Joel 1-3, Psalm 125
In 1916, the poem written by Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken", was published. The poem concludes with, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." People much prefer to follow the herd for there is a level of comfort in belonging to the majority. Many mindlessly attend the same church they went to as a child so as not to upset or stand apart from the rest of their family. Many vote for the same party every year, simply because that is what their family or their trade union does. In Nazi Germany the overwhelming majority of individuals adhered to a vicious level of anti-Semitism since that was what everyone did. Even at work complaining about everything from the pay, to the boss, etc is the norm because everyone does it. We must all decide whether we will choose to follow the majority into hell or join the minority, the remnant, though ostracized and singled out here on earth have become those that share eternity with Jesus.
We read in Joel 2:32, "And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, Among the remnant whom the Lord calls." After Elijah stood alone against the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and God showed His power, Elijah soon fled in fear thinking he was all alone (1 Kings 18-19). God tells Elijah when he was at his lowest, in 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." Each of these 7000 chose to be part of the remnant and not join the majority. Jesus explained this in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." If there was one right church, or one right denomination, or one right nation, then everyone should go there. The truth is no matter where you are there is only a remnant who make the choice out of their own free will to pull away from the majority and follow the One True God. There are not many roads that lead to the same God. Making absolute and exclusive statements sound narrow-minded but I will choose to accept what my Savior said over anyone else in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." There are no grandchildren in heaven, only children who get there based on what He did and the choice we as individuals choose to make.
Standing alone for the things of God is not popular, but is necessary. Each of us must decide where we stand. We can't make that choice for our family members, they have to eventually make their own choice. Standing alone is not easy and may lead to being ostracized and persecuted. Jesus said in Matthew 5:11-12, "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Our role as Christians is to stand apart and invite others. We should seek to bring honor and glory to His Holy Name in every area of our lives. We in the remnant are never alone, for we serve a God who will never leave us and never forsake us.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: