Jude gives us practical things that we need to do in verses 20 through 23:
Do whatever it takes to be thoroughly grounded in the truth. (Ephesians 2:19—20).
Pray in the holy spirit (Ephesians 6:18). This means we need to use the connection that we have with God so that we can take on God's mind. Our prayers should strengthen that bond and make us more like Him.
Keep yourself in God's love (I John 5:3).
Wait patiently for Christ's mercy (Psalm 37:7-11). He really means "Wait for Christ to come," for that will ultimately take care of all false teachers and all false teachings. Do not despair just because things look bleak right now. In the end they will be fixed.
In verses 22 and 23, the apostle instructs us how to take care of these people. If some are wavering and just beginning to turn away from the truth, we should have compassion on them and try to turn them back. If we find someone in a fault, we should be gentle and attempt to return them to God's way so that we or anyone else is not snared as well.
For those who have already started down the path of evil, we have to take a more forceful approach. If we can, we have to put the fear of God in them. It may be the only thing that can bring them back. Just as Jude does in verse 13, we have to let them know what their fate will be if they continue on in their error. As difficult as it may be, we have to let them know their future is total destruction—eternal death—if they keep it up. Unfortunately, this sometimes means dismissing them from our fellowship, just as Paul had to do with the incestuous sinner in Corinth (I Corinthians 5:1-5). Jude also says that while we are doing this, we have to keep them at arm's length so we are not turned ourselves, "hating even the garment defiled by the flesh." We do not want to have anything to do with defilement (II Corinthians 7:1).
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
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