Someday, by the grace of God, I will get to be a part of a vastly popular mass movement.
In all likelihood, however, that probably won’t happen until I stand one day with the millions of white-robed saints pictured in Revelation 7. They gather before the throne and before the Lamb with palm branches in their hands, crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9, 10).
Between now and then, as a disciple of Jesus, I will probably know much more about belonging to a small and sometimes unpopular minority, for the faith of Jesus always passes through the narrow gate. I shouldn’t expect to hear ringing public affirmations of the Bible truths to which I am committed from those who follow other gods or walk the broad highway or put on their Christianity but once a week, and only then for an hour.
It’s certainly easier to write or read these words than to live them, for our hearts hunger for the knowledge that we have joined a popular majority. Sometimes, unconsciously, we even judge the worth of things by how many of our neighbors are choosing what we choose or living as we live.
One hundred fifty years ago a man who had learned the quiet strength of choosing what is right over what is popular wrote lines I have emblazoned on the walls of my life. Persons convicted in their souls of a great truth should “not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them. I think that it is enough if they have God on their side, without waiting for that other one. Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already.”*
Seventh-day Adventists, growing rapidly as a world movement of Christians, still do well to hear these words. Few Adventists are privileged to live where their faith is held in high esteem or celebrated by a majority. Many believers live the loneliness that Moses experienced in the wilderness or the apostle John knew on Patmos.
To them—to you, if you are one of them—I underline the consolation that comes from being true to the Word of God and the leading of the Spirit: “It is enough if they have God on their side.”