The church today doesn’t hardly resemble the church I grew up in.
While I don’t want to be like one of those “old fogeys” who constantly laments the fact that times have changed and things aren’t what they used to be, there are some things that never change.
God’s Word never changes; neither do the commands we see in God’s Word.
So while the church, in some ways, will look different in different cultures and generations, there are fundamental things about the church that shouldn’t change.
But they have.
And by church, I don’t mean the collection of believers in a church service, I mean individual believers whom the Bible calls the church
While I grew up at a time in Christian history when there was resistance against the legalism so often preached in the old-time Pentecostal churches and a longing for true freedom in Christ that sometimes led to excesses and sometimes sinful behavior…
There was still a pervading understanding that there were some things Christians just did not do. And those who did those things were a very small minority
This demographic has flipped now, and the majority of the body of Christ lives in a level of permissiveness not seen in previous generations.
A great majority of those who call themselves Christians:
- The entertainment they watch is filled with every kind of sin and debauchery
- The music they listen to is filled with every kind of filth and foul language
- Immorality is tolerated and even accepted
- Sodomy is accepted and even celebrated
- Foul language is used on a semi-regular and even regular basis
- Evolution is believed, or at the very least a Christianized form of evolution is believed
In my post 4 Reasons Why We Should Obey God’s Word, we see why the fact that the majority of the church fills this demographic is dangerous not only to their own spiritual lives, but the overall health of the body of Christ.
Are You a Part of God’s Remnant?
The overall body of Christ cannot, and will not, enjoy God’s blessings when intentional and purposeful sin is a lifestyle for them, when even some of the sins that they tolerate and accept God calls abomination in His word!
And we see a similar circumstance in the book of 1 Kings.
King Solomon led the way for the nation of Israel into a life of purposeful, intentional disobedience and open, blatant idolatry.
What followed was not only the kingdom of Israel being ripped out of the house of David – leaving only the Tribe of Judah – but also a series of kings whose debauched and idolatrous lifestyle was worse than the one before.
And we come to King Ahab.
It says in 1 Kings 16:30, “Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him.”
And that is saying a lot, given the level of sin and evil the kings before him engaged in!
It was during the reign of King Ahab the worship of Baal began in the nation of Israel, and primarily because he married Jezebel, who was an ardent worshiper of Baal.
The worship of Baal among the Israelites became so prevalent that God sent a drought.
The interesting thing was this drought was in response to the worship of Baal and those who worshiped Baal actually believed that he controlled the rain.
God’s answer to this was to send a drought – a direct slap in the face of this false and powerless god!
And the way God chose to end the drought was an even more powerful display of His sovereign power, by sending down supernatural fire to consume a sacrifice on a water-soaked altar.
The result was an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and a massacre of the prophets of Baal.
But we see something beautiful in 1 Kings 19:18, “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
While it seemed to Elijah that he was the only one in the whole land who hadn’t forsaken God’s covenant, there were actually seven thousand who had remained true to God and His Word.
Elijah said twice in this chapter, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek my life.”
This is how it seemed to Elijah, because these faithful men and women, whom God reserved for Himself, were hiding in caves from execution.
Paul refers to this event in Romans 11:
“I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, ‘LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life’? But what does the divine response say to him? ‘I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:1-5
And there is a remnant today.
God has reserved for Himself those who refuse to bow the knee to greasy grace, easy-believism, and permissive behavior thinly disguised as freedom.
He has reserved for Himself those who have chosen not to give in to the intimidation of those in the church who are the “judaizers”, compromising the firmly established covenant of God’s Word.
These are they who stand for truth amidst the accusations of legalism.
These are they who keep their eyes fixed on Jesus despite the barbs being thrown: homophobe, xenaphobe, racist, misogynist, and more.
Being part of God’s remnant isn’t easy.
Not only is it fraught with persecution;
Not only do people completely misunderstand or attack us for our stand and belief in God’s Word;
Not only is it often lonely – much like how Elijah felt when God found him,
But it requires a commitment to humility and constant pruning of God in our lives as He lovingly but persistently reveals those things about us that require change.
He wants to mold us into His likeness.
And to do so, we must ever remain pliable in His hands – and this is not easy. In fact, it is quite hard. But the rewards and blessings of being part of His faithful remnant are abundant!
Here is where you can find our online Bible study group: Good Morning Girls in the Word