March 10, 3:30 p.m.
Speaker: Conrad Mbewe
Topic: The Strengthening of the Remnant
Passage: Revelation 3:1–6
Revelation 3 strengthens and encourages those who are despairing and despondent. It reminds us that even when it looks like we are losing, God is on the throne, and He will triumph in the end.
So much has gone wrong around us. It seems that the world is decaying and deteriorating before our very eyes. But as we look at the promise of God, we see the people that He has preserved. These are the ones that God causes to remain, who have not yielded to what God is against. These are the ones that are precious to the Lord, and it is our privilege to strengthen and encourage them.
This is a massive responsibility that we as pastors and elders have: to build up those in our congregations who are the true children of God and are seeking to honor the Lord in their lives. These believers are living in a context of compromise and apostasy all around them. We must be an oasis for them. We must encourage them as they go out into a world full of ungodliness so that they are able to stand firm in their faith.
We have a grave responsibility before God to strengthen the remnant.
Jesus Knows Our Real Spiritual Situation
Jesus introduces Himself as the one the church depends on for its health. The church desperately depends on Him, on the Spirit, and on the word that His servants proclaim.
Jesus is able to see what nobody else can see on the outside: He knows the true condition of the church. The Lord looks on the heart. He knows exactly where our hearts are, where our minds dwell, and how we live our lives. And He discerns the vitality of the church’s spirituality.
When holiness is compromised, when Christ’s exaltation and redemptive work are no longer central to the pulpit, when we drag a façade of spirituality into the pulpit, Christ sees it all.
The Lord looks on the heart. In the light of Christ’s examination, do we have His lifeblood flowing through our church? Jesus knows all things, He cannot be deceived by mere outward reputation. Even if you have the reputation of being alive, God knows if you are spiritually dead.
We Must Urgently Strengthen the Remnant
The issue of strengthening the remnant is not something you postpone. It needs to be done urgently, lest you lose those who are the sincere children of God, who are the means by which God’s blessing is being held in the church.
We must strengthen what remains. This refers not only to the remnant but also to what the remnant treasures in the church—to that which is the means of maintaining the life of the church
- Expositional preaching: What is central to the life of the church is Christ-centered preaching. God’s people need to feed from His word. We must be faithful stewards of what God has revealed of Himself.
- The place of prayer: Make sure that the church remains a house of prayer. We need God desperately—we must cry to Him, day and night, asking Him to help us
- Love for the brethren: What is being learned in the church must be lived out in fellowship. Ensure that there is genuine, Christ-centered fellowship in your church.
- The work of missions: We are not here simply to build a better experience for ourselves. We are here to pass the baton from one generation to the next and to fulfill the Great Commission Christ has given us. All of our priorities should show that we are in the business of making Christ known.
- The subject of holiness: God’s people desire to see genuine holiness among the people of God. When sin makes its way in, God’s people must be grieved and devote themselves to repentance and restoration.
These must be the things that the remnant treasures. We must urgently restore to their rightful place those means of grace that truly matter.
Are you in God’s business? Have you become a true shepherd of the remnant? Does that which makes up the heart of true worship have residence in your soul and find its place in the center of your church?
God Knows the Remnant by Name
Those who are pastors, elders, and church leaders are called to come alongside the Head of the church, to encourage those individuals who love the Lord, love His word, love the work of missions, and give their all to kingdom work. Through our ministry, may they know that though they are not recognized by the world, they are known by God, and they are known by God’s servants. Amid our peoples’ discouragement, despite the encroaching darkness they face, may they say “this Shepherd knows my soul.”
The remnant consists of individuals who are a stark contrast to the world around them. The remnant seeks to be set apart, to lead a life that is of another world—the world to come. No matter what the world around them says, they are enraptured by Christ. He is the one they love.
Do you have such individuals in your church? Treasure them. Thank God for them. That is the remnant. Jesus Christ treasures them, and you must do the same.
Be the means of strengthening the remnant, encourage them in their calling as salt and light in the world. Uphold them by pointing to the word that is promised to them. Faithfully and urgently strengthen the remnant, so that they may continue to fight for the crown rights of Jesus Christ.