Part 2 of Apostasy and the Remnant Church here
Tucker Whitaker wrote an interesting piece this week called "The Rise of the Remnant Church" He wrote-
"The mainstream and denominational churches, the seeker friendly, emergent, and prosperity churches are far from what God envisioned them to be. Entire denominations and religious movements today operate without the Holy Spirit. They are spiritually bankrupt without the presence of Jesus, showing no evidence of spiritual gifts or fruit. They practice a form of godliness devoid of power or conviction which gives no hope of eternal salvation. They are comfortable with the world and are more social and political than spiritual. They appease sin, teach spiritual tolerance and diversity, and deny the authority of the Bible, while casting away all teaching about repentance, heaven, hell, and judgment. They have abandoned Biblical Prophecy for modern relevancy and Replacement Theology believing all prophecy is already fulfilled or that it is all allegory or at very worst that God has abandoned His covenant relationship and promises to His chosen people Israel. By making any or all of these unbiblical claims they prove their own ignorance of scripture and prophetic truth. They prove the very prophecy they deny."
The remnant church is the small core in the middle of all that. Mr Whitaker wrote,
"I believe He is calling out a Holy Remnant Church, dedicated to Jesus Christ and focused on doing His work during these last days. I believe God is raising up a church that is committed to Him and His cause who are a holy remnant, a group of people who are steadfast and sure of their God. Perhaps the Lord Jesus Christ is calling His Remnant Church to Himself at the end of this age to worship and teach in simplicity and doctrinal purity. Perhaps the desire to be obedient to the Word and to understand Bible Prophecy and to fulfill the great commission and the great commandment has birthed an early church understanding of what it truly means to follow Christ. Perhaps God is preparing a people to stand and hold forth truth in a world where people and “churches” are consumed with materialism, prosperity, self-centered pursuits and desires, and tolerance for those things that are unbiblical. Perhaps a time of final testing for the true church and Israel is upon us, a time for the Remnant Church to “Stand” for Christ. Whatever the ultimate reason, folks are coming out, and almost immediately they understand the need to adapt to this new and extraordinary environment where the Sufficiency of Christ is taught, that Christ alone is indeed all they need."
Mr Whitaker reminds us that no matter how feeble the Lord's church may seem, He always preserves a remnant of it throughout the darkest of times. He said that even in the Tribulation there will be 144,000 sealed believers powerfully evangelizing the world, Two Prophetic Witnesses warning the world, and a host of Tribulation believers who will witness unto martyrdom. All this I agree with.
The main point of his articles (part 1 and part 2) is that the remnant church will rise so powerfully that the gates of hell will be shook. He said that 'God is calling out a remnant church', and I do not agree with that. I think that the church has always been called by God but the call is being ignored and suppressed in these last days. In addition, I believe that those who do answer some kind of call, are increasingly responding to false calls and are false converts. The church that remains is a remnant but it is holding on amid the increase in candy coated preaching and missional confection. Thus, I do not agree with Mr Whitaker's ultimate premise that a remnant church will rise, though I do agree that the true church IS a remnant in these days. His articles are very interesting nonetheless.
When I read of the small core huddling at the center of churches surrounded by carnality as Mr Whitaker wrote about, I think of two things. First I think of Paul Washer's description of American churches. In his sermon "The Great Sin of the American Pastor" he said,
"Now I want to tell you the great sin of the American pastor, and this has gotten me in a lot of trouble, but it’s true. This small group of converted people in that local church, all they want is Jesus and all they want to do is the right thing. They want purity, they want truth, they want Christ. But, the pastor, in order to keep this larger group of unconverted people, he caters to them. So while he is feeding these carnal men and women with carnal things, he is letting the sheep of God starve to death and he is going to stand before God one day in judgment."
It is a vivid picture of sheep huddled together in the middle pews bleating for real food as goats swirl around the church ransacking everything in sight.
The other picture I get in my mind of the remnant church besides Mr Whitaker's and Mr Washer's, is of a peanut M&M.
A worldly spirit makes apostates. "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia." (2 Timothy 4:10). More in the next blog entry on the process of apostasy.
Do you feel like you are part of a remnant church? I do. The church may look bedraggled on the outside, but His true Bride is unbesmirched, glowing, and pure. It may be small, but it has the power of He who overcame the world within it, sustaining it, and holding it. And that is a beautiful thing indeed.
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