A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

A Good Reminder: The Lord Always Preserves His Remnant

In this blog ministry and in our interactions with one another on it, we talk about many negative things. Unpleasant things. Yet they are true and they need to be talked about and exposed. Light must shine on evil.

And yet, if you are like me (and I suspect that you are), exposing evil gets to be wearisome at times. Talking about it. Looking at it. Coming to understand how pervasive it is, even in that which claims to be Christ’s church. You can find yourself feeling, as I do a bit this morning, that the entire visible church has been corrupted, that there is no justice to be found, and that most Christians….aren’t.  We should not be surprised at this because Scripture warns us about difficult times in the last days. And yet it can be quite disheartening.

So, this morning, I thought it would be a very good idea for all of us to take a long look at the Lord Jesus Christ, to consider His promises, and to be reminded that He is Victor over sin, death, and the devil and that great Day is most certainly coming. Things are not going to always be as they are. And in particular, let me recommend that we consider this biblical fact: Christ always has His remnant. He always knows His own sheep, they hear His voice, and He will never let anything pluck them out of His hand. You, Christian, are not the only one left.  Listen to the Lord correct Elijah on this as the prophet is hiding in a cave, running from Jezebel’s threats to kill him:

He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
(1Ki 19:14-18)

The Apostle Paul sums things up this way:

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
(Rom 11:1-5)

There remains a remnant. They are Christ’s true church, His true people. Sometimes they can be pretty hard to find and you don’t always find them in the Temple or even in the city limits of Jerusalem. But they are there. We are not the only ones left.

Christ is risen. He has paid it all. He is coming again. This life is not our real life – it is yet to come and even though we don’t know as yet what we will be like then, or what that life will be like (it is too glorious to describe), we do know that we shall be like Him, because we will see Him as he is, and we won’t be consumed by His glorious holiness. The wicked will be. And we will never be hurt by them again.

So, we fix our eyes on Jesus and press on.

20 Comments

  1. Katy

    thank you for this Jeff. “I have kept for myself seven thousand men” – Amen. He keeps for himself !

  2. Pastor Crippen,

    Thank you for this encouraging post. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I had a difficult time at church this morning, and finding it here was like manna from heaven. Last month, I found out that the pastor from my previous church had discussed personal issues from my case with people he should not have. These discussions, which included his negative opinions of me, were relayed back to my abusive husband and he retailated with financial abuse. Really, this pastor’s ‘help’ has caused me much grief, risks to personal safety, and financial loss for years.

    I sent the pastor at the last church a letter asking if he did have the alleged discussion, and also if he could tell me what assurance I had that my personal information from the marriage counseling was being held in a professional manner. In other words, do children still have access to it? It the file cabinet locked? I asked my new church session, still PCA, to follow up on this because the previous church sent me a letter stating that they would not respond to any correspondence I would send to them — I had to go through my new church session. The new church pastor asked me to stay after church to discuss this.

    Today the sermon deviated from the John series. The sermon was titled, Us and Them. The scriptures read were Matthew 5-21;43-47 (angry with your brother), James 3:9-10 (speaking against one’s brother), James 4:1-3;7-10 (quarrels and fights). Closing, a song about forgiving my brother and not building walls. I could not help but feel that he was using the pulpit against me.

    At the after church meeting, I was told that they would not follow up or acknowledge my concerns. They basically said that it was water under the bridge and time to move on-it doesn’t matter at this point. I feel that it does matter. I think that the pastor should at least apologise for the mis-handling of my case, gossip, etc… but I am not looking for an apology. I just want to know the truth about what happened, and I want to take this to the presbytery, hoping that they will see that there is an irresponsible lack of procedure and confidentiality in how they handle abuse cases. The PCA would not discipline my husband and it seems as though pastors mistreating Christians get a pass, too.

    I am glad that the counseling service was closed by the state, at least they did something, but the church does nothing for justice, no zeal for the truth, no care for the abused or oppressed. It is so tragic. I really feel beat up today. Thanks, once again, for scraping me up off the road and setting my feet on solid ground.

    • Sictodeath

      Listen, Persistent Widow. There are laws to protect you from such things and you need to look into it. If you counsel with anyone, there are laws out there protecting you. The Church cannot usurp the laws of the land, and it is time to tell the boys who disguise as God’s leaders and who think they rule, over God Himself, that they do not.

