The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Are you in the remnant and is it important?” Throughout the Bible, there is the hidden theme of the remnant. When you consider a remnant, it is not usually thought about favourably, as it is just a ‘leftover’.
‘A remnant is a part or quantity that remains when the rest has been used, removed, or destroyed.’ The Anchor Bible Dictionary says a remnant is “What is left of a community after it undergoes a catastrophe”. There is no doubt the remnant is purified through tribulation and heartache. ‘Those whom God loves He chastises’ for their own good. Testing either makes or breaks.
The remnant is seen in the story of the Flood of Noah. There would have been around four billion people alive before the flood. Only eight righteous, God-fearing souls could be found. The rest were too busy eating, drinking and getting married.
For one hundred years, Noah preached repentance. All he got in return was mockery. It is a situation that is almost beyond our imagination. There had never been such a thing as a rain, let alone a flood. Here was a crazy man building a boat!
Israel is an interesting nation to study when considering the remnant. The Hebrews became a great people in the time of Abraham., but the stench of Sodom and Gomorrah filled the nostrils of God.
Abraham pleaded with God to not destroy the cities if Abraham could find at least 50 righteous souls. The only righteous people Abraham found were Lot, his wife and two daughters. Lot’s wife never made it out of sight of the city. She didn’t want to leave her family and friends.
God’s Witness and Are You In The Remnant?
God chose Israel to be His witness on earth. God asked for a place that would bear His Name. It was the Tabernacle. Again and again we read the refrain ‘Where I placed my name.”
Yet they ended up in slavery in Egypt. God sent a saviour, Moses, and miraculously released them.
Moses’ troubles were only beginning. He asked, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side?” He was in effect asking, “Are you in the remnant?” Only one tribe out of twelve, remained true to their God.
People have short memories when it comes to wanting things their own way. The Israelites had miraculously been saved, yet turned away from their God. Even Moses’ own brother and sister eventually rebelled against his authority.
Twelve men were sent out to spy the land of Canaan. Two out of twelve became the remnant, in believing the promises of God. Only those two entered the promised land. The rest perished in the wilderness.
The Kings of Israel
Elijah, the prophet, feared for his life and fled from wicked Jezebel. He was sure he had become a remnant of one. The Lord assured him that there were 7,000 still faithful to Yahweh and had not bowed their knee to the false god, Baal. However, 7,000 was only a remnant out of the millions of the Jewish nation.
Under David, Israel became a mighty nation. In the nearly 400 years of the kings of Israel and Judah, the often-repeated phrase is ‘they did evil in the sight of God.’ Only eight out of the forty-one kings did that which was right and served God. The rest led the people into full scale idol worship. One king even placed a statue of Baal in the Holy Place. It seems the Ark of the Covenant was missing.
Northern Israel and Jordan were carried away to Babylon, where they were enslaved for 70 years. Would Israel never learn they were destined to serve the one true God as a clear witness to the rest of the world?
The day finally came when the king of Babylon decreed the Israelites could return to Jerusalem. Admittedly, the city was little more than a ruin, but it was their home. The home God had given them. It was where He had placed His name.
Fifty thousand men, their women and children said they would leave the life in Babylon and make the long trek of nearly 3000 kms back to Jerusalem. That would have been only around 100,000 to 150,000 people, out of several million. Such a small remnant to rebuild a nation.
Jesus and the Remnant
Jesus performed many miracles and healing in his three-year ministry. Only Peter and three women attended His crucifixion. Only 500 were there to see Him ascend into heaven. Always only a remnant. What happened to the thousands who witnessed his miracles and heard his teaching?
Jesus said, “Many are called and few are chosen.”
Israel is the only nation to be ‘reborn’ in recorded history. Every other great civilization disappeared, never to resurface. Babylon, the Aztecs, Assyria, Roman Empire, etc.
However, the pangs of rebirthing the nation are horrific. Three million Jews perished in the holocaust, but God kept His promise to return His people to their land.
The world was horrified when they learned the truth of what had happened during World War II. The 1917 Balfour declaration was enacted. 1948 saw a tiny remnant return to the land of Israel to rebuild a nation.
God’s Name on His Remnant
After the advent of the redeeming work of Christ at Calvary, God placed His name on His people, who truly believe in Him. We are not talking about the term ‘Christian’ that people put on official documents, but the term Christian as applied to those who have a true heart for God. The true followers of Christ. They are the remnant of today’s billions on earth.
It is one thing to believe there is a God, but quite another to have a reverent fear of Him. Billions today do not believe that what God says, He will do, while many others have a lukewarm form of Christianity.
Are You in the Remnant?
If the Lord came back tonight, how many would be raptured? Are you in the remnant with a real relationship with Christ? This is not an interrogative question, but one we need to ask ourselves.
Many preachers claim there must be a worldwide revival before Christ can return for His church. Why? History proves otherwise.
Of the nearly eight billion people on earth today, only a tiny remnant has a true allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ and it is not our place to judge who that is. Many attend church, but do they live a truly Christian life?
There have been numerous movies made about ‘The Rapture’, from as far back as 1941. Twenty-five have been made in the last twenty years. ‘Left Behind’ was filmed in 2014, starring the popular Nicolas Cage, and was put out as ‘general’ entertainment. What is missing in these movies, is the mayhem that will follow when a remnant is taken out. This is not ‘entertainment’.
How many in the world will notice the true believers are gone when Christ calls for His Church? In a world that is already full of mayhem, will missing people be really noticed, apart from family and friends? Luke-warm Christians will receive the shock of their life as they could be left behind.
At that point, there may well be a worldwide revival, as people come to believe what the ‘fanatics’ said, is actually true. Bibles, (the manual) left behind will be sought. After all, when all else fails, you consult the manual.
Churches may suddenly find they are full. I have no doubt some ‘clergy’ will be left behind. Many people may realize that if the first part of that which was prophesied is true, the rest is still to come. The Bible says many will lose their life in the ‘end times’.
We pray for our families and loved ones, but true believers need to understand they will always be the ‘remnant’. We must stand true to the Word of God. Even of Israel, Paul wrote, ‘Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved.’
The hour is close to midnight. ‘As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.’ Our loved ones have a choice, the same as we do, and we must firmly believe for their salvation. ‘Whosoever believes on the Son of God, shall have eternal life.’ Maybe the taking out of the remnant will wake those left behind. After all, the gospel is being broadcast worldwide, in a way never before seen.
‘Lift up your head, your redemption draws nigh,’ as you are in the remnant.
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