Look back at sermon notes from each Shepherds Conference 2023 general session.
General Session 1: The Election of the Remnant — Steve Lawson
Romans 9:10-28 introduces the word that is the theme of our conference this year: remnant. The word remnant refers to a small section that is part of a greater whole. Throughout the Bible, this is how the people of God are depicted—the few who are chosen out of the many. This remnant is who we are, and it is who God has entrusted to our care for shepherding. We are those rejected by the world, yet chosen by God; unknown by the world, yet foreknown by God; persecuted by the world, yet predestined by God. We are the remnant—the small, the few, the little, yet precious in the sight of God.
General Session 2: A Remnant Preserved by Grace — Austin Duncan
The preservation of the remnant is solely a product of God’s grace. God’s people will be preserved despite sin’s societal decay and Satan’s devices. Christ will accomplish all His good purposes. His church will grow, His shepherds will be sustained, and His sovereign grace will be magnified. You can bank on these promises because God saved Judah by His grace all those years ago, and God will always preserve that remnant.
General Session 3: The Judgement of Yahweh — Josiah Grauman
The remnant is not only spared from Yahweh's wrath, it remains to be the object of His eternal love. The Gospel is that the perfect and righteous judge declares us righteous so that He can adopt us into His family, give us the same inheritance as His eternal son, celebrate us, sing over us, work His perfections in us, and enjoy us for all eternity. Just as sure as the day of Yahweh’s wrath against sin is coming, the day of Yahweh’s song is coming for His remnant. No prisoner, no lame man, no banished soldier will be left behind—Yahweh will bring all His children home.
General Session 4: The Persecution of the Remnant — James Coates
In 2 Timothy 3:12, Paul tells us, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." This verse reminds us that as we we both firmly and faithfully refuse to yield to the call of the world, the remnant will be the object of persecution.
We must understand persecution, prepare for it, and faithfully stand firm in the face of it, to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.
General Session 5: The Power of the Remnant — Phil Johnson
God is utterly unmoved by the combined weight of all human power. In the plan and purpose of God, the steadfast faith of a small, disadvantaged minority is more vital and more effectual than the collective clout of a powerful majority. Christ's kingdom has never been advanced by the prestige, skill, and sophistication of an imposing army. God ordinarily accomplishes His work on earth through the steadfast devotion of a faithful but otherwise unimpressive remnant.
General Session 6: God's Preservation of the Remnant — Abner Chou
The thread of God’s preservation of the remnant runs from Genesis to Revelation. From the Israelites in the Old Testament, through the early church, until the end of time, God always preserves a remnant. We are part of this plan. Within the hardships and setbacks of life and ministry, the trouble and trials of our world, we know God holds us fast because there is always a remnant.
General Session 7: The Suffering of the Remnant — H.B. Charles Jr.
Doing the Lord’s work does not exempt us from life's dangers, toils, and snares. The question is, where do we turn when trouble comes?
When we suffer, we must not look for refuge in self-help, sinful people, or material things. God alone is our reliable refuge. If you serve the Lord who reigns over heaven and earth, stand firm and trust in Him.
General Session 8: Eyes to See — Nathan Busenitz
Jesus sets His eyes on blind sinners. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, offers spiritual sight to all who look to Him. He gives us eyes to see, that we may embrace Him in saving faith, so that God might receive all the glory.
Now, having been given eyes to see, each one of us can say with the blind man in John 9:25, “I once was blind but now I see.”
General Session 9: The Hope of the Remnant — Mike Riccardi
In the book of Malachi, unbelieving Israel claims that it is worthless to devote themselves to the worship of Yahweh because, in their perception, the righteous are not being rewarded and the wicked are not being punished. But God says there is a day coming when He will make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked. He reminds His people that His promises to them have not failed, His covenant remains sure, and their disobedience must be repented of.
God comforts the faithful remnant by reminding them that Christ will return to judge the wicked, purify His people, and reward the righteous.
General Session 10: The Strengthening of the Remnant — Conrad Mbewe
As we look at the promises of God, we see the people that He has preserved. These are the ones that God has caused to remain, the ones who have not yielded to what God is against. These are the ones that are precious to the Lord, and it is our privilege to strengthen and encourage them.
This is a massive responsibility that we as pastors, elders, and church leaders have: to build up those in our congregations who are the true children of God and are seeking to honor Him in their lives. We have a grave responsibility before God to strengthen the remnant.
General Session 11: The Second Coming of Christ — John MacArthur
When the Lord Jesus comes, He will restore Edenic paradise. He will fully vanquish His enemies, He will save the remnant of Israel and the nations, and He will establish His kingdom on earth. He will rule from Jerusalem, His saints will rule with Him, and all the world will worship Him.
In that day, there will be one religion—the worship of Yahweh. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess His glory.