The beauty of God’s plan is He promises there will always be a remnant who will remain faithful to Him (Ezekiel 6:8-10). No matter how dark the world becomes or how dire the circumstances that emerge, the Church of Christ will never be defeated (Matthew 16:18). The light that has come into the world through Jesus will never be extinguished (John 8:12). My question is, “How big will that remnant be in our generation?”
The more I learn and the closer I draw to Christ, the more concerned I become about the multitudes who profess Jesus with their lips but deny him with their lives. I see no evidence that everyone who calls themselves a Christian is part of the remnant of God. There are simply far too many walking down the path of “doing church” and “being Christian” than could ever squeeze through the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14).
I’m reminded of the story of Gideon in the Old Testament (Judges 6-8). When the Lord chose him to deliver God’s people from the hands of the Midianites, Gideon marshaled an army of over 32,000 men to fight. But it soon became apparent that not everyone who showed up for battle believed in the Name they were called to defend. The first to leave were those who lacked the faith that God would deliver them. In fact, when Gideon told all those who were afraid of the enemy to go home, over two-thirds of his army left (Judges 7:1-3). Next, the Lord removed all those who were not diligent to pay attention to the battle before them. All those who relaxed and carelessly drank in the refreshing water while ignoring what was around them were sent home as well (Judges 1:4-7).
Only 300 out of the original 32,000 remained with Gideon. These were the ones who trusted God to deliver them and were unafraid to stand for His Name. These were the ones who would not take their eyes off the battle for the sake of their comfort. They would not allow their personal desires to distract them from the mission. This was the remnant God used to deliver Israel from the hands of their oppressors. Less than one percent of those who proclaimed their allegiance to God proved true. Many were walking down that narrow path with their words, but their hearts were longing for the wide path. Less than one percent of those who reported for duty were chosen.
How many of the thousands of people who report to churches across our lands will be part of the remnant? How many will be chosen? When times get tough and persecution mounts, how many will tremble and return to their homes? How many will grow weary of the battle, succumb to cultural pressures, and take their eyes off Jesus, just for a moment, seeking some comfort and relaxation? Who will remain steadfast and alert? Who will be part of the remnant of God?
Will you? Will I? Do we have what it takes to hold fast to our convictions and persevere? This is not something we can do in our own strength. If we want to be part of the remnant of God, we must love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). We must be strong and courageous and lean on Him for every decision (Deuteronomy 31:6; Proverbs 3:5-6). We must take up our cross daily and die to ourselves (Luke 9:23; Galatians 2:19-20). Many who come to Jesus will fall away (Matthew 24:9-13). When trouble comes and we face persecution of any kind, the Lord will ask us, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” (John 6:66-67). Oh, that we might answer like Peter and say, “Where else would we go? For you have the words of eternal life!” (John 6:68-69). Stand firm and never waver. He is worthy. Be part of the remnant of God.