By: Robert Robinson
Polls indicate that 90% of Americans believe in God while the percentage drops to 77% when asked if you are a Christian. The word Christian comes from the Greek word christianos which is derived from the word christos or Christ, which means “anointed one.” A Christian, then, is someone who is a follower of Christ. The first use of the word “Christian” in the Bible is found in Acts 11:26, “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” It is found only twice more in Acts 26:28 and 1 Pet. 4:16. I wonder about the validity of these numbers if the day comes when under threat you are asked if you are a Christian. Would you be like Peter who denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed? What if the demands of Jesus found in Scripture were so severely enforced by an army of enforcers that any variance from statutes declared in the Bible be severely punished? Just how deep is our commitment to the Lord when under (or over) fire? Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” True Christianity is not some fluffy bubbly station in life where you can do whatever you will while occasionally “getting serious” to expound your virtuous facade to others about all the wondrous things you know about the Lord. Be assured the more you know of Him the less certain you become in “self” knowing or proclaiming anything of God. There is instead an humbling effect that renders the boaster to ashes from the trying fire of the Spirit.
Why is the term Remnant used in Scripture and what is it? The remnant is a recurring theme throughout the Hebrew and Christian Bible. The Anchor Bible Dictionary describes it as “What is left of a community after it undergoes a catastrophe“. The concept has stronger representation in the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament than in the Christian New Testament. How about many are called but few are chosen? What stops a person who professes to be something to not be that something? What could cause fear to enter a person’s thought when the authority of their position is challenged? Deny Christ or die. Gulp! We are given several examples of this very form of intimidation in the Bible and we read of the consequence of standing firm in the faith. People died believing without denying their faith and were labeled martyrs and by Heavenly decree their names were recorded for historical significance for those to come.
Think not that the Knower of hearts is not aware of the conviction of our hearts. Prior to Job’s suffering remember how God proudly pointed out to the chief Prosecutor how upright his man was and yet allowed challenge to come in to Job’s life with the full confidence in Job’s ability to withstand. When you were first taught how to ride a bike your Dad or Mother held you up as you took your first faltering rotations of the pedal but eventually let go with the hope you would take off and ride alone. Sometimes you crashed and after brushing off and fixing your boo boos you got back on until the realization came that this riding a bike thing had become second nature. So does our Father expect that a day will come when you will trust him to keep you as promised regardless of your encounters enduring to that day when says to you Well done good and faithful servant.
I challenge you to become what God desires of you and that you are counted among the few and the Lord will say have you considered these my servants? Look how they walk with me and I count them as worthy and deserving of a crown for their victory. For they have truly walked through the fire and their clothes are not burned and they proclaim from their housetops that they are Mine.