He has hammered at such length upon the character of the false teachers, and their impending doom, that Jude delivers almost as an afterthought a tender warning, lest any of the feeble saints be trampled in an unguarded zeal for the purity of Christ’s truth and worship.  Not all who are something less than stalwart Christians should be denounced as enemies of the faith, as scoundrels who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.  There are those within the church who have genuine faith, but it is small faith.  Through weakness and perhaps through ignorance they may be easily misled.  Their error is not one of malice against the true Gospel, for they possess genuine faith in Christ, albeit a very weak one.  Such believers who are not well instructed, and are easily persuaded by glib words, stand in particular danger of falling before the seductions of the false teachers Jude has been describing.

But Jude would not have them tossed into the same lump with the apostates.  They are to be regarded with compassion, for we ourselves could be in a state as miserable as theirs, or even much worse, if the Lord had neglected to save us at all.  We need to be keen enough in our spiritual perception that we can distinguish between the honest but weak Christian, and the outright heretic who uses the Gospel of God’s grace as a license to pursue his lusts.  The latter should be marked out, denounced, and summarily removed from the church, until they are granted repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.  But for the former we should make a difference, considering them as brethren and treating them as such; bearing with their weaknesses, warning them against error, encouraging them in their fears, lifting them up when they fall.

 

 

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