“Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” Jude 5
For a long time now, church culture has been driven by a consumer mentality. We’ve tried to draw people in by offering convenient programs in snazzy surroundings. So rather than choosing a church based on the truth they preach, people often opt for an appealing church that won’t disrupt their already busy lives. Jude reminds us of the high stakes of settling for comfortable Christianity.
Remember, Jude had just told his readers that people within their church were presenting a false variation of the gospel and of God’s grace (v4). Now he was reminding them that under the new covenant, grace doesn’t eliminate the devastating eternal consequences for unbelief under the old covenant. He then illustrates how God responds to those who reject His Son and the truth of His Word. They face eternal separation in a place consumed by darkness and fire (vv6-7).
Jude was so direct because the stakes are so high. Christianity isn’t simply a religious option people can adapt into their desired belief system or lifestyle. Christianity is exclusive. It offers salvation through one Person—Jesus. If our goal as a church is to make people feel comfortable, then we’ll shy away from the truths of Scripture that sound harsh.
Presenting the whole counsel of Scripture causes people to be uncomfortable at times. That’s the Holy Spirit convicting us, challenging us, and molding us into the image of Christ. Comfortable Christianity lulls people into accepting a more convenient version of grace—one that allows them to do as they wish as long as they attend church semi-regularly. That cheapens grace.
Being a Christian is far more than what church we attend or the denomination to which we belong. It is first and foremost about knowing and loving Jesus. The depth of our love determines our loyalty to truth and to serving His church. It also determines how we treat God’s grace.
With the consequence of eternity in the balance, it is imperative that we know and present the absolute and infallible truth of the Bible. As we conform to Christ, we’ll also live in such a way that others will come to Jesus by our verbal and visual witness. Too much is at stake for anything less.