Jude 24-25 – “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Our God is our keeper. He is the one who saves, and He is the one who keeps! He is the one who presents us blameless, and He is the one who watches over us. What good news this is for us. Two thousand years ago, Jude wrote this to a struggling people. As they had heard from the apostles, “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” (Jude 18-19). Two thousand years ago, the first Christians had many enemies. Similarly today, we are surrounded by scoffers who would love to discourage us and frustrate us and cause us to stumble.
Jude describes much more about our enemies. There are people around us that “pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). Later, Jude explains that demons are fallen angels who have been “kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness” (Jude 6). The way Jude describes the situation in this life is pretty grim.
Realize when Jude is writing this. This was probably written in the mid to late 60’s, just 30 years or so after Christ ascended to heaven, and just a few years before Jerusalem was burned to the ground by Rome. Christians were persecuted during these first years like no other time. All the while that is going on, Jude promises that it is God who saves, and God who keeps, and God who deserves “glory, majesty, dominion, and authority.”
On summitting Mt. Everest, climbers ascend through a variety of terrain. Between massive, hidden ice crevasses and steep snowy faces to steep, technical climbs, the climb is difficult. When climbers make it to around 28,000 feet, they face a section of the climb like no other. Not only are they living with merely 1/3 of the oxygen that is at sea level, but now they face one of the more technical parts of the climb. Around 28,000 feet are two difficult sections. One is a 40-foot vertical rock climb called the Hillary Step, and the other is called the Cornice Traverse, which is a knife-like ridge at 28,000 feet. If you take the wrong step to the left, you fall 8000 feet; and if you take one wrong step to the right, you fall 10,000 feet.
At times, our lives feel like we are traversing the Cornice Traverse, don’t they? We feel that there are people surrounding us, trying to bring us down. We feel like we are on the brink of taking the wrong step one way or another. Yet, this feeling is not from God. This feeling is from our flesh and from the enemy. God promises that for those who are His, he will watch over us, guard us, protect us, fight for us, and even keep us.
What a comfort that it is for us to consider the fact that if we are in Christ, we will be presented to God as blameless. Though we take wrong steps, God promises that he will not forsake us. William Farley puts it so well when he says, “We were not chosen on the basis of our performance, and so therefore, we will not be rejected for our failure to perform.” Praise God that he is able to keep us from stumbling!