In his book, “Dining with the Devil,” Dr Os Guinness told a story about the Mall of America. This mall opened in 1992 and back then, was the greatest mall America had even seen. It had 400 shops, a 7-acre amusement park with roller coaster rides, cinemas, an aquarium, and an 18-hole golf course with plenty of eateries, and supermarkets. It even had a church in the Mall!
It was paraded as the icon of modernity – everything you would need, literally under one roof, from entertainment, to food to leisure and your spiritual needs could even be met there!
The pastor of the church was interviewed, and he said: “We suggested to our people that they wear comfortable clothes, in which to do any shopping they had in mind after lunch.” Many Christians were appalled! How could one put a church in the centre of such crass materialism and entertainment? Others responded, how then could one reach unbelievers if the church is not present where they were?
The matter was hotly debated. Dr Guinness however, gave a profound insight. He said that the issue was not so much the presence of the church in a mall but the presence of the mall in the church! The spirit of the world has infiltrated the church! In some sense, that was the danger Jude was speaking about in his letter. The world has crept into and infiltrated the church! How are we to truly live out the Gospel in an “infiltrated” church? How can we deal with deceptions and seductions in these last days? How can we be Gospel true in these dark times? That is what we will explore in the book of Jude.