Rescuing the Perishing

22And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Jude 22-23

It’s logical to think that Jude would address the appropriate Christian response to the collateral damage caused by false teachers in the church, how to draw back those who have one foot in the fire, and how to rescue those now deeply engulfed in apostasy.

Commenters question whether we’re to be about extending mercy or convicting. It’s likely a mixture of both, but in differing proportions. As the situation worsens, the rescuing effort becomes more dangerous, rigorous, and forceful. In extreme cases, there is a distinct risk of cross-contamination. Such rescue missions are not for the weak and faint-hearted. These nuances are reminiscent of Jesus telling his disciples of the varying tactics required in dealing with particular demons.

28When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?” 29And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:28-29

In the most dangerous cases, our only recourse is prayer, to appeal to the Lord for him to convict and to extend mercy. But in all cases, really, it is only prayer that can pry people away from the tantalizing myths of false doctrine and the captivating personalities who perpetuate them.

3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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