Read Jude 1:22-23
And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
How can we share the Gospel with others but still avoid sin?
Cross-contamination is something that we should all be familiar with these days. We are told to keep our distance in order to avoid coming into contact with someone infected with a virus. We need to have the same fear of coming into contact with sin. It’s too easy to become contaminated. Just as we would never knowingly touch the clothes of someone infected with a deadly virus, we should hate “even the garment stained by the flesh.” We should definitely distance ourselves from sin! And yet, we should never leave someone to just die in their sin.
You have no doubt, heard the phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Jude confirms that we should show mercy and love to nonbelievers. They may be struggling with sincere doubts and questions, or they may have rejected the Gospel thus far and are in danger of eternal fire. We need to show them mercy, grace, and compassion. We shouldn’t leave them to die. Instead, we should try to “snatch them out of the fire.”
Remember, if it were not for the grace of God, we would be just as they are. And yet, as believers, we have all received mercy from the Father through Jesus Christ. So, be patient with those you encounter who are struggling with doubts. Lovingly address their doubts with Scripture. Pray with them or for them. And do not give up on those who are walking on a direct path to hell. Keep pursuing them. Gently correct them. Pray fervently for them. Do not be harsh or hateful. Show them the mercy that you have also been shown.
But Jude reminds us to not get so comfortable showing mercy to sinners that we get complacent with sin. Sin is not something to mess with. Show mercy with a healthy fear of sin. After all, sin is contagious.
Lord, thank you for showing me mercy. Help me extend the same mercy and grace to others but protect me and keep me from sin. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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