Church Revitalization Podcast – Episode 74
Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. – Isaiah 10:20-21
The Remnant in Scripture
The Bible is filled with the expression “the Remnant.” 157 times to be exact, and often depicts a faithful people among the house of Israel. People who have not left the faith in the great Yahweh, creator of all things and turn to worship other gods. These are people who kept His covenant and followed His prescription fully with no compromise of any form because they knew Him, they knew the Law and they knew His voice.
In Isaiah, 10:21 uses the Hebrew words Shear-Jashub which means the return of the remnants. Interestingly when one looks specifically into the word remnant in Isaiah that person will discover a more specific inclination as well to what it means to be a returning remnant and Isaiah 37:21-32 is key in this:
“The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
Let’s unpack this together. First, they are from the house of Judah which is the tribe of the great king David, ancestor of the Messiah, the King of Kings, and Lord of lords – Jesus, which is one of the reasons He is called the Lion of Judah. One can say, the remnant belongs to Jesus and they know Him intimately through His Word (Logos & Ruach).
Secondly, they are people who will take root downward and bear fruit upward and go forth as survivors, able to stand and advance the Kingdom through the world’s opposition and persecution.
Finally, it is not something the remnant do by their own strength, but it is the zeal of the Lord of Hosts that will perform it, through the Holy Spirit. This takes a lot off of our plates, does it not? Since God is in charge, the remnant can enter the rest of His presence, His Word, and His lead to make it become reality.
The Remnant in Europe
Now that we have a basic biblical understanding of “the Remnant,” we can further this by talking about the situation in Europe and the need for the remnant to be revitalized. For many years, Europe has been called “the dark continent” and the result of agreeing with that statement is that it became a reality. The decline of churches here has been phenomenal, and churches closing down is common. When one studies church history one can see that any church decline often starts with taking God out of the picture and replacing it with a person, a philosophy, or something else that becomes the “New Idol.”
As was mentioned in this week’s podcast, sometimes the declines are recognized too late since its progression was in slow motion. A slope that went down for the last 20 years. It was slow yet progressive. In other words, “the dark continent” did not appear overnight, but through constant deemphasizing of the Truth that “God is” and replaced by Humanism, Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, and other intellectual forms that elevate themselves above the knowledge of God.
The Remnant is Taking Root
Nonetheless, a shift is taking place in Europe and other places as well where some people and leaders are revisiting Jesus’ commissioning in Matthew 28:18-20, making discipleship the Mission and priority of the church, their home, and even their businesses. I have talked with leaders on my Christ & Hearts account on Instagram and interviewed Pastors and leaders to understand what they did, even amid a COVID pandemic, so that I could build a strategy to help churches as a guide for the Malphurs Group in Europe. Interestingly, they all expressed that in everything they do, they do it to fulfill the command of Jesus to make disciples. They helped, they guided, they provided for their communities’ needs, etc. and as a result, these leaders experienced exponential growth. Yes, in Europe!
Can you see that we have the words of Isaiah becoming a reality? The remnant from the house of Judah (Jesus), deepening their faith (roots) by making disciples (Fruits) which results in them experiencing exponential growth. But let me finish by saying that it is not through their own effort alone, avoiding for themselves to become gods in this process, but it is the zeal of the Lord that makes it happen,“for it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
It is the combination of both faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and the work of making disciples, by providing tools, vision, creativity, and strategies for the people that one serves which will ultimately lead them to know God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost and revitalize His Church into the place that I personally call home.
I am excited that The Malphurs Group has committed to bringing the Strategic Envisioning process to Europe. We are launching first with our tools and resources in English, but plan to continue on in Spanish, French, Swedish, Italian, and German as the Lord provides. Please visit our Donate page to partner with TMG in revitalizing the church in Europe, the Americas, and to the ends of the earth!
Daniel Loverde is a Malphurs Group Guide working with churches in Europe. Originally from Denmark, he now lives in Sweden with his wife and daughter where he has served churches for over 14 years. Dany has a Master of Divinity in Theology and Ministry, has church planting experience in Amsterdam and spent many years in youth ministry. His fundraising brand, christandhearts.com, helps support his passion for revitalizing Christ’s Church and the work of The Malphurs Group in Europe. Email Dany.