19 "These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh."
Finally we get to some good news. Jude says despite the problems with those abusing the grace of God it doesn't have to be so with us. In the church there will always be two extremes. Like those in Colossians there will be some saying we need more than Jesus. Then like Jude is saying there will be others who say Jesus is more than enough and we can do whatever we want.
Both of these groups cause confusion and division and when you have both groups in the same church it generally causes nearly everyone to choose a side and create to deceived extremes.
But, BUT it doesn't have to happen to you! Follow Jesus. If those who worship with you are going off on a tangent follow Jesus, stay with Jesus, grow in Jesus. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Study His life. Look at His priorities. See how He related to people of different persuasions. Ask Him what He wants you to do with your life. Ask Him who you should be helping or reaching out to. When others say you're too liberal or too fanatical remember you aren't following people. He will guide you by His Spirit. He will impress you in different ways. Primarily He speaks through His written Word. The lives of Abraham and Joseph and Moses etc... and primarily Jesus are written down for a reason. They show us lives that are surrendered. They bring balance and direction in the midst of an unbalanced world and often unbalanced churches. More and more I find culture and the church heading toward further and further extremes in every sphere.
Finally Jude gives some counsel on how to relate to those on an extreme tangent. Again he presents balance. He essentially says there are two kinds of extreme people. Those who are sincere and need correction through compassion. Then there are those who are stubborn and trouble makers. These need the Matthew 23 approach but again always in love. Sometimes love has to be straight. Sometimes love has to say tough things. Remember Jesus is our example. He is also our Teacher through the work of His Spirit. Never open your mouth in correction unless He says so and never do so unless your only motivation is their salvation.
They need to realize that their warped lusts are killing them. This is the fire they must be pulled from. Some have a lust to save themselves by their religious performance. Others have lusts to live as slaves to desire while claiming to live for God. Both groups need rescuing. Both groups need Jesus. Both groups need at times compassion and at times a firm Word from the Lord to warn them. All need prayer. This world is a tricky place.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Today. Tomorrow. Always.