ch87 The Remnant of the People of God explains why “big” churches that boast of their numbers are not as God’s Word dictates to Christians.
The Remnant of the People of God
By David R. Cox
[ch87] v1 ©2023 www.coxtracts.com
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Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Good churches are growing from small groups of a few people to good sized groups. But Satan attacks every church that is faithful to God. In some cases, good Christians fall into sin, and leave the church for a time. Others make a scandal of something that discourages and takes the wind out of the group. The situations of life cause some Christians have to move away because of work, and this loss also affects the church. Also, good Christians die. But in all of this, God sends good faithful Christians to congregate into order to worship and praise God, and to do God’s work together, through the church. (Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.) When a Christian is discouraged, ask, “Why?” Is it because he has his eyes on others and not on Jesus Christ? If ALL abandon Christ, would even that be just cause that you also abandon Christ?
Satan wants to Sift the Redeemed
Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
The first teaching here is that God never wants us in the majority. In other words, when a person is part of a large group, they will go with the flow of the group, in whatever the group says and does. This does not cost the person anything to “live for Christ.” Christ wants us to shine for Him like stars (Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house), and that we are not invisible and without distinction from the world or the majority. Salvation is this public confession of Jesus and His moral principles, and it is going to cost the person. Leviticus 26:33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Our mission is to enter the world and shine as a light for Christ. So then, to understand the plans of God, God always wants us to shine as bright lights of morality for Jesus, always preaching the gospel to the unsaved world, and that our influence, even individually, and as being children of God among the world, that we cause the gospel and the work of God to march forward.
What is the mentality of a Remnant?
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
If you are seeking numbers and any people in your church (as a goal for finding your church home), then you will never encounter a good church with truly saved people. When a church and its doctrine and the conduct of its people is “popular”, normally it is of the devil. Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. Satan teaches the world that only what is big is correct. What the people want is a big church. But why? Because they think that they will not have to sacrifice nor service so much if there are a lot of people in a big church. They can disappear and nobody will notice that they haven’t come in weeks or months. But God teaches that the faithful in the earth will congregate even if there are two or three (Matthew 18:20).
The Nature of “the Church”
Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
The indicates that the truly saved are firmly planted in the way of God, and they walk in ways of God, obeying with great care and energy the moral principles of God. (Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.) But we must clarify that all in the group that we think is “the church” or “the redeemed” are not really saved. There are tares within that group (Matthew 3:12), and little by little you will see with clarity who are the truly saved, and who is a tare. Through the long march of time, their delight is not in God, nor do they have the same morality as God, nor do they delight in the things of God. The do not love their Christian brethren. (1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love) and really, they do not have a good understanding of what is love, and these people who are tares use others, and they do not love with a pure heart.
With time, they will leave “the church,” but those who are truly saved will continue working in growing and practicing their faith, and in their love relationship with Christ, and they will do the work of God. So the unfaithfulness of some to Christ and His cause should not surprise us. God is revealing their lack of faith, lack of devotion, lack of commitment to Christ by revealing their true character.
A Discouraged People
John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.
It is normal when the Word of God is preached that God challenges us, and His word changes us. But this process is not always immediately successful, and sometimes, an individual will reject the change, and prefer to disappear from the group rather than morally change his life. What we can say about these is that there are two classes of people, the saved that will always return to the way of Christ no matter what happens, because they simply cannot live outside of their relationship with Jesus Christ, and this include obeying Him in love with their brothers and sisters in Christ. And there are unsaved people who enter the church, but they do not have the true moral character of a child of God. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. Those that are truly saved will love God and the brethren. The love of God is in them because of their salvation. But at the same time, they must live this love toward Christ, and it is manifested through their love and relationship with their brethren in the same faith. What you do to your brethren in Christ, you are really doing to Christ himself (Matthew 25:40) and this is their true attitude towards God. Attending church is not a requirement to be saved. But neither do we see saved people who do not put their energies in being faithful and attending God’s house if they really love God. So, how is their relationship with the Savior? Do they love the brethren? If so, then they love Christ.
