March 9, 3:30 p.m.
Speaker: Abner Chou
Topic: God's Preservation of the Remnant
Passage: 1 Kings 19:18
The thread of God’s preservation of the remnant runs from Genesis to Revelation. From the Israelites in the Old Testament, through the early church, until the end of time, God has always preserved a remnant.
Every generation, there is a remnant by divine decree. We are part of this plan. Within the hardships and setbacks of life and ministry, the trouble and trials of our world, we know God holds us fast because there is always a remnant.
And one day, we know that Christ will return and raise every generation of the remnant, from every nation, tribe, and tongue. The remnant will fill the earth from one horizon to the next, surround Jesus Christ, and declare His righteousness and His great salvation. And on that day, the remnant—always few, always the minority—will be the absolute majority, and we will know that our work was never in vain.
On that day, we will understand that the success of salvation was never predicated on the size of the people, but always on the strength of the Savior. All glory goes to Him. That is the doctrine of the preservation of the remnant.
1 and 2nd Kings assure us that God is the King. His promises have never failed. Despite the sin of His people, God has always preserved a remnant. As He reigns, judges, and delivers, we see the supremacy of His sovereign power. God chooses to work in ways that defy our expectations. And as He works, He definitively expresses how He preserves His own.
God Preserves the Remnant in Its Survival
Despite all the odds we face in this life, here is God’s promise: I will bring you through. This is God’s guarantee, this is God’s nature—God will preserve the remnant through His wrath.
God can bring you through every trial and persecution of life. While it’s not always physical preservation that takes place, God will always bring us through His wrath. When we face trials and obstacles that are insurmountable, when we are discouraged and beaten down, we know that we will get through because God will preserve the remnant.
God Preserves the Remnant Sufficiently
While the number of the remnant may be small, it is still significant. God has everybody He needs.
In the modern world, it’s easy to believe the myth of the majority: we want a large sphere of influence and we try to appeal to those around us. Whether it be in church growth, our media, or our messaging, we must remind ourselves that as God’s remnant, we will never be the majority.
We care about the depth of ministry, and we let God care about the breadth. The faster we pursue faithfulness and not fame, the better off we are. God loves the small, and so should we: We must love the remnant that God has preserved.
God preserves the remnant sufficiently. We will never gain the majority, but we know we will also never be alone.
God Preserves the Remnant in Its Service
God preserves His people as they worship Him. Our disposition should be one of life service, where we are so overcome by God that we make Him great and we make ourselves minuscule. We bow before Him because He is exalted and He is lofty and we are nothing. We must be so enraptured by Him that it captures not only our soul but our very body. All we are is arrested to Him.
Our God is transcendent. He is above all and He cannot be contained. Therefore, we cannot contain ourselves. We must show with every fiber of our being His supremacy and His transcendence. This is true service to God, and as we serve Him, He preserves us.
Know this: our God’s grace is sufficient so that it preserves the remnant in their service. Let us finish well, not comparing ourselves to others or being consumed by self-righteousness, but shepherding those in front of us who are being preserved in their service.
God Preserves the Remnant in Its Submission
Our lives are all about allegiance, dedication, and loyalty. Our purpose is submission. God’s remnant doesn’t defect, it doesn’t bend, and it doesn’t break because God preserves the remnant to overcome the world.
We know persecution is a reality for the church, both now and in the future. But we must remember: for as much persecution as is coming, God’s preserving grace is always more. It is not just sufficient, it is lavishly more abundant so that His remnant will not bend and will not break.
God preserves us in our submission, so we can be bold and courageous in our submission.
God Preserves the Remnant by Sovereign Grace
The only thing that keeps us is the grace of God. Since that is the case, everything we do is about the sovereign grace of God alone, not about ourselves.
You are nothing powerful, you are nothing mighty, you are nothing righteous, you are nothing special. You have never been secured by human effort or human achievement. It has always, only been by the sovereign grace of God.
Do you want to endure to the end? There is one thing to do: fix and fixate on the sovereign grace of God. Cling to that and that alone, and you’ll make it home. That’s why there’s a remnant to begin with: to magnify the sovereign grace of God.
God’s sovereign reign is seen not only in how He overcomes and defeats all false gods, but equally in how He preserves His people against all odds. That’s the masterpiece of His grace. God is glorified as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, in His amazing power, not only to prevail against polytheism but to showcase His glory as He preserves His own people.
Do not be disheartened when trials come your way and you are struggling. Do not be disillusioned, thinking that you are the hope for all mankind. Do not be discouraged about your people. Do not despair when you are in the dark times of your life and face exhaustion and struggle. There is a remnant preserved by grace.
Keep pressing on, keep shepherding the flock of God that He preserves by His grace. Let us keep doing that until the day when we see, because of the Lord Jesus Christ, that this remnant, small and few, always the minority, is the absolute majority