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The Remnant of God - Shepherd of Hope

“Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” – Acts 8:4

 

There are a lot of hurting people in our world right now. There are a lot of people shaken to their core. There are a lot of people questioning beliefs and the meaning of life. There are people hurting in the church. There are people hurting outside of the church. There are a lot of hurting, confused, frustrated, despairing people around us. But God has an instrument to address those hurts, questions, and frustrations. God has a purpose for a portion of people He has called out. God has a remnant through whom He has throughout the ages worked to redeem and restore.

The Bible uses the word “remnant” (Hebrew serah) when speaking of a piece of cloth (e.g., Exodus 26:12). A remnant is a piece of a larger part. The word remnant is used in scripture for more than merely referring to a piece of cloth. A remnant can refer to the remaining vestiges of a group such as the “giants” in the Land (Deut. 3:11). A remnant is also used to refer to the remaining part of a nation, such as the remaining remnant of the Philistines (Amos 1:8).

The remnant are survivors. But more importantly to our study, the word remnant is also used in scripture to refer to those remaining faithful amongst God’s people. The remnant are those select few of the whole who remain faithful to God. They may undergo hardship and persecution, but they weather the storms of the enemy and make it through with the help of the LORD. No matter what is thrown at them, the faithful remnant survives and is victorious with the help of their LORD. They are the ultimate survivors.

The remnant are successors. The remnant are those who follow in the faith of their predecessors. They walk in live before the heavenly witnesses. As it states in Hebrews:

Hebrews 12:1–2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The context for these verses is the great chapter on the Hall of Faith; a list of exemplary saints of old who lived by faith. They knew the definition of faith (Hebrews 11:1). And they knew without faith it was impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). They were those who walked the narrow way Jesus talked about (Matthew 7:13-14).

They weren’t perfect, but they were faithful and faith living. The remnant of God follows in the faith and works of those saints who have gone before them. The remnant is the next generation of those who serve the LORD. These lay aside everything that would deter them from running swiftly for the Lord. These keep running even when the road gets treacherous and tiring. These are the ones who see Jesus as their Savior, LORD and Commander. And they keep their eyes fixed on Him. This remnant picks up the baton from each preceding generation to continue the mission of God.

The remnant are Gods supply. God always reserves a remnant. Throughout history, God always reserves a group of remnant survivors. We see this in the Old as well as the New Testament. Even when God’s people are persecuted and driven out, they are used by the LORD. We see examples of this in Daniel and his three friends as recorded in the book of Daniel. Even when God’s people themselves, in either Testament, drift from or outright rebel against their Creator, God reserves a faithful remnant to continue His redemptive purposes. Even in the End Times, when the Church is Raptured out of this world (e.g., 1 Thess. 4:13-18), God will raise up a remnant to further His prophetic purposes (e.g., Revelation 7; 11; 14).

We see this in the Book of Acts. We see how God uses the faithful remnant to not only overcome difficulty, but to overcome difficulty and turn it into an opportunity for victory.

The first Christians were a remnant; a piece of a larger part. At this point in history, those who followed Christ were still considered a sect of Judaism. It wasn’t until the gospel was shared with the Gentiles that this group of believers in Jesus began to move out from their sect-of-Judaism status (Acts 10).

Also, followers of Jesus weren’t called “Christians” until much further on. It wasn’t until the end of the persecution started at the stoning of Stephen, that those who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah/Christ, were particularly and distinctively called “Christians.” The “Christian” title was given to the followers of Jesus at Antioch (Acts 11:26).

Therefore, it could be said that this movement of people who accepted Jesus as their Messiah or Christ, were at the start a piece of a larger part of Judaism; they were a remnant.

Persecution produces the remnant. Acts 8 is representative of how the gospel spread in the early church. The church spread on the wings of persecution. The context of Acts 8 is that, Stephen has died as the first Christian martyr in Acts 7. Then it states in Acts:

Acts 8:1–4 (NKJV)

Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

Saul had yet to be converted to Paul; he had yet to encounter Jesus on the Damascus Road and give his life to Christ (Acts 9). Acts therefore offers us great hope. Even though a person in authority can begin as a persecutor of Christians, Jesus is able to intervene and convert him the faith.