False Followers of Christ
Luke 3:17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
Jesus comes to try us and basically separate out the chaff from the redeemed to destroy that chaff. So, we must understand that people who leave Christ, the house of God, and the church, God is cleaning his house of the chaff and the tares.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
We must clarify, some are false Christians, and if they do not repent, they will go to hell when they die. Judas Iscariot is an example of this class of false “follower of Christ.” John 12:4-7 clearly says that Judas was a thief and comparing that with 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that says that thieves will not inherent the kingdom of God, Judas was unsaved. It is because people who put a higher priority on obtaining riches than the eternal state of their soul do not deserve to go to heaven. As someone said, “Judas heard all the sermons of Christ.” But this did him no good for eternity if his heart was filled with greed and avarice. He was named a “disciple of Christ,” and even named one of the twelve apostles, but he was unsaved, nonetheless. But others are saved, and in a moment, their faith fails them, and their faithfulness to Christ. Peter denied Christ and separated himself from the true disciples of Christ to enter the cult of the Judaizers, which are false prophets. Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. But the point with Peter is that he repented after he fell.
The People who ask, “Give me! Give me!”
Proverbs 30:14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. 15 The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: 16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
The Preacher of Proverbs teaches us that there are people who want, more than anything, gifts. They are like leeches that simply take and take, and they never have enough possessions, and yet they always want more. This is greed. The truth is that people do not need to take gifts because they can work, but they are lazy and do not want to work, and they are first in line to take all the charity they can which uses it up, and other true poor people do not get any. God does not view these people very well. Because they come forward chiefly for economic benefit when the gifts stop, they disappear.
John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
Jesus did miracles like making something out of thin air, or from a few pieces of bread and fish, he gave a great quantity of food to the multitudes. Jesus is the Bread of Life, and Jesus will satisfy all with Himself for all of eternity. Jesus is the bread that is the fountain eternal life, and when a person takes ahold of Him, that person will never again have hungry nor be thirsty. But Jesus condemned them because they never “accepted Him as giving them eternal life,” but rather their eyes were placed on whatever thing was a gift, and when there were gifts, they were the first ones in live.
Psalms 106:12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. 13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: 14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. 15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
If a person never see the spiritual that Jesus is offering them, but their attention is always on the material, they just won’t come to salvation.
Psalms 78:37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.
Faithfulness in Service
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Without faith in Jesus Christ, a person cannot please God. According to Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If we say that we must “see” something happen in the services, like many people present before we think that God is there, then are we walking by faith or sight? We do not please God. We are not showing faith but carnality. The size or number of people in your church should not be what you are looking at. Do not insist that you must see many other people to believe it is real. Make it real in you yourself. Salvation is real, but whether you see others following Christ or denying Christ.
Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Some complain saying, “we are few.” But true Christians in the Bible are a remnant (that means a few). So what? Will you abandon Christ because there are few faithful to Christ? Are you discouraged because those that proclaim that they are disciples of Christ, enter among us, and later they try to do all they can to discourage us with their sins, their attacks on the brethren, and their unfaithfulness to Christ?
Does not their unfaithfulness and instability teach you that they are children of the Devil and children of God? How many faithful were found before the flood? Was it not six? How many people survived Sodoma after the rain of fire? Would you rather be in the majority under the judgment of God or the minority and saved? At a point after the resurrection of Christ, Peter saw John Mark who appears to have been a friend of those of the tribunal that condemned Jesus, and Peter asked Jesus, what do we do with this “traitor”? (Peter forgot that he also denied Jesus.) Jesus responded to him, John 21:21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
We must not allow the failures of other supposed Christians or even the failures of true believers to discourage us. We must be faithful to our Savior, even if we are alone in following Christ.
ch87 The Remnant of the People of God