Lesson 4: The Remnant
This week’s lesson repeatedly talks about the two characteristics that will distinguish God’s remnant church from the rest. We are told that one of those characteristics is that the remnant will “keep His commandments”. That phrase was said numerous times, but I think that it must be explained further. What does it mean to “keep” His commandments?
I know an Adventist man who used to be a devout Muslim. He spoke to some young people at a vespers service and said something quite simple but profound. He said that being a Muslim was easier than being an Adventist because it’s easier to just do things without really understanding why you are doing them. He essentially said,”I can pray 5 times a day, I can go on a pilgrimage, and I can pay alms and everything else. That’s easy. But wanting to talk to God out my own will and not just because it’s a certain time of the day is hard. Going to church not just because I have to but because I want to be in the presence of my Father is hard. Giving back to the Lord that which is his and not because I have to and doing it cheerfully is hard.” He said that doing all the things which are set out for us to do by Islam is easy. “Doing those “ceremonial” acts is easy. However, living a life of self-denial and giving myself to the Lord is hard!”
You see, sometimes we get so caught up in the doing and don’t do enough of the living. The Pharisees did what the law required but did not actually live what the law intended. The Pharisees kept the commandments, even the Sabbath commandment, but they did not truly experience the law. Because they, like some of us, knew the letter of the law but knew not the Spirit of the Law. And that law is the law of love, the law of liberty. Friend, we are not to just keep 10 rules. We are to live them. Because that is how we are truly free to live and free to love – God and man. And therein exists one of the real characteristics of God’s remnant church.
Ask yourself, “Do I really ‘keep’ His commandments?” Now, are you ready to part of the remnant? Through the strength of the Lord and your diligence, you can be. Question is, are you willing?