Opinion: Jude’s warnings come true
As apostasy deepens, God will purify the church and call a faithful remnant
“Read the Book of Jude.” That was the message I received nearly nine months ago in a prophetic dream about Mennonite Church Canada’s first same-sex wedding. I have been focused in study and prayer concerning this tiny book ever since. I have discovered Jude is a stunning rebuke from Jesus to Mennonites compromising on the same-sex issue.
I do not consider myself a prophet. In fact, most of my life I have been skeptical of much of the charismatic movement. Yet, I have no doubt that God, by his grace and mercy, has been revealing prophetic messages to me in dreams.
This is what I believe the Lord is saying through Jude:
The Lord is calling upon the faithful remnant within the Mennonite world to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Why? Because “certain people have crept in unnoticed” among the church, those “who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
It is eerie to read articles that build an argument for same-sex marriage upon “God’s grace.” For in Scripture we clearly read that the days prior to Jesus’ return will be characterized by a mass deception within the church by those who twist God’s grace into a license for immorality.
Shipwreck of faith
Jude graphically illustrates the downward spiral of these “hidden reefs” who shipwreck others’ faith. Their apostasy accelerates over time, beginning with stubborn rejection of godly instruction (“the way of Cain”), producing a headlong rush into “Balaam’s error” (teaching people to embrace sexual immorality) and concluding in the “rebellion of Korah” — a direct challenge to God’s authority, which seals their destruction.
I believe God is showing us that those trying to normalize homosexuality in the Mennonite world are, in fact, these “waterless clouds, swept along by winds.” As Mennonite Church USA found out at its Kansas City convention, their demands for affirmation are becoming increasingly militant and defiant as their apostasy deepens, just as Jude prophesied.
In another dream I was shown a future denominational gathering where Mennonites were poised to vote in favor of same-sex marriage. In that dream the Lord used broken arrows as a powerful symbol of what awaits those who support this decision. This is an especially sober warning to Mennonite leaders, who should consider themselves doubly warned.
Meanwhile, many Mennonites seem confident that the same-sex controversy will eventually fade away and that the church only needs to learn to live with disagreement. With all due respect, those who say such things cannot possibly be hearing from God on this issue because the Holy Spirit is speaking loudly, clearly and urgently in the opposite direction.
I realize many will remain unconvinced and even mock what I say. Jude foretold their reactions, too (see verses 18-19).
Many Mennonites in the Global North have lost a proper fear of the Lord. As a result, we, like so many churches in our culture, feel we can be wedded to the world without consequence and then proclaim an impotent gospel of distorted grace that knows nothing of the power of God to overcome sin and live a life of holiness.
Collapse and awakening
The good news, however, is that the Lord has also been revealing to me glimpses of what lies ahead for those who remain faithful. I believe Jesus will soon purify Mennonite churches, preparing for himself a remnant of spiritual warriors to participate in the greatest Holy Spirit outpouring the global church has seen.
This awakening will come amid global economic collapse, which even now is set to begin. And just as many Christians already demonstrate overseas, this remnant will courageously love enemies and forsake violence in the face of persecution. In other words, Jesus is making ready a real peace church.
The Lord is pressing each of us to decide: Do we want his path? Or do we want compromise with the world? The middle ground of the lukewarm church is fast disappearing. Jesus’ ultimatum to the sleepy Laodicean church is echoed in Jude with the chilling reminder that Jesus “who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”
I plead with us to never forget that Jesus’ great love necessitates his hatred of injustice, sin and unbelief. Do not be deceived: God’s grace will not cover willful sin.
The time to decide is upon us. We have been appointed for this task. Will you rise up to become a spiritual arrow in the Lord’s quiver or be numbered among the Mennonite “broken arrows” whom Jesus will reject? In this critical hour, those are your only options.
Steve Hoeppner is a minister within Mennonite Church Canada and a former prison chaplain.
Mennonite World Review invites readers’ comments on articles. To promote constructive dialogue, editors select the comments that appear, just as we do with letters to the editor in print. These decisions are final. Writers must sign their first and last names; anonymous comments are not accepted. Comments do not appear until approved and are posted during business hours. Comments may be reproduced in print, and may be edited if selected for print.