Ever hear of the rock and roll group, the Beatles? Of course you have! As a teenager, and like millions of other teens, I listened to them every chance I got. And, like it or not, their music spoke directly to the heart of their generation, the culture of the day.
Ever hear of a guy named Jude? (By the way, don’t miss a song about him near the end of this post) Not the guy the Beatles sang about; this guy was a brother of Jesus and a writer of a very small letter in the New Testament. He had much to say to his generation, as well. And although his letter is about 2000 years old, the message he gave then is relevant for us today.
Have you read his letter? It starts out nice and friendly; cordial, even. But things get hot real quick. I mean, he starts writing and warning people to rise up and contend for the faith. Fight for the Truth, the Gospel. Why? Because there’s a time coming when all “hell is gonna break loose!”
He warns of judgment to come, the danger of “backsliding”, and the need to keep “built up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” He uses the word “ungodly” so many times you get the idea God isn’t very pleased with a lot of people who call themselves Christians; the ones who act like they’ve never met Jesus. For instance:
“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
“Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries… But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” (Jude 1:5-13 NKJV)
See what I mean? “Having saved people…destroyed those who did not believe”, and “while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.” These people hung out with the believers, but…
Jude. Poor ol’ Jude. He’s not a very popular guy. Definitely not as popular as the Beatles! And his message doesn’t attract too many people today, either.
In fact, most of the “church world” would just as soon ignore the message of Jude.
Here’s a little ditty that resonates with a lot of the modern “saints”. Feel free to sing along.
Hey, Jude, I can’t believe, you’d take a Good God, and make Him bitter
Remember, God is love and so kind, I am offended by your letter
Hey, Jude, why are you mad? Where’s the love, man, why be so hateful?
Remember, God’s love and grace is for all, He wouldn’t send a soul to hell.
So why the angry rhetoric, you know, I’m sick, of people who always speak so ugly
Why can’t we all just get along, would it be wrong, to talk of the good, and not the ungodly
Hey, Jude, you’re such a fool, to believe those tales of fiction
Remember, the thought of angels in chains, is but a vivid imagination
So let them out and let them go, those words of woe, they only embarrass Christian brothers
Lighten up your voice of gloom, your words of doom, and let’s all love one another…
Hey, Jude, though I’m your friend, feel that church has made you bitter
Remember, it’s not as bad as it seems, so take your sad notes, and make them better, better, better…
Yep, poor old Jude. Too bad he didn’t realize this generation doesn’t care for such negativity. If he’d only gotten the memo, and had a dynamic agent, he just might have connected to the believers of the 21st Century.
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, hey Jude!
(Originally posted 8/7/13)