My brother emailed me this little article earlier this week. It is courtesy of Dr. H. Wayne Shamblin, who authors a brief weekly devotional thought. Dr. Shamblin is evidently an interesting character in his own right: he wrote the music for the hymn “Rejoice in the Lord” which appears in several of our songbooks, and played basketball at Abilene Christian University, where he still holds some records. He is a retired basketball coach who is a member of the Bullard Church of Christ, where my brother also attends.
I enjoyed reading it and thought that you might too, so I decided to publish it here in our bulletin. It echoes many of the points I have made myself in sermons, classes, and articles, but it is often insightful to hear old lessons from the perspective of a different voice. The article has been lightly edited for grammar, punctuation, and formatting to better fit into this space, but the content is solely the original author’s. BP
As I read my bible, it becomes very clear to me that everyone is not going to accept the offer of God to be one of His children. All through the Old Testament the word that is most often used to describe the number of those who accept His call is the term “remnant.”
For example, in Jeremiah 23:3, the prophet says “I myself (the Lord) will gather together the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their Pasture.” And then again in Micah 2:12 we find these words: I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob, I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people.”
Even the words of Jesus Himself indicate that the numbers of believers will always be smaller than unbelievers. Remember His words, “Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matt. 7: 13-14). So it has always been the case that the pool of believers in God’s will has always been smaller than the world’s numbers. Today all I seem to hear is doom and gloom: what if this group takes control, what if that idea takes hold, what if this party outnumbers that party, or what if the wrong people are elected to office? Why are we surprised when we are outnumbered—hasn’t it always been that way?
I found an interesting paragraph in a little book titled, “Finding God in the Land of Narnia” by Bruner and Ware that I would like to share with you. The authors say:
In view of all this, should believers ever be surprised to find themselves in the minority? Hardly. What if the atheists and secular humanists gain the upper hand? What if the media mock the biblical faith? What if prayer is outlawed and Christians marginalized? Would David be shaken? Would Elijah be shocked? Would Jesus be caught off guard? Not likely. On the contrary, they would probably take a look around, shrug their shoulders, and say, “Appears to be ‘situation normal’. Now lets get back to work (page 67).
It is time to get back to work and not be looking on all the problems this world seems to have and focus on the God who said, “Follow me”. God is bigger than all of the problems the world has to offer!