Jesus asked this question, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). The Apostle Peter captured one reason for God’s delay in judging the world. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). The primary reason for the delay is that the number of those yet to be killed for Christ is not completed (Revelation 6:11). And to those that neglected to attend the “Wedding Banquet Jesus” said, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). To another group He urged, “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 few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Some one asked, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evil doers!” (Luke 13: 22-27).
Jesus’ teaching on who was going to be saved troubled his disciples and turned many away. Many said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:60:66). God was drawing people, but He was not drugging them with grace like we do today. Jesus offered no compromise or alternative route a person can be saved. It was a narrow road with one’s cross on his/her back. It was simple, too simple, “repent or likewise perish (Lk. 13:3-5)!” To part with the old person was and still is an enormous chore. The door of God’s grace is open, but man must comply with the requirements God in Christ has set. He will not change his rules for our sake; man must change for His. Christ is the way back to God and he does forgive those that do not know what they are doing (Matthew 23:34), but not those that know what they are doing and then seek to butter themselves with grace (Romans 6:1-14). “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). They had forfeited their right to enter by replacing God’s law with their versions (Mark 7:6-13). Grace was not intended for man to justify his sinful ways, but to do God’s work (Ephesians 2:10). For nothing unclean can enter God’s holy presence (Revelation 21:27).
The concept “remnant” deals with very small numbers. In fact, it begins with the individual. Adam sinned and could no longer remain in the presence of God. He had to live in the world and learn how to atone for his transgressions. Adam’s attempt to place the blame on Eve was denied. The soul that sins can repent and be admitted into the kingdom and the soul that did right but goes wrong will not be saved (Ezekiel 18). The Lost Son had to repent and return to be reinstated (Luke 15:11-32). Repentance more than belief or deeds qualifies a person as a member of the remnant. Good deeds shall be recognized on judgment day, but unless that person repents, there is no mention as to where he/she will spend eternity. The thief that died with Jesus repented and was admitted into paradise instantly (Luke 23:43). People that die in the Lord are allowed to rest until the resurrection when they shall be remembered for their deeds (Revelation 14:13). Those that sufferer abuses like Lazarus did, in paradise they shall be comforted by Abraham (Luke 16: 25). Martyrs that die for or because of Jesus the Christ are not resting in paradise but are already active in a heavenly chapel. “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’ Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed” (Revelation 6:9-11).
The remnant concept applies to every generation from Jesus’ first appearance to His last. It shall be that last generation that shall endure the worst atrocities the world has ever encountered (Matthew 24:32-35), when a third of mankind shall be killed in the Euphrates area (Revelation 9:13-16). The Euphrates region is the most likely cradle of civilization and also where most of the earthly judgments regarding God’s people took place. Man began to sentence others by disobeying the Creator’s laws. Cain was fully aware of the consequences sin would have on his life before he killed his brother Abel. Noah’s generation did not have to die. All they had to do is repent and build boats. Only eight souls survived. Sodom and Gomorrah could have evacuated the area with Lot and his daughters. They were warned and so was king Hezekiah who treated the envoys from Babylon as comforters in his illness and not as spies when he showed them his treasures. Isaiah the prophet informed the king that he had sold out his nation to the Babylonians (II King 20). Ezekiel tells us what they did.
A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword” (Ezekiel 5:12). Persecution and annihilation have been trademarks of the mighty against the weak; particularly, those that regarded injustice as evil (Romans 1:18-32).
The last generation, what will it be like? How many shall line up to welcome back Jesus the Christ? Satan’s mission was and still is to depopulate the believers and followers of God in the world. In Revelation chapter seven, he has sent to heaven to be with Jesus some 144,000 Jews and uncountable Gentiles. Here is the mystery of mysteries. These martyrs do not rest but are already with God and with Christ shall reign for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). Preceding this event, secular global socialism shall destroy two major foundations that have sustained civilization; namely, capitalism and moral justice. Capitalism, guided by moral justice whether large or small, or an owner of a factory or a farmer of 160 acres or even an owner of a simple dwelling have been the back bone of every successful organization in the world, including Babylon or the U.N. Babylon and capitalism are one and the same. The fall of Babylon, at the hands of the ten brotherhood nations and their allies, shall cause the death of one forth of the people by the sword, by famine and by plagues (Revelaion 6:8). The second disaster will kill one third of mankind by a nuclear fall out commencing in the Euphrates area. It shall start as a war, but end in three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur. The devil or Apollyon, the destroyer will be behind the plot to destroy God’s creation. In spite of the evil that shall befall mankind, men will not repent but continue to obey the ancient serpent and blame God for their monstrosities (Revelaion 9). During this period, Jews and Christians shall suffer and die as never before (Revelation 13:7). And those that regard one religion or political system as good as another shall have not difficulty to take the sign of the world leader and swear allegiance to his god (Revelation 13:11-18).
The first time, Jesus came into a world that was unprepared to welcome Him and according to His own forecast it shall be the same. This time He shall bring with Him His heavenly host of angels and before He sits down to deal with his enemies, his angels will gather up the last of His remnant (Matthew 24: 31).