But the point we see here in Acts 8 is that persecution produces the remnant. Stephen was buried by “devout men” (Greek eulabes) or those who were spiritually circumspect and reverent toward God. This was the beginning of the remnant in the post Pentecostal period. Saul continued to persecute God’s people wrecking, “havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.” But that didn’t deter this newly forming remnant. “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” It was an environment of persecution in which this remnant was formed.

A remnant in the Spirit. As we continue in Acts 8 we have the account of a particular incident involving Philip and the other Apostles:

Acts 8:5–25 (NKJV)

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.

But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, 10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” 11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”

25 So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

What does this passage tell us about the work God did through His remnant?

First, the remnant preaches Christ (8:5). Jesus was the central person for those who were a part of this remnant. And Jesus was the center of their message.

Second, the remnant fosters unity in Christ (8:6). The person and message of Christ brought about a “one accord” response of the people. Preaching Jesus brought people together in Christ e.g. Part of the purpose of the church is bringing people together in Christ – Eph. 2:11 – 3:21).

Third, the remnant has power that transcends the occult and demonic (8:7). No power of hell could resist the power applied to remove them in Jesus’ name.

Fourth, the remnant’s work brings great joy (8:8). The people responded to the deliverance from the demonic and salvation with great joy. Joy is that inner core heart assurance that God is in control.

Fifth, the remnant exposes weak and counterfeit resources of the world (8:9-13). Simon the sorcerer was able to do things that impressed the people for a long time. They even referred to him as, “The great power of God.” But when Philip came around with the real thing; the power of the Spirit, everyone left Simon and his “sorcery” to follow Philip. Even Simon believed in the Christ being preached by Philip! Here is one of the most important purposes of the remnant; to demonstrate authentic Spirit-filled Christianity and in the process expose the counterfeit efforts of the devil.

Sixth, the remnant ministers according to the word of God (8:14). The ministry of Philip as part of this remnant, involved preaching and teaching “the word of God.” This is important. Philip didn’t preach an opinion. He didn’t preach something he thought the people would like to hear. HE PREACHED THE WORD OF GOD. God’s word needs to be our guide and topic as we minister to others (e.g. 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

Seventh, the remnant assures that people experienced authentic scriptural Christianity; Spirit empowered Christianity (8:14-17).  It was when the Apostle heard that the people of Samaria had received “the word of God,” that they were sent to make sure what they had been taught and what they had experienced was accurate and authentic. One of the purposes of the remnant is to assure that people respond to the correct gospel, the correct Jesus, and the correct Spirit (e.g. 2 Cor. 11:3-4). And they wanted to assure that those who came to Christ, were filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. This was critically important for without the empowerment of the Spirit, (as Jesus ordained in Acts 1:4-5 and 8), they would be powerless to witness for Jesus.  The remnant serves as a plumbline, a measure of the truth of God and all that God has for people to experience.

Eighth, the remnant resists every effort to reduce their God-given power and resources to something that can be bought and sold (8:18-21). Simon had lost the source of his profits when all the people left him and followed Jesus. There will always be some who try to pry people away from Jesus in order to profit off of them. They are more interested in fleecing the flock of God than feeding the flock of God. They are more profiteers than prophets of God. The remnant must resist such greed and covetousness at all costs. The remnant wouldn’t stand for that. The Spirit working in and through the remnant wouldn’t stand for that as well (e.g. Acts 5). It’s likely that, should the remnant give in to profiteering, the power of the Spirit would leave.

Ninth, the remnant calls people to repentance (8:22-23). Some would say that repentance is not necessary. They say “only believe” in order to be right with God. But even when scripture records a call to “believe,” an included call to repent is implied. The New Testament, such as in this verse, calls sinners to repentance. Unless a person turns from their sins to God in Christ, they will not be saved. The remnant are instruments of God to call people to repentance. Jesus called people to repent (e.g. Mat. 3:2; 4:17; 11:20; Luke 13:3, 5). So should we.

Tenth, the remnant prays with people (8:24). The remnant should have a prayer ministry. When Simon begs Philip to pray for him, Philip likely prays for him. All that the remnant does should begin with prayer, continue with prayer and conclude with prayer. And we should pray for those who ask us to pray for them. Prayer is our lifeline to God. The remnant should always pray.

Eleventh, the remnant’s ministry involves testifying and preaching (8:25). The Apostles testified to the people. They “preached the word of the Lord.” They preached the gospel. And they did this wherever they went. That is the mission of the remnant.

Now this passage in Acts provides us with a glimpse of the mission of the remnant as moved by the Spirit. This should be our mission too. But who makes up this remnant? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s consider that question before we go any further.

Who are the remnant? The remnant are those who have put their faith in God and have been accounted righteous by God as a result (e.g., Abraham in Genesis 15:6). Of course, in the New Testament, becoming a part of the remnant is only through faith in Jesus (e.g. Romans 3-5; Ephesians 2:1-9). There aren’t two different avenues of becoming part of the remnant of God based on whether you lived in the Old or New Testament. The atoning work of Jesus on the cross is central to a person’s righteousness regardless of the Testament in which you lived. God passed over the sins committed previous to the cross of Christ (cf. Romans 3:21-28). Those in the Old Testament were righteous based on their faith in God for what had been revealed to them at the time. But that was only until the actual atoning work of Jesus on the cross. Then the good news of the cross of Christ and His resurrection was shared with them so that their righteousness was fully based on Jesus (cf. Eph. 4:7-10). Today, all people, no matter who they are, become a part of Gods remnant through faith in Jesus Christ.

Why is a “remnant” important? It’s important today because the remnant serves as a plumbline, a reset point, a measure of what people should be toward God,

Our nation needs a righteous remnant. Even though this nation started with close ties to Christianity and the gospel, it has drifted far from its moorings. This nation needs a righteous remnant to steer it in the right direction.

The church needs a righteous remnant. There are many who claim Christian affiliation in our nation, but no doubt, there are only few who are actually spiritual, born again, Spirit regenerated followers of Jesus Christ. Those born-again believers in Jesus, make up the remnant of our day.

Jesus spoke of “tares among the wheat” –

Matthew 13:24–30 (NKJV)

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

The remnant is the wheat; the genuinely saved church participant. The remnant is a witness to the tare or falsely concerted; the fake; the hypocrite; the false believer. The remnant serves to show a contrast between that which is real and that which is fake. Just as the church provokes Israel to jealousy (Romans 10:19; 11:11 and 14), the remnant provokes the church to jealousy; the remnant serves to show what genuine Christianity and the authentic church is.  Therefore, the remnant serves a valuable purpose in the plans of God.

Are you born again of the Spirit? Have you received Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord? Jesus described eternal life as knowing God and Him. Do you “know” Jesus? Do you have a relationship with Him; a saving eternal life relationship with Jesus? This is the most important part; to be a part of God’s remnant.

The remnant associated with Israel. In the context of many of the passages which will be cited in this study, they will have immediate relevance and application to Israel. Israel and the Church are separate and distinct in God’s plans. But that doesn’t mean the Church can’t learn from what God does with Israel! But considering the passages concerning the remnant and how they relate to Israel, we gain insight for serving as a remnant ourselves. We learn from what was recorded and happened before us (Romans 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:1-13). The Church doesn’t replace Israel. The Church though, can learn from Israel. This is especially the case with regard to a study of the remnant.

What is the purpose of the remnant? But what is God’s purpose for preserving the remnant?

First, the remnant of God helps a nation have hope of survival. Through Isaiah the LORD says:

Isaiah 1:9 (NKJV)

9     Unless the Lord of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah.

The remnant of God serves as a preservative of God for a nation. That small group of faithful followers of God keep hope alive for a nation that seems destined to go the way of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Notice too that the remnant is protected or preserved by God. To Isaiah the LORD explained:

Isaiah 37:31–32 (NKJV)

31   And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah Shall again take root downward, And bear fruit upward. 32   For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, And those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

The remnant provides roots that can grow again. This prospect is hope. That God might use the remnant to “take root downward, and bear fruit upward,” speaks to a future and a hope (e.g. Jeremiah 29:11-14; Romans 15:4 and 13). Do you see God’s hand of preservation in your life? Are you thankful for that? (e.g. Romans 8:31-39). If ever there was time when a nation needed hope, the United States of America needs the hope of the remnant now.

