I would like to clarify for some just what I believe to be Gods remnant children. To use any word over and over again it can begin to take on a life of its own and that can happen with the word remnant. A remnant child of God is simply someone who genuinely knows Jesus, someone who has been truly converted. Now, why the distinction, why even use any other name rather than simply Christian? Well, I am certainly not stuck on the name, to me it is more of an adjective that a noun. It simply describes what Jesus was talking about when He says many are called , but few are chosen.(Matt 22:14) Now, just as that was true when Jesus spoke it then, it is equally true now. The context of that scripture comes from the previous chapter when Jesus showed , though parable, that men would not give to God what was rightfully His, instead they rejected and killed His son. Now in chapter 22 Jesus uses another illustration , this time a wedding, which people are too busy to come to.So, Jesus establishes that the invitation is there before men to give to God what is His, to come when invited, but by and large they reject this, and only a relatively small number accept. This same invitation exists today. Now, let us look at the name Christian. In a western world that by and large calls itself Christian by name and by birth, then we have to have a further distinction because we know that simply being born into a Christian, household does not make one a Christian. Neither does calling one-self a Christian make that person a Christian. There needs of course, to be a genuine conversion, a new creature in Christ, a new birth actually and not merely theologically and of course there are marks of this new birth. Now, C.S.Lewis, more than half a century ago, wrote about the fact that the term Christian, had lost its meaning. He used the word Gentleman, to illustrate what he meant.More than three-hundred years ago, in England, the term Gentleman, meant that one was a landowner. If you did not own land, you were not a Gentleman. Now, over the following decades and centuries, whether men owned land or not, they began to call themselves Gentlemen, thus emptying the actual meaning of the word. Lewis was arguing that this was exactly what has happened to the word Christian. I agree entirely with Lewis and of course, things have not improved in the last 50 or so years. And so the definition of the word remnant is , as a noun, a small remaining quantity of something. As an adjective remaining. Websters defines the word to mean a small surviving group. Now, if 7000 did not bow the knee to Baal and there was roughly a population of seven million in that day, that means that for every one thousand people, only one had not bowed the knee to Baal.If we extrapolated that number to today, that would mean there were just over three million in the USA who had not bowed their knees to the gods of today. I am not suggesting such a low number, I personally think it is much higher than that, but you get the idea. And so, as we move on down through the centuries from Pentecost, we begin to see a religious kingdom built by men who believed they were doing the work of God, for the most part this kingdom was the kingdom of Catholicism. This is what I would call Christendom. The world of Christendom is everything that calls itself Christian. Yet, only a relatively small number stood against the heretical teachings of the Catholic church down through the ages. We now know them as martyrs, but in their day they were known as heretics by Christendom.You can read about these people in many different publications, Foxes Book of Martyrs is an excellent resource as is The Pilgrim Church. And so, in all of those ages, including the dark ages, God had a witness, God had His Church and the gates of hell could not prevail against it, even although they came at it with all of Hells fury. Now, as it always was then so it is today. Christendom is by and large made up of religious people who have not been genuinely born again. And just as there is marks of those who have been born again, obviously those who have not will have their own marks, the marks of the world. And of course we see that in divorce rates and so on that are no different, and in some cases higher than the world. And so, while there are baby Christians and mature Christians and weaker Christians and everything in between in genuine Christianity, there is also to be found the genuine transformation.Well, if this has always been the case and today is just the same really as it has always been, then why is there any urgency in the genuine Church? Well, I believe it is because of the prophetic calendar. And by that I mean that so many in Gods Body believe that the return of the Lord is coming soon, perhaps even in our own lifetime. Now one may argue that Christians have always thought that. I would argue that without the return of Israel and other prophecies then the prophetic clock could never really have begun to come close to the time we are now approaching. And what time is that? Well, since I do not believe in a pre-trib rapture, nor do I believe in dominionism, then I believe that the birth pangs have begun and there is a count-down to the time of severe persecution. A persecution so bad that if the Lord did not shorten those days then there would simply be no genuine Christians left alive prior to the return of Jesus. Now with persecution I will argue that the Lord will pour out His Spirit on His people in order for them to be equipped to handle such worldwide persecution.And because the persecution will be so severe, then the Spirit will be poured out as has never been seen before, in essence, the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea because persecution will be worldwide. Now, this takes us back to the remnant children, simply the genuinely converted. As the denominations and churches continue their slide into compromise, it will become increasingly difficult for genuine believers to stay where they are. And, when you add to that scenario the removing of Gods presence from these churches, it will simply become intolerable for genuine Christians to stay in these places and they will begin to come out, and have been now for quite some-time. As the light begins to be removed from these churches by the removal of the light-bearers, the genuine Christians, then the denominations and dead churches will more and more identify with the world and with the State. This will set them up to become part of a World church and at the same time set them up to eventually become the deadliest enemies of the genuine Christian who cannot and will not stand by and be part of an every sliding, ever darkening compromising establishment.Yet, the genuine Christian has always loved his genuine brothers and sisters and loves to fellowship with like-minded passionate Spirit filled believers. And so, they will find each other and as the end of ages come, they will comfort and encourage one another. Brothers and sisters, we are living in these times right now. Now it may be the beginning of the process, but the process , the great falling away is already well under way and is setting the stage for what is to come. Our life time? Very possibly. Our children or grandchildrens life-time? Almost certainly. Yet saints, even if it were 100 year off ( which I do not believe) God would already be preparing His children for the end of the age. Now, more than ever, we must be able to hear that small still voice and know the Word of God. Now, more than ever, we must cherish the genuine presence of God in the midst of so much counterfeit. Stay close to the Lord and look for His lead and follow His directions. Hold the things of this world loosely ( as we should always do anyway) and trust in Him and lean not on our own understanding.
