But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
The first part of the book of Jude gives us a very lurid description of ungodliness on the earth and includes a prophecy by Enoch of God’s judgment. But beginning in verse 17, Jude begins to address the “beloved” (believers) and instructs them in what to do in the midst of this evil world while waiting for His coming.
His coming is referred to as “the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” This reference is plainly speaking of the first phase of His coming, in resurrection and rapture; for the focus is on all believers who are waiting for Him; thus in mercy He will come and rescue all believers from the coming wrath and bring us to eternal life with Him.
Jude’s instructions to us, as we wait for the Savior, are fivefold:
1. We are to remember and be warned of all ungodly persons who were spoken about to us by the apostles (Mockers, 2 Pet. 3:3; Savage wolves, Acts 20:29-30; false teachers, 1 Tim. 4:1-2; those who are lovers of self, 2 Tim. 3:2-5; those who oppose the truth, 2 Tim. 3:8; evil men and impostors, 2 Tim. 3:13).
2. We are to build ourselves up on our most holy faith. There is only one thing that can build us up on the faith, and that is the word of God. As Paul was departing from Ephesus, he said to the Elders there, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
3. We should be always praying in the Holy Spirit. Paul instructed the Ephesian church in Ephesians 6:18, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit…”
4. We are to keep ourselves in the love of God. We do this by our constant obedience, for one who is obedient to God stays in His fold of love. John 14:21 says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.”
5. We are to wait eagerly for His coming. Such a steady, eager waiting will purify us just as He is pure (1 Jn. 3:3).