Second, the remnant of God may suffer extreme hardship. The remnant of the LORD in the Old Testament, suffered along with those in the nation who were being disciplined (Ezekiel 5:10). Now, it isn’t that God was judging the remnant unjustly along with those who were guilty of sin. It was that God wanted the presence of a remnant to remain in the midst of those being judged so that they might minister to them on God’s behalf.

Look at the Apostles; only one died a natural death and even he was persecuted throughout his life. John wrote Revelation from the torturous Isle of Patmos. He wrote to his readers as, “your brother and companion in tribulation” (Rev. 1:9). Paul underwent tremendous hardship while serving Jesus (e.g. 2 Cor. 4:8-18; 11:22-33). Tradition tells us Peter was crucified upside down. He wrote a letter about suffering (e.g. 1 Peter).

The remnant will indeed sometimes suffer. Those who seek to live godly lives in Christ will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). Are you willing to suffer for the LORD like the remnant has in the past? Are you willing to pick up your cross and follow Jesus? (Luke 9:23-26).

Third, the remnant of God are examples of being survivors. The remnant serve as examples of how God is able to preserve a remnant to survive the trials and tribulations encountered in the world. To Isaiah the LORD shared:

Isaiah 10:20–22 (NKJV)

20   And it shall come to pass in that day That the remnant of Israel, And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, Will never again depend on him who defeated them, But will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21   The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, To the Mighty God. 22   For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

The remnant will be examples of how to “depend on the LORD.” Though Israel goes into captivity “as the sand of the sea,” they will come through with only a remnant. But that remnant is evidence of God’s mercy and preserving power. Are you a survivor? Are you trusting God in the midst of trails? That’s what the remnant does (e.g. James 1:2-5; 1 Peter).

Fourth, the remnant of God leads the way in repentance. The remnant have a heart for God. They are quick to repent when sin is found. And so, they set the example of repentance from sin. To Jeremiah the LORD explained:

Jeremiah 31:7–9 (NKJV)

7     For thus says the Lord: “Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!’ 8     Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. 9     They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.

“Weeping” and “supplications” speak of heartbreak; heartbreak over sin. These are ingredients of repentance. But repentance is not mere emotional outburst. That is worldly. True repentance leads to genuine sorrow for and rejection of sin (e.g. 2 Cor. 7:9-10). Are you genuinely repentant for sin in your life and in the life of your nation?

Fifth, the remnant of God are examples of those forgiven by God. Through the prophet Micah God said:

Micah 7:18 (NKJV)

18   Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.

The remnant leads the way in exemplifying those who have been forgiven by God. They confess their sins and receive forgiveness from God (e.g. 1 John 1:9). And they know such forgiveness is not cheap or easy. Such forgiveness is based on the costly atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ (e.g. Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7).

Sixth, the remnant of God are examples of God’s restoration in Christ. The remnant are God’s examples of mercy and grace and love. We serve as a beautiful real object lesson of God’s mercy to those around us. The LORD expressed this beautiful picture and how Jesus “THE LORD OUR RIGHTOUESNESS” is central to such restoration:

Jeremiah 23:3–8 (NKJV)

“But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.

5     “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6     In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called:

THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”

The LORD has a way of bringing us back, of restoring us, of remaking us whole. That is what the remnant learns and exemplifies to others, to the glory of God. This is something the Apostle Paul referenced in the New Testament (Romans 9:27). It’s something we should reference too.”

And Who is the Source of our restoration? “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,” is the One through Whom righteousness will be received. This of course is fulfilled in Jesus (cf. Romans 3:21-26). And so, the remnant’s message is Christocentric; Jesus is at the center of our message of restoration.

Seventh, the remnant of God provides refreshing. The Bible speaks of the remnant as being “dew from the LORD”:

Micah 5:7 (NKJV)

7     Then the remnant of Jacob  Shall be in the midst of many peoples, Like dew from the Lord, Like showers on the grass, That tarry for no man Nor wait for the sons of men.

