“3Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
v.3 Jude desires to write about their common salvation but is unable; John MacArthur uses the illustration of when you start writing and then wad your letter up and throw it away repeatedly. That is what Jude is doing and what was intended to be an encouraging letter about their common salvation turns into a call to arms. He exhorts them to contend and agonize, to preserve the faith.
v.4 He cannot write about their common salvation because false teachers who, by an act of God’s sovereign choice, were destined for damnation have secretly began perverting God’s grace and denying His sovereign rule.
In the four passages that I have gone through under the heading, “The Reality of the Monoculture” it is important to notice the progression of events throughout these passages. Matthew 7:15-23 issues a warning to be on your guard against false teachers. II Timothy 4:3 warns of a coming time when sinful man will surround himself with false teachers. II Peter 2:1-3 again warns that just as false prophets arose in Israel that false teachers will arise among the church. Jude 1:3-4 no longer issues a warning of coming false teachers; but rather it issues a call to defend the faith that is under attack by false teachers.
Jude was the brother of Jesus so this letter was not written long after Christ’s resurrection and in that short time false teachers have perverted the Gospel to the point that salvation in no longer common. The situation is just as serious today; we live in a veritable cornucopia of heresy.
Catholicism teaches that individuals are saved based on their own merit. They also view the Pope as the supreme and universal master over the church. Universalism believes that every individual is saved through Christ regardless of his or her belief or acknowledgement of Him. Arminianism denies the lordship Christ by limiting Gods sovereignty. Open Theism denies God’s omniscience thus limiting His sovereignty. Still others believe you can loose your salvation or that you can be saved without acknowledging the lordship of Christ. Not to mention those who would add works, such as baptism, onto salvation. These things are not small matters; many of these are salvific issues. We should not ignore these issues for the sake of ecumenism and unity. Far too often Christians are unifying themselves with error for the sake of peace. We must stop being politically correct and start being intolerant of error in whatever way it may manifest itself. We must contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.