But until you leave this earthly home, John’s message still has great relevance. As Matthew 3:9 commands, are you producing fruit that is in keeping with repentance? What does good fruit look like? When the Bible talks about fruit, it is talking about the way you are living your daily life.
Over the centuries, great empires or nations have had an average life span of 250 years. Why? The decline was not usually due to outside threats. Rather, in many cases, prosperity, commerce, literacy, and learning all grew to a point where people became proud and failed to follow God. Like the crew of the Titanic, leaders can develop a sense of invincibility. They see only 10 percent of the iceberg in their path—they don’t see the 90 percent lurking under the water.
But what did Jude mean by exhorting readers “to contend for the faith”? It certainly was not a call to use physical force or violence. Jude was referring to a spiritual battle, one requiring spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Jude exhorted followers of Christ to contend for the truth. As his letter explained, deceptive men were creeping into the church and perverting Christian doctrine with heresies that denied the truth.
Would you agree that patience seems to be lacking in our society these days? So how can I become a more patient person—at home, at work, among friends, and even while I'm driving? Willpower alone can produce some level of patience, but our Creator made provision for us to be patient at those moments when willpower falls short.
Distractions can negatively affect our lives and keep us off balance. Untold numbers of people, Christians included, go through life controlled by distractions—texts, emails, meetings, phone calls, errands, and surfing the internet. They bounce frantically from one activity to the next. Their goals and priorities take a backseat to an artificial tyranny of the urgent. Everything seems important. Ironically, they find enough time for distractions, but not enough time to restore their life’s equilibrium with a few minutes reading God’s Word and praying.