Making a Difference
Jude 22, 23 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
I. The Mandate – making a difference
A. The Awareness
The underlying truth in these verses are clear; we are trying to bring about a change in other people.
Whatever their current state, we are making a judgment call that it should be different.
Whether they know it or not, we do, and we are working to bring about a positive change in others.
We are looking at their condition and discerning that they need to know that there is an alternative life.
FIRST MENTION PRINCIPLE: Exodus 11:6, 7
- 6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.
What is normal for the Egyptians is not normal for the Israelites.
What is normal for the unsaved is not normal for the saved.
What is normal for the world is not normal for the church.
There is supposed to be a difference!!!
- Leviticus 10:10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
- Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
- Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
Whether they have asked for it or not, we should desire to be used of God to make a difference.
This requires a healthy dose of both discernment and boldness.
Broken hearts and broken lives should not stay that way.
Broken marriages and broken homes should not stay that way.
Hurting people and hopeless people should not stay that way.
We are aware of their need and are also aware of the solution.
God can use you to make a difference.
B. The Action
The need prompts action.
The world has no problem seeing a need and being prompted to action.
- The environment; cleaning plastic and garbage out of the oceans.
- Animal shelters; commercials for starving and mistreated animals.
The problem prompts a solution.
There are three types of Christians:
- Those that do not see the need
- Those that see the need but do nothing.
- Those that see the need and spring into action to meet that need.
II. The Means – pulling them out of the fire
FIRE is a picture:
- The fire of God’s judgment – God rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah; II Kings 1
- The fire of utter destruction
- The fire of eternal damnation
The first time we find the word “merciful” which is synonymous with Compassion in the Bible is found in
- 16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
- 17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
- 18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:
- 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life;
The sense of urgency … And while he lingered prompted the men to lay hold on their hand and bring them out of the city.
Some people are in so much trouble they need more than just a compassionate word of admonition.
We may have to insert ourselves in their life with a motivation of just how short their time is!
III. The Motivation
Verse 22 – Motivated by COMPASSION: to have mercy on, to help one afflicted or seeking aid; to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched, to experience mercy
- Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
We have been recipients of God’s mercy; we should have mercy on others in need.
Verse 23 – Motivated by FEAR: fear, dread, that which strikes terror
This is a demeanor of compassion, motivated by a sense of urgency.
Verse 23 – Motivated by a Hatred of the Flesh
… And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
QUESTION: Have we developed an insensitivity to the harmful effects of the flesh?
- Is it possible that our own battles with the flesh has deprived us of the ability to save others?
- Is it possible that our own tolerance of fleshly sins has dimmed our perspective and discernment?
- Is it possible that our own fleshly lifestyle is preventing us from making a difference?
- Is it possible that there is so little difference in our own lives that we cannot see the need in others?