on the “end of the world,” to the point their congregations are “no earthly good.” Indeed, it’s a veritable minefield out there if one worries about stepping on any toes, one way or another.
In a way, Jude faced this dilemma when he sat down to write about “our common salvation,” but interestingly, “felt the necessity” to switch gears. With the same, or perhaps extra added effort due to the urgency of the matter, he implored his audience to “contend earnestly” for the faith, as would a “combatant.” The word “earnestly,” by the way, is added to intensify the exhortation.
Jude recognized that the faith that was “once and for all handed down” was in danger of contamination or dilution to the point of ineffectiveness. From day one, Satan has tried everything to obfuscate the truth, and the church and its messengers have been his primary targets.
This short letter helps us to navigate in an “ungodly” world, woefully defiled, increasingly devoid of truth and sanity, in denial, while at the same time attempting to reach it (v. 20-23, more on this later).