Text: Jude 20--25

Sunday November 21, 2021 (Last

Sunday of Church Year)

Trinity – Creston/Mount Ayr

Grace, mercy, and peace is yours from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our text for this Last Sunday of the Church Year is the Epistle lesson from the Book of Jude that was just proclaimed.

Let Us Pray: Dearest Jesus, send your Holy Spirit to enable us to remember Jesus as both Savior and Destroyer, look forward to His return, and live today mindful of Him and others. Amen

Dear Fellow Redeemed Christ:

It doesn’t take long to forget. By the time you get out to the garage, you can’t remember why you went out there in the first place.

Just days or weeks after a major hurricane or earthquake, our world has seemingly forgotten all about it and moved on to the next big thing.

Though you know you are baptized into Christ, it’s a daily battle to remember who you really are in Christ—a child of God, no more and no less.

It’s easy to forget the letter of Jude too—just twenty-five verses; yep, just one chapter. But Jude has a very important message for us—especially on this Last Sunday of the Church Year when we look ahead to Jesus’ return on the Last Day. It’s about not forgetting. Or, stated positively, about remembering. Jude teaches us that

The Church Remembers Jesus Because Jesus Remembers His Church.

And that’s not as obvious a message as it seems. Remember, it’s easy to forget. It’s happened before; the church has forgotten Jesus.

I. What happens when you forget who Jesus is and what he’s said?

A. Jude wrote his little epistle around AD 68, roughly 35 years after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.

1. Most of the apostles had died, and Jude, who was not an apostle, was compelled to write to the Church in their place (vv 1–3).

2. He writes with this stated purpose: “To remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe” (v 5).

B. The church had forgotten Jesus! They had forgotten his promised return.

1. They had forgotten that he will come as both Savior of those who believe and Destroyer of those who do not believe, just as it has happened in the past at the exodus from Egypt.

2. Having forgotten the reality of who Jesus is, some Christians perverted the grace of God into sensuality, turned forgiveness into license, and denied the only Master and Lord, Jesus (v 4).

3. Jude is a call to remember who Jesus is and what he has said (v 17)—both as Savior and as Destroyer.

C. What happens when you forget that Jesus will one day return as the Savior of those who believe?

1. You see the problems of this world.

a. If you do not participate in any of them to one degree or another, then perhaps you are tempted to distance yourself from them by thinking back in time and remembering the good ol’ days, believing that the answer to the problems of the world is simply to return to the way things used to be, or at least to try.

b. You are tempted to believe that the solution to the world’s problems is someone or something other than Jesus.

2. Remember instead that Jesus and Jesus alone is your Savior and the Savior of this world.

a. He has saved you from sin and death by his death and resurrection.

b. He saves you even now by his Word and Spirit through the Means of Grace, where he does not remember your sin but forgives it (Ps 25:7; 103).

c. He will save you finally and fully from this world that’s destined for destruction when he comes again in all his glory and fills you with joy (v 24).

D. What happens when you forget that Jesus will also return as Destroyer of those who do not believe?

1. You see yourself as someone securely saved.

a. You are tempted—just as the church of all times and places is tempted—to be comfortable in your ways, even in your sins, living the way you want to live, giving yourself license, falling into patterns of thinking and patterns of doing that you know are not in accordance with the Word of God.

b. You convince yourself that you do not need to worry about it or change anything.

2. Remember instead that Jesus truly will return someday as your judge.

a. He calls you to repentance. He calls you to trust in his forgiveness. He calls you to live a new life according to his Word.

b. And he calls you to remember that those who do forget will be destroyed in eternal, never-ending punishment.

II. As frightening as that is, how comforting to remember that Jesus never forgets you!

A. God addresses our forgetting that Jesus is the Savior and the Destroyer by reminding us the same way he did the Early Church through Jude: preparing us for the future by pointing us to the past.

1. Reminding that God has called you to faith, has loved you, and has kept you in the faith (v 1).

2. Reminding that God has promised “to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless” (v 24) on that day of his glorious return.

B. So this we may always remember about Jesus:

1. That he hears your prayer that echoes the thief on the cross, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42). He does. Jesus remembers you.

2. That he always has been and always will be mind­ful of you. He who has all “glory, majesty, domin­ion, and authority, before all time and now and forever” (v 25) remembers you by calling you, loving you, and keeping you with his Church (v 1).

a. He has called you through the waters of Bap­tism, where he joined you to himself and to all other believers in him.

b. He continues to love you by feeding you with the fruits of his cross.

c. He promises to keep you in the one true faith by his Word and Spirit until the day you see him face-to-face.

C. In our Collect for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, we prayed, “Lord Jesus Christ, so govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, ever mindful of Your glorious return, we may persevere in both faith and holiness of living; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”

1. Jesus does live and reign. He hears your prayer. He answers you. He remembers you.

2. Therefore you remember him today and forever.

III. We do, then, remember Jesus—even if we can’t remem­ber all seven activities to which you heard Jude call us in our text. Remember what they were (vv 20–23)?

A. The first four of these activities are encouragements for ourselves as believers.

1. “[Build] yourselves up in your most holy faith.” Faith lives by its object. This is an encouragement to be built up by God’s Word and Spirit in the faith (vv 3, 17). This is a look back to the past as well as encouragement to continue listening to the Word of God.

2. “[Pray] in the Holy Spirit.” This is an encouragement to offer prayer that is informed by God’s Word through which the Spirit works faith. This is a look forward to the future.

3. “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” This is an encouragement to stay in the love God the Father has given you through Baptism (vv 2, 21). This is a look to the present time.

4. “[Wait] for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Mercy is what happens when you do not get what you deserve. This is an encouragement to expect mercy from the Savior even though you deserve to be destroyed by him as judge. This is a look forward to the future.

B. Having offered encouragement as to how believers themselves should live, Jude then adds three ways believers should live in relation to others, especially “those who doubt” (v 22).

1. “Have mercy on those who doubt.” There is only one judge. Jesus allowed himself to be rejected by the world, and his message to the world through you has that same character that can be rejected. This is an encouragement to keep on showing the mercy that Jesus has shown to you no matter what.

2. “Save others.” Christ has saved us from the wrath of God, snatched us from the destruction we have earned and truly deserve. Since we are snatched from judgment by his grace, this is an encouragement to let ourselves be used by God to graciously snatch and save others.

3. “[Hate] even the garment stained by the flesh.” When you were baptized, Christ clothed you in the robe of his own righteousness. How can individuals or congregations knowingly and willingly soil that gift with unrepentant sin? Instead, this is an encouragement not to “pervert the grace of our God” (v 4) but to hate sin out of love for Jesus.

C. How can you remember this list? Remember Jesus.

1. These activities are responses to what God has already done for you in Christ. Remembering is always like this: you can’t remember without the past. You can’t live according to God’s Word apart from what God has already done and promises to do for you.

a. Remember what he has done. He gave his life for you. He conquered death for you. He sent his Spirit that you might believe his promises of forgiveness, life, and salvation. He has promised to return in glory for you. He has promised to destroy those who do not believe, but he has also promised to save those who do.

b. Listen to his promise: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (Jn 14:26).

2. Jesus remembers you. That’s how you remember him.

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (vv 24–25).

The peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.