What Adventists Believe About the Remnant and Its Mission

February 15, 2024

When you hear the term “remnant” as it’s used in the Bible, it refers to a group of people who remain loyal to God after a time of hardship. There is special meaning to the remnant of believers that will exist in the last days, when the earth is at its worst, right before Christ’s Second Coming.

Scripture tells us who will make up this end-time remnant in Revelation 12:17 (ESV): those “who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” But what does that mean in the context of the End Times? And what does that mean for us now?

The Bible is full of stories where God calls His chosen people out of dangerous places or destructive company for their own safety. 

One well-known remnant story in particular is the story of Noah in Genesis 6. God told him to build an enormous ark so he, and anyone else who believed God’s warning, would be safe from the terrible flood that would wipe out everything on the earth. 

Genesis 6:5 (ESV) says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:13, 17 (ESV) continues, “And God said to Noah, ‘I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth… I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh.”

Although they had received numerous warnings to repent, the general masses of people chose to reject God and live according to their own selfish ways. But not Noah and his family. Though small in number, they made up a faithful remnant of God’s true followers. God didn’t want any of them to be lost, so He called them out—urging them to listen to His voice and flee the evil they were living among.

In the last days, right before Jesus returns to earth to take His followers to Heaven, a Noah-like situation will happen again.  The world will be filled with wickedness, as humanity leans more and more on its own impulses and ambitions (2 Peter 3:2-7, 2 Timothy 3:1-9). But those who still trust and believe in God will remain strong amid the influence of the world, rejecting its self-serving ways and embracing God’s ways (Revelation 12:17). 

This end-times remnant is often what is being referenced when you hear about “The Remnant.”

Have more questions about the remnant and its mission? We encourage you to take a closer look at this fundamental belief on your own, with your pastor, Bible study group or online at Adventist.org/remnant-and-its-mission.

By Southwestern Union Communication and Adventist.org



The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this world wide witness.

(Dan. 7:9-14; Isa. 1:9; 11:11; Jer. 23:3; Mic. 2:12; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 4:17; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Jude 3, 14; Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4.)