Bible Study for December 29th @ 7:00 p.m., CDT
(Zoom sign-on instructions are at the end of the email.)
Lesson: “Contend Earnestly for the Faith”
Lesson Scripture: Jude 1-8, 20-25
Background Scripture: Jude
Time: A.D. 60-80
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV).
In a few days we will (hopefully) witness the beginning of a new year – 2022. Right now, many people are making New Year’s resolutions, resolving to make positive changes in their life (work less and play more; read more books and look at less tv; lose weight and eat more healthy, spend less money now and save more for the future; etc.). Oftentimes, these are personal or individual resolutions. But what about resolutions concerning “the church”?
In the Epistle of Jude, Jude ‘exhorts the members of the church to contend earnestly for the faith.’ Jude was referring to a situation wherein ‘ungodly men’ had crept into the church to pervert or destroy it from within. He told the church to fight against this apostasy. Today, the church must still be on guard against ‘deceivers’. But the church must also guard against complacency and lassitude, for these can be just as destructive.
Some churches have succumbed to these negative forces and have closed their doors. Some churches are in the midst of these struggles and are barely hanging on. Others have gone through the storm and have become even stronger ‘bodies of Christ.’ The cycle is not over however.
SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. What do you find unusual about how Jude described himself (verse 1)? Why did he say what he said, and what did he not say?
2. How can we ‘save others by pulling them out of the fire’ (v 23)?
3. When you think about churches that have closed their doors, what do you think they did or did not do that caused them to do so? How could they have possibly prevented this from happening?
4. Now think about churches that struggled and are now thriving. What did they do to overcome or prevent calamity?
5. Should “the church” make ‘corporate’ New Year resolutions? If so, give some examples of those resolutions. How is it possible for “the church” to keep those resolutions?