Memorial Day is an observation set aside to remember those who have served our country, chiefly in military service. However, Memorial Day – and every day for that matter – Christians should remember those who have ran the race before us, ‘specially those who earned distinction in Holy Spirit co-authored scripture. A list of such distinguished believers is found in Hebrews 11. This list is a sampling of those who despite their failings and flaws lived and served by faith, and received the reward of the faithful. Let us not forget that without faith it is impossible to please God, and that God is pleased with and rewards the faithful. In addition, we should also remember Jesus Christ, who is the chief example of faith, that being One who was from God, the only begotten Son of God, and is God. Jesus Christ had faith that upon going to the cross to die for the sins of His bride, the church, He would not remain dead and in the grave, but rather would be resurrected, glorified, and receive the bride as His eternal reward. Because of this faith, God the Father not only raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, but gave Him a Name that is above every other Name. At this Name, every knee shall bow and tongue shall confess that He is Lord, and this will be to the glory of God the Father. One day, all things will be placed under God the Son, and God the Son will be given His bride, who will be perfected and conformed into His image. And at this time, the Son will be placed under the Father, so that through the Son, all things will be under the Father! Hallelujah! Praise and glory be to God, who alone is worthy!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Regarding the faithful, we desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Those who died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. The faithful choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. The faithful esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world: for we have respect unto the recompence of our reward. By faith the redeemed sinners perished not with them that believed not, but we receive God’s gospel with peace and reap the rewards with joy.
The bride of Christ through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens, received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. Others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. Yet today in diverse places many are being (or as if they are being) stoned, sawn asunder, tempted, slain with the sword (not least guns): they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented, tortured, raped, burned alive inside homes and churches, of whom the world was not worthy!!!
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
And the question that must be asked: can the same thing be said about you? Are you in the faith? Are you certain that you are? If you say that you are in the faith, are you faithful? If so, what is the evidence of your faith? What are your works? Faith without works is dead. But works will not save you. Instead, works in the absence of faith will convict you on judgment day all the more. If you have true faith, you will produce works. But works not done through faith in the Name of Jesus Christ and Him crucified will be rejected by a holy and righteous God, for be not deceived, the only way to God the Father is through God the Son, and it is only those who are born of God the Spirit that are with, in and of God the Son. The word of God, the Bible, bears witness of these truths. So, if you say that you are in the faith, Memorial Day could not be a better day to examine yourself to see if it is so.
If you are not in the faith, Memorial Day is your day, your time, to remedy that sad, sad situation. Yes, it is a sad thing if you are not in the faith. Those who are not in Jesus Christ are not experiencing abundant life, the so many great blessings, life everlasting, peace without understanding, forgiveness of sins, spiritual riches that will last for eternity. Who could despise so great a salvation? Furthermore, those who are not with Jesus Christ are against Him. Despite whatever religion or good morals, ethics or works you might possess, all men have sinned, and thus all men who are not with Jesus Christ are sinners. If your life ends without you being reconciled with Jesus Christ, on judgment day you will be counted as a sinner, at war with a God who is loving, but also holy and righteous and for these reasons is bound by His nature to combat all sin and overcome it. If you are a sinner, dear friend, this means you, and by the power, glory, majesty and awesome wonder of God that is continually displayed through His creation, it is self-evident that it is a fearful thing indeed to fall into the Hands of a God who is at war with you because of your sin condition!
So I entreat and implore you right now, end your state of enmity with God! Surrender now! And cast yourself on His Son, on the cross that His Son was sacrificed for sins! Turn away from your sins and beg, plead for forgiveness! Do not fear or fret, because Jesus Christ has promised that whoever comes to Him in sincerity, fear, humility, trembling and penitence, HE WILL NOT TURN AWAY! For it is not God’s will that ANY should perish, and Jesus Christ CAME NOT TO JUDGE BUT TO SAVE! Now be not deceived, when He comes again it will be to judge sin, but when He came the first time, it was to save men from the judgment of sin! So seek the safety, the shelter, the refuge of the only One who can give it to you. That One is Jesus Christ.