“In the midst of many peoples,” or for all to see, the remnant will be like refreshing morning dew and midday showers. This dew and showers “tarry for no man nor wait for the sons of men.” This refreshment from God through the remnant needs to be responded too; it won’t be available forever. Now is the day to receive it; to be saved (2 Cor. 6:1-2).

Jesus spoke of “living waters” (John 4:10-11; 7:37-39). This of course referred to the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. The remnant bring refreshing in that they are instruments of the Holy Spirit to bring regeneration and new life to the dead and lost (e.g. John 3; Titus 3:4-7).

Eighth, the remnant of God is a powerful presence. Micah further conveys from God:

Micah 5:8 (NKJV)

8     And the remnant of Jacob Shall be among the Gentiles, In the midst of many peoples, Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Who, if he passes through, Both treads down and tears in pieces, And none can deliver.

Like a mighty lion, the king of beasts, the remnant demonstrates the presence of the power of God. This power comes from the Spirit of God (e.g. Acts 1:8). It is a mighty presence. It is a presence that stands in the power of God’s might (Eph. 6:10). It is a presence displaying the powerful armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18). The remnant demonstrates God’s power in their weakness (e.g. 1 Cor. 1-2; 2 Cor. 12:8-10).

Ninth, the remnant of God exemplify humble holy living. Through the prophet Zephaniah the LORD described His remnant as:

Zephaniah 3:12–13 (NKJV)

12   I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the Lord. 13   The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness And speak no lies, Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, And no one shall make them afraid.”

The remnant described here by God are “meek.” Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is strength under control. With the Holy Spirit working in and through them, they have self-control (e.g. Galatians 5:22-24). They are not weak or cowering. But their power and courage come from their confident faith in God. And they know that.

They “do no unrighteousness.” They live holy. They are holy for the One they serve is Holy (cf. 1 Peter 1:15-16). They “speak no lies.” There is no “deceitful tongue” in their mouth. Controlling your words is a sign of spiritual maturity (e.g., James 3:2f).

The remnant doesn’t print up shirts or wear badges emblazoned with “GOD’S REMNANT” on them. The remnant of God are all that they are by God’s grace (1 Cor. 15:10). They live in the presence of God and therefore are humble before Him. They trust in God for everything and are examples of such humble trust.

Tenth, there is a remnant of God today. The Apostle Paul refers to a “remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5). There is, even today, a remnant of Jews who have received Jesus as their Messiah. God is preserving His people through this remnant. But there is another remnant today in the church!

The remnant of God serves as a restrainer of evil. In 2 Thessalonians it states:

2 Thessalonians 2:6–7 (NKJV)

And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 speaks of a restrainer. This restrainer is the Holy Spirit working in and through the remnant church to restrain evil and keeping it from running unchecked. The restraint to evil enforced by the remnant provides more time for people to accept the LORD and come to Jesus.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). We are told in scripture to expose the works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). We are told to test all things, hold fast to what is good, and abstain from every form of evil (1 Thess. 5:21-22). This is part of what the remnant needs to do. We act as salt and light (Mat. 5:13-16). And the best way to do all of this is to preach and share the gospel of Jesus Christ (e.g. Mat. 28:18-20).

Serving in this capacity as Gods remnant therefore, is simply following in the steps of Jesus (Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6). Are you restraining evil? Are you sharing the gospel? Are you standing against evil?

But there is one last thing to be mentioned from this context. Why are people given over by God to a strong delusion? It is because “they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10). By contrast the remnant are those who HAVE BY FAITH received a love of God’s truth (found in His word – John 17:17) and thus have been saved. The remnant are those who stand on and live by the truth of God. In short, the remnant live God’s word in a lost world. That is the bottom line and foundation of what it means to be a part of God’s remnant.

So that is the remnant of God. Are you a part of this remnant? Are you willing to serve as such a remnant such as we have seen in scripture? It’s not something you do in your own strength. As we have seen, it involves the Holy Spirit working in and through us. But God will not force this on you. You have to choose to serve in this righteous remnant. Will you answer His call? Will you surrender to Him? Will you take a stand? Will you present yourself to Him, for His glory?

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