The recent observation of Memorial Day can serve as a reminder of a wonderful reality as revealed in the Word of God. Notice the special recognition and commendation that God bestowed on those living in an earlier time of moral and spiritual decay who were willing to stand apart from the crowd and serve God:
At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before him for those who feared the Lord and had high regard for his name. “They will be mine,” says the Lord of Armies, “my own possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him” (Malachi 3:16-18).
The remaining verses in Malachi 3 lead to the conclusion that God also takes note of those of our generation who are willing, as Paul wrote, to “face death every day“(1 Corinthians 15:31) as we crucify our flesh (Galatians 5:24).
And, although it isn’t clear whether the book of life mentioned in Revelation 21 is the same book mentioned in Malachi’s prophecy, we can be confident that God is perfectly aware of our faithfulness and will acknowledge it in a special way at the right time. After all, if as flawed human beings we are compelled to honor individuals who are deemed worthy of honor (Romans 13:7b), will the perfect God do otherwise?
In this regard, the names and deeds of faithful servants–many of whom gave their lives–are listed in Hebrews 11 as a type of lasting memorial of their faithfulness and source of encouragement for you and me as I teach in my commentary of Principle #17, page 1722 in Hebrews:
All of this evidence forms the basis of our faith today. The most inspiring evidence involves those biblical personalities who were so convinced that God existed and that His message of salvation was true that they literally gave their lives so that we might believe God’s redemptive message.
Truly, this reality is a beautiful, marvelous expression of God’s grace and recognition of all who love and serve Him.