Mass gatherings are the delight of the world. Throngs of people gather for Thanksgiving Day parades, Black Friday sales events, and holiday rivalry games. Most people are exhausted by Sunday, and they are grateful for their day of rest. Meanwhile, little flocks of people will gather on Sunday morning, as they do each week for the Lord’s Day. These are the remnant, and they are blessed. They do not despise the day of small things.
The blessed remnant love the small gathering of the saints, in weekly communion with God in the Spirit (1 Cor 12:13). It is the highlight of their journey through life. It is their place of refuge from the grandstanding world.
In this gathering, the truth is told, unlike the endless lies of politicians and corporate marketing departments. Souls are nourished by the bread of life, the Word of God preached.
There is no shame in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as there often is in public forums. Christ’s sheep come into the fold of their local church to hear the voice of their Good Shepherd (Ps 23; Jn 10).
World-lings imagine God has blessed them when they prosper in business or with a windfall inheritance, but the poor remnant keep their trust in the Lord (Prv 3:5–6), who is their inheritance (Eph 5:5; Col 3:24). By God’s design, the remnant have trouble in this world (Jn 14:27). The reason is that they are not conformed to this world (Rom 12:2), because they do not love the world, nor the things of the world (1 Jn 2:15–17).
The remnant Christians are being conformed to the image of Christ Jesus (Rom 8:29), who is the icon of God (2 Cor 4:4). He was not of this world (Jn 3:16), nor is His kingdom of this world (Jn 18:36). The Bible teaches that this present world of sin and corruption would soon pass away (1 Cor 7:31; 2 Pet 3:10–12; 1 Jn 2:17), but King Jesus’ kingdom is forever (2 Sam 7:13, 16; Ps 45:6; Is 9:7; Dan 2:44; Mt 6:13).
Gathering for Sunday morning worship at your local church is other-worldly. It is an act of rebellion against Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). It is a purposeful denial of the world system because it is worship of the invisible God, in Spirit and truth (Jn 4:23).
Humanity laughs at Christians, and even parodies their worship with religious cult idolatry. The simplicity of true Christian worship, however, is observed in its liturgy. The Word prayed and the Word preached are joined by the singing of the Word from the Psalter and celebrated in the sacraments, which are the Word made visible. Christian worship is simply the Word in the Spirit. God speaks to His people, and His people are given Words (Bible) to worship God.
The remnant, even among the churches, wants the Word. They will not tolerate the cheap imitation of philosophy, comedy, psychology, nor sociology from the pulpit. They will not be whipped up into an enthusiastic frenzy by a charlatan showman. They know good food for the soul, from God, when they hear it. They will flock to it, when they are able to find it.
Sitting under the preached Word, with the open Word in their hands, amidst lovers of the Word is the greatest pleasure for the citizen of heavenly Zion. It is like receiving a letter of love and encouragement from a far country. The Word preached is authenticated by the Word treasured upon the hearts of God’s saints (Bereans — Acts 17). They know the voice of their Shepherd because He has given them His Word (Jn 10).
When the dross is removed from the meeting house pews, by the preached Word, it is the remnant who remain. They ask, “Where else would we go? Our teaching elder has the Word of life, and he boldly proclaims it as sound doctrine.” These know the voice of truth. Their Shepherd calls them, teaches them (Jn 14:17), reproves and rebukes them (2 Tim 3:16). In response, their ambition is to please Him (2 Cor 5:9).
The blessed remnant are not game changers, nor world changers, but they themselves are being changed by the renewing of their minds to the mind of Christ (Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 2:16). Their affections are being realigned, being set on the things of heaven (Col 3:2), where Christ is seated (Eph 1:20; 2:6). Their labors in this world are for their King and His kingdom (Lk 10:2; 17:10; Eph 2:10; 1 Thess 1:3), which is the peace and joy they experience in the Spirit (Rom 14:17), when they delight in the Word of God, which is their reasonable service of worship.
The blessed remnant are God’s blessed elect ( Rom 11:5; Eph 1:4-5), blessed redeemed (Ps 107:2), blessed regenerate (Jn 3:1–8; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13; 1 Pet 1:3), who see the kingdom of God because they are in the kingdom of God (Rom 14:17; Col 1:13), and who are ever praising God…who is their all in all.
The world has its big venues and its big deals, but what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? The blessed remnant know the answer…”nothing.” This is why you will find them in the midst of their little flocks on the Lord’s Day.
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 11, 2022