As we continue in our journey through Jude, we come upon a difficult passage to understand. Verses eight through ten tell a real story that gives us an example of how we should interact with demons. Without going into the depths of demonology and angelology, they are more powerful than we are. However, we should not be scared of them because they are restrained to the will of God. So, in a sense, they have authority over us, but no more than what God allows. This can be related to human government. It is through this model that Jude is also directing us in our relationship with our governmental authorities.
This reminds me of a passage in the thirteenth chapter of Romans. In this passage, Paul tells the Romans to submit to the government for they were placed there by God. This is a hard message for us to read. This is especially hard for us when our country’s leaders do not seem to line up with our political stance. We are tempted to not submit to them. Not only does Paul tell us to submit to their authority, but to respect them as well.
This hits hard for us, especially with the leadership that we have for our country. However, we are to respect our president and leaders. If we do not submit and respect them, we are going against what God has willed for this nation. I’m not saying that we must agree with what they are trying to push through the legislature. Rather we are still to submit to their authority because God put them there.
What does it say about Christians when they preach loving each other, but then light up democrats or republicans on social media and make fun of our leaders? Doesn’t this sound hypocritical? I sure think it does. I am not just pointing my finger at you. I am including myself in this. When Biden fell off his bike, I will admit I laughed and thought it was funny, but then the Holy Spirit convicted me. How am I any different than this man? I could fall off my bike the next time I ride it and I would not want it plastered all over social media and people laughing at it and making fun of me. The same thing with how I talk. Why are we, as believers, laughing at and disrespecting this authority in our lives? God put our president over us, so we must respect him.
Knowing our human nature, we are going to look for loopholes. We are going to look for ways that we can get around it. However, Paul was writing to believers in Rome. The leaders of Rome were persecuting Christians. They were torturing them. Christians were being put in jail and killed for their faith. Yet Paul was calling them to respect their leaders. What we are experiencing in this country is nothing compared to what the believers in Rome were experiencing.
We are called to be different from the world. This is for every area of life. One way that we can gauge this is by simply looking to see how the world is responding to the situation. We then compare it to what the Bible has to say about our conduct. The verse that I go to is Philippians 4:8. If the world is not responding in this way, which it generally will not be, then I cannot respond in that same way. The temptation will be to twist what you are doing and try to fit it into one of the categories. However, if you need to justify what you are doing, then it probably is not the right way to act. We must be different from the world. The way that we act must be like that of Christ. Our actions must line up with our testimony.
As I conclude this part of the journey, I will admit that there is so much more in this passage that could be covered. I wish I could cover it; however, I do not have enough space to do it justice. One of the points that Jude is trying to convey to the believers that he is writing to is concerning authority. We must submit to and respect the authority of the government. God has put them in place for a reason. They cannot do anything that he does not allow, so He is still in control even if the leadership seems to be denying His authority. We must submit and respect this authority because we are then submitting, and respecting God and must be consistent in our testimony.