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      I struggle with this too. The non-acknowledgement by my ex-idiot’s pastor that he caused any grief or harm by not recognizing the abuse or even believing it when it was pointed out to him. I guess I sort of do want an apology, recognition of pain cause even from ignorance.

    • anna

      My PCA excommunicated an unrepentant abusive husband. I hope you can shake things up so that the PCA in your area will be leading the charge for justice. I am so sorry this happened to you. I wish you lived near me!

  3. KingsDaughter

    Thank you for this!
    Standing up for truth and against evil has been quite alienating. A great encouragement is found in sharing experiences with others who have been there. Sometimes in an effort to find comradere I have let my attention be drawn off of Christ and into my own battles. This has been fertile ground for the enemy to distract and discourage.
    The truth is that the battle is not about me, it never was, it IS about Jesus and bringing glory to Him.
    Thanks for this post! Very encouraging!

  4. Jim

    Thank you Pastor Jeff.

  5. MeganC

    Thank you, Pastor Jeff! I am truly encouraged by this post today and needed it badly. Thank you for this reminder!!

    • Leslie

      It seems we all are ” battle weary “. I needed this very much today as well. I just said to someone this morning how overwhelming it is to see the prevailing abuse around me in my church, and how frustrating it is to stand against it and be dismissed.
      Thanks Jeff for all you continue to do and for standing with us!

  6. Barnabasintraining

    Christ is risen. He has paid it all. He is coming again. This life is not our real life – it is yet to come and even though we don’t know as yet what we will be like then, or what that life will be like (it is too glorious to describe), we do know that we shall be like Him, because we will see Him as he is, and we won’t be consumed by His glorious holiness. The wicked will be. And we will never be hurt by them again.

    So, we fix our eyes on Jesus and press on.

    Amen.

    • I found the last couple of sermons in Jeff Crippen’s series In My Father’s House tremendously inspiring. When I listened to that series I understood the new heaven and the new earth much better than I had before. I would recommend this series to anyone who is labouring under intractable difficulties and wants to take their mind somewhat off their problems for a while and be uplifted and spiritually enlarged.

  7. Healinginprocess

    Thank you Pastor Jeff. This was something that I was needing to be reminded of. The timing is perfect….So, we fix out eyes on Jesus and press on. AMEN

  8. I needed to hear this today too…I was very disheartened by some personal things that happened this week, and then Boston and Texas on top of it. I had friends in West and I was very concerned for them for awhile, and grieved by the sheer percentage of the town that was devastated. I still have faith, always, but I did need a word of encouragement. Thanks.

  9. beth

    Thank you
    I needed to hear this this morning as have recently been struggling not to rescue other hurting women and children out there having had the love of God impact me whilst in womens refuge last year,),to the detriment of my own health.
    the Lord told me to Let Go and Let God and to heal myself before I can heal others,
    so this yet another confirmation(I get them regularly)
    thanks again for this site
    God bless

  10. As I See It Only

    Dear Persistent: You, I and many others continue to be treated by church leadership with contempt. Generally we don’t have the big bucks to contribute so our overwhelming issues are specks of dust they brush off their Sunday best. Let me guess: your preacher was preaching about forgiveness but not about repentance. [I think when we separate the two we have heresy, but that’s another story.]
    Sic: Guess what? At least where I live the courts, tribunals, and government agencies will not touch a church gone wrong. You can spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of your time and you will get nowhere.
    In the end, it is as King’s Daughter and Barnabas say: This is about Jesus and His kingdom and His glory. Justice is coming, but maybe not today. Persecution [by church officials!] will continue until the end, but hold on, it’s coming.

  11. Rebecca

    Amen, and thank you Jeff! I needed to be reminded of this as well today. The day is coming~ of accountability which I believe will be soon for all to see… He is risen indeed.

  12. Joan

    “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.'” (I Kings 18:43,44)
    It’s easy for me to miss what the very small cloud (a sign of hope, faith, grace) is signaling is on its way. The greatest refreshing and strength as I get older comes from the purest praise music.

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Phil 4:8)

    “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim 2:13)

    “”For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

    “Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 150:1-6)

    Love is the Author, love is the end of the story (which is the new beginning), and Love wins.

Trackbacks

  1. When Matthew 18 Breaks Down — by Persistent Widow, one of our readers | A Cry For Justice

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