Monday, May 18, 2020

Still Another Mistaken Idea: The Remnant Church

  13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:12 NKJV

    In our last study, we debunked yet another mistaken idea perpetuated onto the Body of Christ, that Luke 6:38 is referencing finances. It seemed good this week to continue addressing these mistaken ideas. Mistaken ideas about God, what His Word says, and how He sees us, brings much error and wrong thinking in the minds of believers the whole world wide. 

 Today, I want to address the mistaken idea of the remnant church. In Spirit-filled, Charismatic, Pentecostal, "prophetic", spiritual warfare centered, end time focused, churches, and ministries the phrase remnant church is spoken of often. I heard it often when I was in Bible College. 

 The idea expressed is that there are a select group of Christians, who in the last days as Jesus returns, are found to be the most faithful. The truest of believers. The most sincere, the most obedient, the most spiritual. Those who've "kept all the commandments" and honor God most by their living. 

 The preacher would shout it from the stage. God has always had a people within a nation. A family within a family. A Church within the Church! These were the most committed of believers. Those proclaiming this idea generally were certain they were part of this "remnant church." As for the rest of us, they weren't so sure. 

 This begs the question, so what must one do to be more accepted and favorable to God? What must one do to find God more approving? What must one do to find God treat them differently, or look upon them more fondly? What must one do to be a part of these more special believers?

 This teaching also begs the question, is accepting and believing in Christ no longer enough? After we believed, it's still not enough? We need to do more to be found in the more accepted group?

Heaven has no VIP Lounge

 In our human experience, that is, as long as mankind has been on Earth, there have always been sects and cliques and VIPs. It's in our thinking. Night clubs, fraternities, sororities, parties all have some type of measuring line they use of who gets in or doesn't. The Good News of Jesus has a different measuring line.

 The Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ measuring line is whosoever will may come. The "cool", the popular, the rich, the affluent, the poor, the downtrodden, the hopeless, the "loser", the "dork", the "nerd", the "geek", the unpopular, the tall, the fat, the thin, the pretty, the ugly, no matter what list you create, all are welcome with open arms to the Father's house! Whosoever may come. You are a whosoever.

 Heaven has no VIP Lounge. God doesn't have any popular kids and unpopular. He will always pick you for His team. Even better, He picks you first! He saw you and chose you. He gave His own Son for you. All who believe and receive the free gift of Grace, are VIPs to God.

 This idea that there is a more special class of believers has already been debunked by Jesus Himself. The mother of James and John petitioned Jesus for the privilege of sitting on His right and left when He came to His kingdom. This was a status position in the eyes of men. Jesus said the one who serves is the most honorable. 

 They asked who is the greatest in the kingdom? Jesus answered saying, become like this child. A child cannot fend for themselves. They are dependant on their parents for sustenance, shelter and provision and protection. Interesting, that Jesus showed them that becoming dependant on God apart from their own doing is what made them great. Jesus is showing us that Grace is great, not ourselves or our performance.

 There are a couple places where the word remnant is found in the New Testament. All the word remnant means is a part of the whole. It doesn't mean special ones. In Romans 9, Paul is speaking of the physical deliverance of Israel

 In Romans 11, Paul addresses the part of the whole of Israel who has accepted their Messiah. What is amazing, is in the context of this mention of a remnant, is the Bible definition of Grace. 
 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. Romans 11:6 NKJV

 God looks upon us with Love and goodness. His Goodness. He beams with pride when He sees us, His Church. He has made us accepted into the Beloved. We need to embrace this light. The light of how God truly sees us and rejoices over us. He has made us Righteous, accepted, and approved with the Father once for all time. 

 Our belief in Christ is enough. We need not seek to attain to some special level in Christ. We need not strive to be more pleasing, more favored, more accepted, more loved, more righteous, and more saved. 

 When we received Jesus, we were completely recreated in Him. We were made perfectly Righteous in Christ. We were forgiven once for all time for all of our sins, past present, and future. We were made eternally secure, never ever to lose or forfeit our salvation no matter what.

 Having received all of God's fullness within our spirit, made holy once for all time, certainly, we encourage growth and maturity in Christ. Of course, we desire to grow up in Christ. We desire to mature, learn to discern right and wrong, learn to avoid sins, and overcome temptation. This is all right and good, but these don't make us better or more "special" to God our Father. 

 God, our Good Father, knew us from the time we drew our first breath and knows when we will draw our last. He has seen beforehand all the times we would fail, foul-up, fall down, blow it, plain sin. Yet He still chose us. He still wants us. Jesus is the full expression of God's Grace and everlasting mercy. 

 In summation, we are not trying to attain to some special level in God. We need not try to become some sort of Christian VIP group. When we received Jesus, that was enough. We're eternally His. Rest in the Grace and goodness of God. 

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