Jude 1:20 – “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”
In the movie, Braveheart, the main character, William Wallace, finds himself with his Scottish kinsmen on a battlefield with a massive English army on the other side. With the promise of lands and titles, the Scottish nobles have brokered a deal with the English king so that no blood need be shed on this day. They would receive land and token power for pledging allegiance to the English crown.
However, Wallace is not there to pay homage to the king. He is there to resist England because they have been murdering his countrymen and raping their women.
So, as the Scottish nobles ride to the centre of the field to formalize their peaceful arrangement, Wallace rides with them. Just prior to riding forward, some of Wallace’s friends ask him, “Where are you going?” He responds, “To pick a fight.”
He then rides forward and severely insults the English until they have no choice but to attack.
Interestingly enough, the English lose that battle and Scotland takes the upper hand in their war against England.
Why do I tell you all this? Is there a big pitch coming on how Christians should also be standing their ground against injustice and tyranny?
Not exactly. The Bible says that there is a time for war and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:8), and maybe I will tackle that problem another day.
I am more interested in our daily lives as believers in Jesus Christ. In the verse from Jude, the author contrasts the actions of those who “cause divisions” and God’s beloved, who keep themselves “in the love of God.” While the Bible tells us that we need to be wary of false teachers and that we ought to “remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 17), it also tells us that we are not to make division between ourselves.
Think about the people of your church. Do you find that you are peace with them, showing selfless love toward them and vice versa? Or do you find a lot of conflict and tension there? If the latter, why do you think such conflict exists?
Paul warns the Roman church to “accept the one who is weak in faith” and “not to have quarrels over disputable matters” (Romans 14:1). He elsewhere encourages the Philippian church to be “of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” The call to love fellow Christians and to strive toward oneness and unity is a central theme of the New Testament.
So, I ask you today? How have you contributed to loving those you attend church with? How have you sought common ground with people from other churches? A simple way to start is to pray for your fellow church members and other Christians within your town or city. Another way is to have coffee with someone you know but have not really developed a friendship with. Couples could be encouraged to invite other couples over for dinner. Single people could be encouraged to organize informal get-togethers with each other. When you gather together, strive to find your common ground and be willing to listen to each other in regard to your differences.
In short, your primary call is to love before any other pursuit. To put it bluntly, if you are engaged activities that divide, you are doing it wrong. Let us strive toward the unity of our faith (Ephesians 4:13) as we wait eagerly for the return of our Lord, Jesus.
If you are a practicing Christian, here is something you need to hear. If your heart and mind is that the addicted, impoverished, and broken people dug their own grave and the rest of society is not responsible for their bad mistakes, then I ask you to wake up.