Encouraging and exhortative word, thanks for sharing.
Thank you Oracio.............bro Frank
Hello appoulos:The Word (remnant), means more then just someone who has been converted, actually it does not mean this at all. The Word (remnant) means to be saved by the gospel from the midst of an apostate Israel. It is considered to be small and as such an evidence of God's electing grace.The Primary reference was of the "return" of a remnant from capitivity to their own land and to God Himself, the applications and the effects of the gospel.Are you refering render to Ceasar what is Ceasars and to G od what is G od's. This parable is speaking of the Tithe. The Phar I-sees were adament in questioning Jesus's reasoning. Jesus, therefore chose to endure the Cross instead, willing - knowing that this was the perfect will of God the Father.I concur with you in regards to the name and the word Christian. Believers were known in secret as a ichthys, meaning the Greek word for a fish. As early as the first century, Christians made a acrostic from this word: Ieasous Christos Theou Yios Soter, Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior. The fish as plenty of other theological overtones as well, for Christ fed the 5,000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves ( a meal recapitulated in Christian love-feasts) and called his disciples "fisher of men." Water baptisim, practiced by immersion on the early church, created a parallel between fish and converts!Secondly, the century theologians Tertullian put it this way: we, little fishes, after the image of our Ichthys, Jesus Christ, are born in the water.Greeks, Romans, and many other pagans used the fish symbol before Christians. Hence the fish unlike, say the cross attracted little suspicion making it a perfect secret symbol for persecuted believers. When threatened by Romans in the first centuries after Christ. Christians used the fish mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes. According to one ancient story, when a christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outine in the dirst. If the stanger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company, He said.I agree, the name and and word stinks that of apostasy.Regarding your beliefs with Christendom and Catholisim not so much..Catholic Christendom, address all varieties of religious behavior extending beyond traditional institutional and doctrinal church history. It is interdisciplinary, comparative and global.Throughout the medieval era only one institution came close to uniting all of Europe though it was not so much a political empire a a spiritual one. That union was attempted by the Catholic Church, and the geopolitical entity it influenced wa known as "Christendom"In 306, Constantine was proclaimed Caesar and became co-ruler of the Roman Empire. In 312 he converted to Christianity, the once-illegal religion now became favored over all others. Constantine the Great also known as Flavius Valerius Constantinus. Being the first Roman Emperor to profess Christianity. Constantine's suppory of the religion would help transform it into the institution it would remain through the Middle Ages.Constantine raised Christianity; to the status of a permitted religion. He took a direct interest in matters of doctrine, setting a precedent for future emperors, and called the first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Chruch (at Nicaea). He had churches built after the pattern of Roman temples and public buildings. He restored to Christians the property they had lost during the persections of his predecessors, and he promoted and favored Christians in govenment jobs.His sponsorship of the religion made it suddenly advantageous (good word) to be a Christian.applous, is this what you mean?You said, now with persecution I will argue that the Lord will pour out His Spirit on His peo0ple in order for them to be equipped to handle such a worldwide persecution. I agreeYou said, persecution will be so severe, then the Spirit wil be poured out as has the never been seen before, in essence the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea because of persecution. No! this verse is speaking of SALVATION - I would like to add, ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Yes Lord.Come one appoulos, his word says "My people perish for lack of knowledge". Persecution i agree will begin with with the church of the living God, to whom in the eyes of others they are considered as no longer light bearers. Do not be decieved, within the remanant there is always a Rhema.We are to endure and persevere, never to bow down to Baal.
Great commentary on a magnificent Scripture word. The only thing on my mind is that, in light of the Word of God and the evaluations of God's most devoted servants, we really don't have any reason to think that there are 3 million Christians in the US. It doesn't appear that any significant part of the visible church has a holy and devoted life, but rather the compromise and worldliness are so rampant that it cannot be compatible with the remnant. Just something to consider. What did Jesus mean by "few"?
Hi Bluios, the word remnant means many things and my commentary was on what it means to us today. Of course it absolutely means, first and foremost, someone who is genuinely saved, that would be the very least that it means. You wrote.......... "Throughout the medieval era only one institution came close to uniting all of Europe though it was not so much a political empire as a spiritual one."I would disagree entirely with that. The Catholic institution in the medieval era was a political monstrosity and far from a spiritual entity. Also, Constantine did claim to become a Christian, yet,within a short period of time, after initially agreeing that Jesus was God, fell away from that belief as did his son Constantinus. Regardless of what Constantine was or was not, it was the merging of church and state that propelled religious men, interested in kingdoms and power here on earth, to persecute those who were more interested in the Kingdom to come. God's glory will be poured out upon His people in the midst of persecution, He does raise up a standard when the enemy comes in like a flood..............bro Frank
Hi Kojeleth,It is true that no one knows the true number of genuine saints here in the US. Ravenhill believed the number to be 2 or 3 per cent I believe, but again, only the Lord knows. What is sure is that broad is the road that leads to destruction and it is the many that find it and only the few find that narrow path that leads to life............bro Frank