Earnestly Contending for the Faith

     In Jude’s epistle he exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.” – Jude 1:3.
     I was wondering, how are we going to contend for the faith if we don’t really know what it is? It seems that there is an enormous man-made wall that has been erected through the ages that is blocking our view of what the apostles actually said. We keep adding bricks to this wall whenever we begin to follow the teachings of others without checking God’s word for ourselves to see if what we are being taught is actually supported by the Scriptures.

     This is a very big wall, I really don’t like it and want to see what’s on the other side. It won’t be an easy task to remove it as it has taken hundreds of years to construct. If you help me, we can begin by peeling off the layers and layers of the false veneer of man’s opinions and philosophies. Then we can scrape off the aberrant theologies of teachers that have incorporated pagan concepts into their doctrines. These are the hardest to remove because they have been embedded into this wall for so long and many of them have become traditions. The murrain of these stains runs very deep and they are cherished by some, even though they contain much falsehood. Yet, we must remind ourselves that they are part of a wall that our Lord has not constructed.

     We continue by chiseling out the heresies and other false doctrines. It seems we‘ve been working for a very long time and there remains such a tremendous amount of work left to do. The wall is still so high and wide, and some of us are beginning to feel a bit discouraged.

     I have an idea! Let’s take a big stick of the dynamite labeled “prayer” and lay it at the base of the wall’s foundation, light it with zeal for God and His truth, then step back and watch the remainder of that wall fall with a resounding crash at our feet.

     When the dust settles we are overjoyed to see Jesus and His apostles waiting for us in the distance. We earnestly begin to make our way over the rubble. We are now stepping over the crumbled remains of slick religious orators and we can still hear them faintly crying out from television and radio broadcasts. We try not to be distracted as we continue. We carefully avoid tripping and falling into error before we reach our destination by keeping our eyes focused on the Truth that awaits us in the distance.

     We are exhausted from the effort and the spiritual persecutions we’ve experienced from having to contend with that massive barrier that was blocking our path to a pure undefiled faith. Yet we are filled with joy as we are finally able to enter the presence of our Lord.

     He hands us His bread and wine, and we ingest Him eagerly. We are refreshed and revived.

     We look around and we realize that we are in a barren place, a wilderness alone with our Lord and His disciples. This is where we can begin again, in this oasis of Truth and we are sheltered in its shadow like a great mountain.

     Suddenly we notice that there is a white substance lying on the ground all around us. It is the manna of God’s word, sent to us by His Spirit and we know we shall not starve. It is a simple satisfying feast that we will gather daily. The pure stream of His Holy Spirit guides us as we read and we will never thirst.

     As we dine we have no desire to look back at the remains of that man-inspired barrier that kept us from the joy we have now. We know what the word really tastes like because we are feeding from the source. The Spirit of our God turns the pages in our hearts and we feast on the words He has penned through the ages by His prophets and apostles. We shall be well fed and survive this age of apostasy and deception and not be led into the famine of unbelief.

     Beloved, “remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Jude 1:17.

     Yes, we will remember and we will read.

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Copyright 2010 by H.D. Shively

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