To the one who feels forgotten
If someone asks who your father is, you can probably answer that. That’s not that impressive. You can probably name your grandfather also. How about your great grandfather? “Grampa Holmes” is all I know, but I know if I dug around some in an old bible I could find it. How about your great great grandfather? Now it’s getting harder. Could you name your great-great-great grandfather? Unless you have an account on a genealogy website, you are pretty much done after going back 1 or 2 generations.
In a world where so many are focused on getting their 15 minutes a fame, it’s a sobering reminder that most of the people in the world will be forgotten in 2 or 3 generations. We don’t even know our own family members, let alone the billions of people who lived on the east 200 years ago.
Even those who engage in God’s work are often forgotten by the world. There are some names who stand out. Names like Spurgeon, Ryle, Calvin, Luther, or Edwards stand out. Around those men that are remembered were multitudes of men who faithfully preached the gospel, administered the sacraments, and buried the saints. But you and I don't know their names today. If you feel today like no one knows you and no one appreciates you, then this might not be the pick me up that you were looking for. If you feel like you are forgotten, like the world doesn’t care, like no no one would notice if you quit ministry and started selling shoes, take heart. Those faithful men and women of old might be forgotten by you and me, but their names are remembered where it counts. They don’t have their names on a pillar or church, but they are written in a place they cannot be erased.
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15
At the end of time these men and women will stand before the throne of God, and their deeds will be read before God. It will be told of how they endured cold and heat, slept on the ground, traveled great distances, and even gave their lives to share the gospel. The years of faithful preaching, of pleading with souls, and hours of prayer will be shared before God. The failures, the sins, and the rebellions will be heard too. But their name will be called one more time, when it is found in the Lamb’s book of life. Those names that were forgotten by you and me will be remembered by Christ as faithful servants.
Take heart if you feel forgotten, because you are not forgotten where it matters. I can’t promise you that you will ever be the biggest name at a big conference. You might not be the biggest name in your own town. But your name is written down where it cannot be forgotten, and at the end of time it will be called out for all to hear. Your labor is not for men who forget, but for Christ who will never forget.