"And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude 22, 23.
Jude exhorts us readers how to contend for the faith through our behavior toward our erring brethren. We are instructed to show compassion to those who are wavering and to reach out to those who have already been taken in and need to be snatched from the fire.
God would have us do all we can to rescue others out of the snares of the devil, that they may be saved from (or recovered, when entangled therein, out of) dangerous errors, or pernicious practices. We are not only (under God) our own keepers, but we are to be, as much as lies in us, our brother's keeper. We must be willing to watch over one another, faithfully, yet prudently, reprove one another, and set a good example to all around us. This must all be done in compassion, making a difference. Without compassion we lose our effectiveness, and reveal the condition and need of our own heart.
To make a difference we must distinguish between the weak and the willful. Of some we must have compassion, treat them with all tenderness, restore them in the spirit of meekness, not be needlessly harsh and severe in our censures of them and their actions, nor proud and haughty in our conduct towards them; not implacable, nor averse to reconciliation with them, when they give evidence or even strong hopeful tokens of a sincere repentance. If God has forgiven them shouldn't we?
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire. There are other people who are not stirred by a calm, casual call to do right. They may hear the call but be too deeply entrenched in their sins, or too dull of hearing for the call to register. These people need to be rescued on the spot before they perish. They need to know the fearful results of the path they are on and should receive pointed, straight truths from the Word of God. In this case we should press home upon the conscience the terrible results of the transgression of God's law. They may not be stirred at our first or second attempt so we should not give up, it may take much to pull them out of the fire, nevertheless we need to pull them out.
Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. "Let those who claim to have great light and spiritual knowledge be careful that their garments are not defiled." 19MR 106. We are to keep our own garments clean, and at the same time be careful not to have them defiled by the splattering of others. The work of rescuing the perishing will require much watchfulness and prayer on our part. If the enemy of souls could have his way he would pull us in with the one we are striving to rescue.
"If the servants of God will walk with Him in faith, He will give power to their message. They will be enabled so to present His love and the danger of rejecting the grace of God that men will be constrained to accept the gospel. Christ will perform wonderful miracles if me will but do their God-given part. In human hearts today as great a transformation may be wrought as has ever been wrought in generations past. John Bunyan was redeemed from profanity and reveling, John Newton from slave dealing, to proclaim an uplifted Savior. A Bunyan and a Newton may be redeemed from among men today. Through human agents who cooperate with the divine, many a poor outcast will be reclaimed, and in his turn will seek to restore the image of God in man. There are those who have had very meager opportunities, who have walked in ways of error because they knew no better way, to who beams of light will com. A the word of Christ came to Zacchaeus, "Today I must abide at they house" (Luke 19:5), so the word will come to them; and those who were supposed to be hardened sinners will be found to have hearts as tender as a child's because Christ has deigned to notice them. Many will come from the grossest error and sin, and will take the place of others who have had opportunities and privileges but have not prized them. They will be accounted the chosen of God, elect, precious; and when Christ shall come into His kingdom, they will stand next His throne." Christ Object Lessons 236