Friday, December 16, 2011

Once and for all delivered to the saints – Jude 3

New Testament Challenge – Day 32
1,2&3 John and Jude

I found it interesting that Christopher Hitchen, a world renown atheist, died yesterday. Specifically there were two things that interested me. First was how much attention he received with long stories and biographies written about him. The second, was that like every year, atheism conveniently lifts its head around Christmas.

But in today’s readings we hear very strong language about those who would deny the coming in the flesh of the Incarnate Word of God – Jesus Christ.

For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 4)

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. (2 John 7)

In both these ascertains we are warned not to embrace or walk with these deceivers for fear that if we do, we are living a lie. “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.” (2 John 9) If we understand these warnings we will also understand that these deceivers are within the Church itself. Saint John says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be manifest, that none of them were of us.” (1 John 2.19)

Every time we try to grow closer to God, the devil (the chief deceiver) grows ever more frustrated and sends us tempters to distract us from loving and following God. DO NOT BE FRIGHTENED, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.” (1 John 3.1)

Take the bull by the horns this Christmas and fellowship WITH GOD rather than with the world. Find a Church and make plans to attend services for Christmas. It is the only appropriate manner to celebrate Christmas. A Christmas filled only with gifts and not Church attendance is nothing more than a day of material selfish gratification. That would be the sort of day Christopher Hitchen would celebrate, not a Christian.

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