Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Remnant Church is like a peanut M&M...

Part 2 of Apostasy and the Remnant Church here

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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.

There is an exterior thin veneer of cohesion, ("ecumenical tolerance") covering a thick layer of chocolate candy, (false church) which melts away if pressed too hard. Inside all that sickeningly sweet, cloying confection, is a hard core of believers standing on the blessedly sure foundation of Christ. But that core is so small that a thin covering of eye-catching neon candy coating and a thicker layer of chocolate hides it very well. And the pile of M&Ms overall is growing as churches explode in falsity and where the real believer is so hidden as to be invisible,or at least, overlooked. The form of godliness without power is like candy- it's food, filling without being nourishing. There are calories, but they do nothing for the body.


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.


7 comments:

  1. i agree we the true church of jesus christ will shine even brighter as the days get darker and colder ,and as jesus said himself we are the light of the world ,yes apostasy is running rampant in the world but while the bride of christ remains the truth will be proclaimed. lets just hope and pray more will listen and come to christ in deep sorrowful repentence and receive the free gift by Gods grace of salvation through faith in jesus christ alone ,and beleive that he died in our place on the cross were he bore our sins by the shedding of his presious blood at calvary for he alone is the way the truth and the life. god bless

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  2. The "organization" of the church is not necessarily the body of Christ.
    The analogy that you use is a good one to describe the current American church, however it is never been Gods plan that it would be so.
    The cohesiveness that has caused it? Unbelief, sin, carnal thinking.
    Opting for the lessor of two evils has gotten the "church" where it is. We just left yet another group of believers for their tolerance of Beth Moore. If you do not stand against false teaching you are with it. Period.

    So your description of the "church", a peanut M&M yup, a hard shell exterior that has a pretty glossy finish that covers sweet chocolate candy and when you get through that, to the hard plain center is just chewed up and consumed.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jeff,

      We both understand and agree that the church is not a building nor a denomination but the called out ones of the body of Christ. The church as it is today is shorthand for the called out ones who meet in a building or a home. We are biblically commanded to do this. Hence, the word church.

      There is the universal church, the global body of believers, and there is the local church. Both are biblical. (Eph 1:22-23); Gal 1:1-2)

      When people meet to worship, it is an "organized" worship (hopefully) or an "orderly" one as Paul said. (1 Corinthians 14:26-33). We have overseers, pastors, offerings, etc. We have a chronology to our service. We have deacons and other people in the standard offices (1 Timothy 3:8–13) which are the people operating in the gifts of the spirit. (Administration, helps, teaching, etc...1 Cor 12) That the church is organized is a good thing. Too many people today deride the "organized" church. That is a bad thing.

      I respectfully disagree that the called out ones who are standing on the sure foundation will be chewed up and consumed. While some, mainly overseas, are appointed to martyrdom, that is by Divine decree. Others, especially in the west, are scattered sheep due to increasing Phariseeism and spiritual abuse by shepherds who strike the sheep, that is by divine decree also. Not one blot or blemish will be on any of His true sheep in glory. If they are martyred or struck, it is to the glory of God and they will never be consumed. He who is in the world is not greater than He who is in us. That is why I ended the essay with that scripture.

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  3. There is no doubt that the Lord will keep his people. What I am seeing is the ORGANIZATION of the church which is really not the church at all it's the business venture that many would call "the church". And it is true that the churches effort has been overridden, making it it of smaller effect.

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  4. I'm not so sure I understand what you mean by the organization of the church that is of smaller effect...can you explain more, or share some examples so I know better where your coming from? :)

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  5. Right in these passages we have an example of the dynamic that I am referring to. The church itself has ALLOWED these things to creep in and it is because of extra biblical affiliations like denominational differences, "interpretative" differences, participation in tax exempt status that places the "organization under the authority of the IRS and the adherence to tradition.
    There is just one church the rest is of satan. Just like Peter, we, the church must take responsibility for what has happened and been ALLOWED.
    Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

    13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

    Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

    21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

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    Replies
    1. I agree that individual pastors and people in congregations have allowed this to creep in. Paul chastised his churches for the same thing, saying, "I am astounded you have so quickly abandoned..." Gal 1:6

      The number of times Paul or Peter or John had to remind, chastise, rebuke and encourage the believers to stick with the main doctrines tells us that this has been a problem from the beginning. Paul told us that after he left that false teachers wold creep in, bringing with them destructive heresies. We knew it would happen and it did and it is.

      Each individual will be held accountable for what they let happen on their watch and teachers and pastors double.

      What is happening is not unexpected and it is not something that the church during its entire history hasn't wrestled with. It is only happening more rapidly and more frequently now. This is one of the indicators that we are nearing the end

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