Summary: Today's message is about our need to stay the course and go back to the basic of our faith and be that remnant that God has called the church to be. It also takes a look at the 5 basic tenants of the Protestant Reformation, or the 5 Solas.
Stay The Course
The Remnant Church
** Watch: https://youtu.be/g3t-VJPgaiA
The title of our message comes from a show I had watched called, “The Patriot,” staring Mel Gibson. And there was an underlying theme that continued to be brought out throughout the show, and that is to “Stay The Course.”
Therefore, on this first Sunday of the New Year, after the unprecedented disaster of the year we had in 2020, I like to look forward to what I believe God is doing, and then go back in history to see how the church needs to proceed, because I believe that we are entering a time of shaking, where God is calling out His remnant, that is, a remnant church, and then we’ll look at the beginning of this call known as the Protestant Reformation.
So, what is God up to, what is God doing?
Personally, I believe that God is readying the church. I recently did a teaching on preparing for Christmas, and in that process of preparing for Christmas, what we actually need to be preparing for is Jesus and His coming.
And this is what I think God is doing; He is preparing His church for His return.
In Jesus’s parable of the Persistent Widow, Jesus says that the Lord will bring about justice for those who cry out to Him day and night, but then He asks this question that when He returns, will He indeed find faith?
He said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 NKJV)
This whole idea of the remnant church that God is raising up came to me while considering the story of Gideon. After accepting God’s call to lead Israel, the Lord told him that the amount of men he had at his side to fight were too many (there were approximately 30,000), and that they would think it was through their might and numbers that the victory was won, and not through the Lord.
And so God had Gideon whittle down the army to three hundred, first by telling those who were afraid to leave, and 20,000 or two-thirds departed. That left just 10,000 men against a well armed and trained army. But God said that there was still too many, so God took them down to some water and told them to drink, and those who drank by taking it in their hands and bringing it to their mouths would be the ones that God would use.
And in the end there were just 300 soldiers to fight the Midianites. And with that small remnant, God was able to win a mighty battle.
What constituted the remnant for God? First they were not afraid, because when fear enters the picture, often times it is followed by a lack of faith in God, that He can do what He says, and can keep what He promised.
Second, they were vigilant and watchful. By bringing the water to their mouths indicates that they were keeping watch of the surroundings.
So what will the remnant church look like, well, it is a church that won’t give up on God. Instead they will press in even further in their relationship with Him.
When things are bad and even at their worst, the remnant church will not regress spiritually, nor will they be hypocritical and say one thing while saying and living another. They will also honestly address the situation and their feelings, but in the end they will always trust God and God’s word with the outcome.
The Remnant church lives and breathes and has its being in God alone, that is, it’s completely and totally dependent upon God.
It’s a church and a people who whole heartedly believe and live their lives knowing that God will work it all out for our good as well as His own, with His good being pre-eminent.
The remnant church will also go back to preaching the gospel, because only it has the power to save. The trend to be hip and relevant needs to shift back to what Jesus has called the church to be, and that is to be a difference maker in this world and in its community, and not a vehicle that looks and operates like the world so it can be liked and accepted. Jesus said that if the world hated Him, well then we should expect the world to hate us as well (John 1:18).
Further, the remnant church will not tell people what they want to hear, but what this world needs to hear, that is, it will tell them the truth.
The remnant church will look and act like Jesus. It will be an example to the world of the Lord God, and His love for the lost.
We will weep with those who weep. We will bear one another burdens, and walk that extra mile with them. It’s not a matter of how they feel about something, nor is it our place to tell them they are wrong in the way they feel; rather it’s that we help them where they are at in their life’s journey. In other words, the remnant church is not going to be so doctrinally correct that it becomes devotionally wrong.