Psalm 50:5 “Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
A recent article on the falling away of believers from the church can have a troubling overtone if left only with the prospect of our current state. Just as many will fall away from the faith, there will remain the remnant who will gather….
It’s a sad state of affairs witnessing people going the way of the world, knowing the fellowship of the Spirit is to know the hope and peace the world is searching for. In the midst of a great dissolution, with persecution on the rise and every form of corruption infiltrating the church, the remnant that remains steadfast will find that irrepressible hope in Jesus Christ will not be in vain.
What is it that separates God’s people from the people of the world?
Exodus 24:7 “Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.”
A distinct quality of God’s people is their obedience.
“All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose he has given them.”Oswald Chambers
Without purpose we are left aimless, void, and without direction. Obedience believes in the One doing the leading, it responds in faith even if understanding is lacking, it presses on when the road is difficult, and doesn’t deviate when the journey is long.
God’s people obey because God is Trustworthy.
When the Lord brings His people into His presence, there are common events that occur during these moments.
Gathering into God’s presence
In God’s presence there are expectations that we can maintain: First of all, it’s good to know that no one can escape God’s presence.
Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.”
But it’s not the general presence of God we are talking about here, we are talking about actively entering into the presence of God. The world experiences the presence of God everyday unaware. The blindness of sin has darkened their understanding where they might see the evidence of God but attribute something else to it.
People across the globe fight to preserve the Earth, the hope that every species of animal is kept alive is a major concern for large groups of well funded people. Saving the whales, preserving the dolphins, rescuing dogs, you name it, if it’s an animal you can bet there are people trying to protect it.
Why are people willing to spend millions of dollars protecting the Earth and the species that live upon it?
Because they appreciate the beauty within it and that beauty comes from God.
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
In the presence of God, there is freedom for God’s people.
What freedom do God’s people enjoy?
Freedom from the slavery of sin.
God’s people are no longer under sin because Jesus paid the price for their sin. Jesus has made His people free from curse of death. Because of this great gift, God’s people rejoice.
Psalm 95:2 “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”
In the presence of the Lord, God’s people rejoice in thanksgiving. The reality of God’s purity, His holiness, and His power, will be reason enough to rejoice that we no longer stand condemned.
When we examine our lives before God’s Word, we stand convicted by the righteous standard it represents. Likewise, the Spirit of God brings conviction in our hearts for sin.
* Imagine what it will be like when we stand before God in the fullness of His glory, the radiating power of His majesty permeating every ounce of our being, the penetrating gaze of His eyes that looks into our soul where nothing is hidden from Him—imagine how thankful you will be at that moment knowing Jesus has purified you and cast all your sin away. One speck of sin would be like a small cancer that went undetected; nothing impure can remain.
Psalm 16:2 “I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
The reality of who we are is exposed in the presence of the Lord. We will see the reality of our works we know that nothing will remain that was apart from Him.
When we submit to Christ in obedience, we are allowing His work to be manifest in and through us.
His work is good because He is good.
Even though His Spirit dwells within us, we still have a fallen nature that resides. If we act according to that fallen nature, we lack the sustainability of doing anything with eternal value.
Psalm 97:5 “The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.”
Everything diminishes before God. Our pride, our accomplishments, our wealth, our power, or position….there is nothing that will be able to stand before Him. Whenever we grow prideful, it would be wise to remember this verse and bow in repentance.
It would be far better to melt before Him now in humility, than to be forced to your knees one day in rebellion and judgement.
Exodus 33:15 “If Your Presence does not go with us,” Moses replied, “do not lead us up from here.”
When we experience the presence of the Lord, there will be no other place we will want to be.
God’s people realize that there is no life apart from Him. Every aspect of our being resonates with His presence—it is like we were meant to be with Him all along.
There is a reason why life has meaning in Him and lacks meaning apart from Him. He created us for a purpose, we are an extension of His love and will never find solace apart from being in His arms.
A distinct quality of God’s people is the love that resides among them.
Exodus 33:14 “And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
The rest that we have in Christ is more than just sitting down and catching your breath, it is much deeper than that.
The rest from the scourge of sin that we have gained now, will be experienced to the fullest in Heaven. It will be a rest from fear, doubt, labor, attack, undue expectations, and ultimately from a sinful nature.
The gathering of the saints will first happen on the day of the rapture, it will be concluded at the wedding supper of the Lamb when the tribulation is complete and God dwells with His people.
We have much to look forward to in the near future, so if things seem dismal now, be patient, the time of Christ’s return is at hand.
We rejoice together now just like we will be rejoicing together then.
The gathering of the saints is happening—will you come and stay?