Smile... The Future's On Its Way
by C.J. Horn
Remembrance: Keeping the Perspective
The key to keeping perspective is remembering the truth--and mankind is prone to forgetfulness. This book contains reminders of certain truths on which our faith rests. It is this author's prayer that the reader remember at least one thing and take heed: truth may be forgotten amid the whirlwind of daily life.
Consider the observance of Passover. The Passover was to be observed every year by God's people. It was a reminder of the deliverance from Egypt. Not only was it a reminder of that act of deliverance, it was a reminder of how the deliverance was finally accomplished. On that fateful night in Egypt thousands of years ago, the only way to keep the death angel away from the home was to sacrifice a lamb and spread his blood on the "lintel, and on the two side posts" of their doors (Exodus 12:23). God knew that His children continually needed a reminder of this event, so the Passover was instituted.
"And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, what mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses" Exodus 12:26,27.
Our Savior used the occasion of the Passover service to institute a time of remembering. The broken bread and the blood red wine would serve to call His dying sufferings to our remembrance (Matthew 26). Paul wrote extensively to the Corinthian church regarding the "Lords Table" (1 Corinthians 10,11). It is a regular part of the church's function to make sure believers are reminded of the deliverance accomplished by Jesus Christ on our behalf.
Peter knew that man was prone to forget. He had convenient amnesia on the night of Jesus' trial, and he grieved at the crow of the rooster when he remembered the Lord had predicted his denial (Matthew 26:75). Peter was changed by the Holy Spirit, who was to "teach" all things, and to "bring all things" to remembrance (John 14:26).
He wrote, "I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth" (2 Peter 1:12). In fact, he felt it was necessary and proper as long as he was alive ("in this tabernacle") to "stir (the reader) up by putting (him) in remembrance" (2 Peter 1:13). Believers are to have their minds full "of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior" (2 Peter 3:1,2).
The only way to keep these things in remembrance is to read and study the Word of God, which is our record of the words of the apostles and prophets. Beginning with II Peter 3:3, a clear presentation is given of things that may be forgotten or scoffed at: The truth of the creation record, the reality of a worldwide flood, and the surety of coming judgment.
Jude talked about the need for remembrance in order to avoid judgment:
I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 5-7
Both Jude and Peter are reminding the readers of judgment to come. This points out the fact that "remembrance" is not merely remembering something that happened in the past. Remembrance means rehearsing or keeping in mind what has happened or what will happen in the future.
Our remembrance of God (or "keeping Him in mind") recognizes all He has done, is doing and will do in the future. He is, in fact, the God who lives outside of time. Our Lord is the same, "yesterday, and to day and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8). It is not that He must stand up against aging by some special fountain of youth, it is that we must necessarily relate to Him in terms of our yesterday, today, and forever. His justice and judgment have and always will be the same. His justice was satisfied by the shed blood and broken body of the Lord Jesus Christ. His judgment must still be measured out to those who reject this free gift.
The Future Remembrance
Some of the things that Jesus told His disciples did not make sense at the time. He had promised them "the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost" who would bring all things into their remembrance after His ascension (John 14:26). This is exactly what happened. John records, "When therefore He was risen from the dead his disciples remembered that He had said this unto them, and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said" (John 2:22).
Remembrance is a personal responsibility and a matter between the believer and God. Only God is intimately acquainted with all the believer is, has been and will be. The observance of the Lord's table, although done collectively, is a time for personal examination and confession (1 Corinthians 11:28). It is also the responsibility of the believer to remember others in prayer in his personal conversations with God (2 Timothy 1:3). Another responsibility the believer assumes is that of remembering what the Word of God teaches as it effects the day-to-day course of life. James said, "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22). If a person does not make a practice of remembering to do God's Word, James likens him to a person who looks in a mirror, but then forgets the image shown there (James 1:23,24).
Even with a perspective based on a consistent study and practice of God's Word, there will be times when the believer struggles for understanding. But in spite of it all, it is possible to give thanks in everything if one calls to remembrance that at some future date the "former things" will be passed away (Revelation 21:4).
In that day, the battle to keep perspective will be over, for faith will finally be replaced by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Lord, who has forgotten sins and iniquities (Hebrews 8:12) will remember His own, as He did the thief on the cross. The "perfect day" at the end of the believer's path will be that day when he hears his Lord say unto him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:23).