But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ
foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow
their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural
instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your
most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for
the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life (Jude 1:17-21).
We have been warned--but do we heed the warning. Throughout the New
Testament, and especially in Pauls letters, we are warned by the Apostles to be
aware of those who would seek to undermine the work of the Kingdom. Perhaps there are
those who are naive as I have been to not consider that there are those who can somehow
find their delight in hindering Gods work, yet Jesus has told us to be wise as
serpents and harmless as doves. To our dismay, if we were to see things clearly as
through the very eyes of God, we would no doubt receive a sudden shock as we would see
that things are not always as they seem.
The Bible tells us that the devil can appear as an angel of light. He is deceptive--the
father of lies. Those who are led astray by him are deceived by him. They are the
scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. Just as the devil is able
to appear as something or someone he is not, so also those who are led by him can do the
same. They seek what is for the good of the self over the good of the body, and they seek
to promote the same among the body, as if perhaps to validate their desires to themselves.
We have been warned. And we had better heed the words of our Lord. It is a scriptural fact
that there are those among us who seek to distort Gods truth, to exchange His truth
for a lie, and to lead others to do the same. They are the men who divide you.
They cast strife upon the church and spark divisions that hinder the church from doing the
work that God has called it to do. The greatest question in the mind of a divider is
How can I get my way? It is not that they seek to divide, but that they seek
their way above Gods way, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
In these times, it is important for us to bear in mind that there are truly those who are
within the church that cause separation rather than unity, that seek their own over that
of what is good for the whole of the church. But lest we start a witch hunt, we must not
become suspicious, but we must weigh everything according to Gods Spirit. There are
those who are troublemakers by desire, there are those who make trouble unknowingly, and
there are those who stir up strife yet do not wish to. So while we are staying alert so as
not to be led astray, we must keep in mind that we ourselves must be certain that we cause
no divisions for any reason. Even our good intentions can cause divisions, if we do not
keep ourselves in check with Gods Word and His Spirit.