Jude 17-23 (ESV)
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
We clearly live in the last days. At what point in these days is frequently and heavily debated. When does not really matter in some ways. We should be ready to meet our maker every day. None of us are guaranteed any more time than now. God could take us home at any moment. We need to be ready. Ready to meet our God whenever He chooses.
This phrase, “hating even the garment stained by the flesh”, could be reminiscent to the contagion of lepers, according to Adam Clarke, or could mean to avoid even the appearance of evil in our lives. Both make sense. The clothes a leper wears gets contaminated from the oozing of their sores, and if a clean person touches them(even their clothing), they could possibly get the infection. Avoiding even the appearance of evil is more difficult today, because there is so much question about what is truly right or wrong anymore. But if we study God's Word, I believe the truth will show through.
We must be careful about our associations with people who have no regard for what is right, mockers, scoffers, etc. If we do not make it clear that we will not put up with such things, then the attitudes will bleed onto us, like the infections of disease.
Let us endeavor to stay positive, and focus on the Love and forgiveness offered by God through our Lord Jesus!
by Virgil Stripes