For years and years I have held to what I have called a “remnant theology.” I haven’t voiced it well, and I know my version of it may not match up with other thoughts. There is always a remnant. While we chase numbers and bigness, that is never a true measure of the Kingdom of God.
Jeremiah is a preparation for the remnant. They will go through the fire because of what the majority did in disobedience to God. There is no “rapture” theology here. God won’t miraculously “yank us away” because we are too precious to go through fire.
The remnant pays the price for the disobedience of the many. They pay the price for the corrupt leadership that put the majority in danger. For Israel, that meant getting shipped off to Babylon and losing all they held precious. The remnant may have loved the Temple for the right reasons, but they would lose the Temple as well.
The remnant would go into Babylon and have to learn not to do so kicking and screaming about their “rights.” Through the fire of Babylon they would learn what the Lord had wanted to teach the majority all along:
6 My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (Jer. 24:6-7, NIV)
This is vital for the remnant of the American Church. The bus to Babylon is boarding and being “the remnant” doesn’t give us a pass from that trip. It’s a necessary trip. This will be a time that the Lord will truly build us up and give us a new heart. We need Babylon.
It is also important to understand what the Lord will do with the majority of the American Church… and it’s not pretty. It just needs to happen because that is the place to which we’ve come.
While I have quietly believed for decades that this “remnant” is the true Church… it is now time for theory to become practice.
This is the journey the Lord has had me on. The journey of spiritual formation. The journey of learning the ancient practices of the Church that have sustained the Body of Christ for centuries and millennia. This is the grounding I have needed to hear the voice of the Spirit for what is ahead. Without it, I would still be blind and deaf… and in a basket of bad figs.