PRETENDER OR CONTENDER

Andy Hollifield 4-21-17

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Pretend———-1) to cause or attempt to cause ( what is not so ) to seem so 2) to appear falsely, as to decieve, 3) to make believe

Contend———-1) to struggle in opposition 2) to strive in rivalry; compete 3) to strive in debate; dispute earnestly

A wise man once said, “Never contend with a man that has nothing to lose”. That is some very sound wisdom. A desperate man will battle at all cost throwing caution to the wind and do everything humanly possible to obtain his goal. Jude is encouraging the saints to contend in that manner for our faith. This book was allegedly written around 75 A.D. Since it had been a number of years since the death of Christ, it is quite likely that Jude had began to see the slackness of some of the saints. It is easy to “get lazy” after the new wears off of something. Jude goes on in later verses to talk about false teachers coming in. He mentions the need to stand strong and not let our dedication to the Lord and our faith waiver especially in the face of opposition. If we have ever seen a time like Jude spoke of, it is now. We live in a time of “safe places” and and the political correctness movement. We have to contend for the faith because we have let it slip so long that we have already began to see the next generation have less desire for the things of God. Not speaking as a whole because the young folks I have seen that have a heart toward God have a greater zeal and determination that of their predicessors. We are in a time that we have been belittled so much that we often back down if someone is even slightly offended. In our ministry, we have encountered a situation after the fact, where a person was offended because their child had received an Easter basket containing a bible. He told me that I was in violation of law and that I would have to quit putting bibles in my baskets and distributing them through schools. I corrected him on his misunderstanding of the law and told him to do whatever he felt necessary but I would be conducting business as usual. It is in exactly those types of situations that we must contend for the faith that was once delivered unto us. Bowing and praying before meals in public is another example. We should never be intimidated into not praying, or reading our bible, or talking about the Lord wherever we are. I do not set out to offend but I have rights too and I have certain inalienable rights given by my creator which I am willing to contend for.

We have allowed too many pretenders to dictate our behavior as christians. Pretenders are faithful and dedicated as long as things are going smooth and everyone speaks well of them and they don’t have to make a stand for anything. We have cowered away everytime someone says “thou shalt not judge” and we just zip our lip and return quickly to obscurity. That is definitely not how Christ would want us behaving.

In closing, I want to ask a question; Are you a contender or just a pretender? Will you make a stand or just slip away quietly? Will you take a little ridicule or decide it’s not worth it? We are bombarded on every side with false doctrine and false teachers. We must contend for the faith. I have read the back of the book and we win! As a matter of fact, we have already won. Jesus took care of that when he came out of the tomb. Stand strong and have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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