[The apostles said] to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
— Jude 18-19 —
Viktor Z. | Russia
When something starts to decay, certain signs are noticeable. Similarly, when spiritual life starts to decay, there are noticeable signs—signs that point to greater issues. What are these noticeable signs of decay? First, there is profane speech. This can display itself in self-exaltation or moral impurity. In our passage, Jude calls people who use such language mockers. They are those who mock and treat people with disdain. If you believe in God’s care for your congregation, then you will work for its edification and pray for struggling believers. If such language comes from your lips or you hear the same language from members of your church, then you need to look beneath this behavior to the heart. Remember, nothing can change unless the Holy Spirit works in the heart and helps kill the desires of the flesh. A second sign of decay is conduct that destroys unity. Jude uses a word that indicates disagreement with teaching in the church, which is meant to build up believers in their “most holy faith” (Jude 20). Unfortunately, someone displaying this conduct may try to justify themselves saying that they are fighting for the truth, defending the doctrines, and battling legalism. However, instead of contending for the faith, they are contentious and simply hurting the church. In reality, their behavior and words exalt themselves instead of bringing glory to God and edifying the church. If you believe in God’s care for your congregation, then you will work for its edification and pray for struggling believers. If you know someone who is showing these signs of decay, talk with him—encourage, exhort, admonish, reprove—and do so in love, so he doesn’t hurt his own soul and also the souls of other brothers and sisters.