Title: It's Time To Remember
Text: Ecclesiastes 12:1 -- Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
Subject: Instructions from the Word -- "Remember"
Date: Sunday Morning --
The title of my message today is It's Time To Remember. This being the last Sunday of the year, I want to stir up our hearts to remember those things that our God calls us to remember for the everlasting good of our souls and the glory of his name. Without introduction, let's open our Bibles to Ecclesiastes 12:1. I want us to look at several places in the Scriptures where this word remember is used. May God the Holy Spirit be our Teacher.
Proposition: The Lord God calls for everyone of us to remember some things.
I. We will begin in Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. Here is A CALL OF GRACE.
The Lord God himself, by the word of Solomon, calls for his creatures to remember their Creator. I take these words from the book of wisdom to call you who are yet without Christ to remember him, to bow to him and trust him this day. Oh, that this day may be to you the day of grace and salvation.! "Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart."
A. God calls sinners to repentance and faith in Christ in many ways.
Everyone of you have been called. Because you have been called, you are responsible to obey God's call. He warns you plainly, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man" (Gen. 6:3). "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices" (Prov --31).
1. God calls you by Creation.
2. God calls you by Conscience.
3. God calls you by
4. God calls you now, by my voice, Through the Preaching of the Gospel.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. -- Mat --30
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. -- John 7:37
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. --
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. -- Isa 55:1--4
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. -- Isa 55:6--7
5. May God the Holy Spirit now call you to Christ effectually, by his almighty, Irresistible Grace, as only he can!
The Lord Jesus Christ himself declares, It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).
B. Listen to God's gracious call in this text. -- "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" (Eccl 12:1).
1. Remember that there is a God who created you, before whom you must soon stand in judgment.
2. Remember that the Lord God is a God of great and glorious perfections. He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, holy just and true. He rules the earth in absolute sovereignty. Your breath is in his hands. And at his appointed time, you must meet this great God at the bar of justice!
3. Remember that God in Christ is gracious and merciful, pardoning iniquity, transgression and sin through the blood of his cross!
4. Remember that this great God is your Creator. He brought you into being. He preserves you in life. He has bestowed upon you all the blessings of providence that you use to rebel against him in the gratifying of your lusts.
5. Remember that you were made for the glory of God, and glorify him you must, either in your eternal salvation or in your everlasting damnation!
6. Remember that, as a fallen, depraved, condemned sinner, you are unworthy to live and unfit to die.
7. Remember what the thrice holy God, your Creator must do for you if you are to be saved from the wrath you so fully deserve.
a. You must be chosen by God the Father in Eternal Election.
b. You must be redeemed by God the Son in his Blood Atonement.
c. You must be regenerated, called and given faith in Christ by God the Holy Spirit in Effectual Grace.
"Remember now thy Creator!" To remember him is to acknowledge that he is, trust him, love him, and obey him.
C. Remember him now, trust Christ now, while you can!
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" (Eccl 12:1). -- There are evil days coming when you will not have the capacity to remember him. If you refuse to trust Christ now, there will come a time when the Lord God will make it impossible for you to trust him.
NOTE: This is particularly an admonition to you who are yet in your youth. Remember now your Creator, in the days of your youth, so that your future days may be days of good and not evil.
Now turn to Luke 23:42. Let me show you one man who was given grace to obey the call of grace.
II. Here is the prayer of the dying thief. "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Here the word "remember" is A CRY FOR MERCY.
This is one of the most delightful, instructive examples of faith to be found in the Bible. Read verses 39-43. "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
A. This poor sinner confessed his guilt and just condemnation.
B. He acknowledged Christ as his Lord and King.
C. The dying thief trusted Christ in his lowest state of humiliation and sorrow.
D. He sought nothing but grace. -- "Remember me!" That is to say, "Remember me with favor."
E. The dying thief was saved immediately! "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise!"
Salvation is a work of grace, freely bestowed upon all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2:8--9). "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:5--7).
Will you follow the example of this penitent thief? Trust Christ. Call upon him now to remember you. And, like this thief, you will be an heir of eternal salvation. You will spend eternity with Christ in paradise, forgiven of all sin and accepted through his precious blood!
III. Third, turn to Luke 17:32. Here is one
of the shortest, but most solemn verses in the Word of God. "Remember
· They have a good beginning in religion.
· They have great experiences.
· They appear to forsake all and follow Christ.
· But, in time, they look back and are lost.
These words were spoken by the Lord Jesus to men and women within
his church, to those who were numbered among his own disciples. "Remember
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. -- Mat
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. -- Luke 9:62
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. -- Heb 6:4--6
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. -- Heb 10:38
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. -- 2 Pet --22
IV. Turn now to Deuteronomy 8:2. Here the word "remember" is used as A CAUSE FOR GRATITUDE AND THANKSGIVING AMONG THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
"And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no."
As soon as the children of
A. He has led you in the
way appointed by divine
· Prevenient Grace
· Preserving Grace
· Saving Grace
· Daily Grace
B. The Lord God has led you all the days of your life in The Way of His Presence!
· He has Provided for Your Every Need
· He has Protected You.
· He has given you His Constant Presence.
C. The Lord has led us in The Profitable Way. It has been to us, by the blessing of his grace...
· The Way of Salvation.
· The Way of Holiness.
· The Way of Truth.
· The Way of Peace.
D. Do you ever wonder, Why has the Lord led me in the way he has? He tells us why.
· "To Humble Thee."
· "To Prove Thee."
· "To Know What was in Thine Heart," -- Tto make us know what is in our hearts!
· "To do thee good at thy latter end!" (v.16)
Remember all the way wherein the Lord has led you, and know that he has done you good, and he will continue to do so. He is too wise to err, too strong to fail, and too good to do wrong. So trust him, adore his goodness, and give thanks to him for his way.
Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be:
O lead me by Thine own right hand,
Choose out the path for me!
V. Fifth, I want us each to hear the Words of our Lord
Jesus Christ to the Church at
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. -- Rev 2:1--5
Are these words addressed to you? You have the right doctrine. You know truth from error and true gospel preachers from prophets of deceit. With you, there is no possibility of Arminian, freewill, works religion becoming acceptable. You have done much in the name of Christ. You would defend to your death the honor of his name and his truth. But you have left your first love! You have not ceased to love your Redeemer. No one who loves Christ can ever cease to love him! We are not saved today and lost tomorrow. But your love to Christ has abated in its heat and fervor. The world, the flesh and the devil have cooled the passion of your heart for Christ.
· Once you delighted in worship. Now you neglect it.
· Once you longed for the ordinances of his house. Now they have little appeal to you.
· Once your heart's attention hung upon every word spoken to you by the preacher of the gospel. Now you sleep while the message that once elated your heart is being preached. You can hardly wait until it is over, so that you can return to your more important concerns!
· Once you were a zealous witness for Christ. Now you are content to let men and women perish without knowing him!
· Once your heart broke at the thought of your sin. Now you are content to indulge your fantasies!
Though we are shocked to hear of such things among God's people, we are not surprised, because everyone of us have experienced them. Our hearts break to acknowledge it; but it is so. Is it not?
Have you left your first love? If you have, these words are addressed to you. They come from the lips of him who bought you with his blood and saved you by his grace. "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."
A. Come back to the cross, where first you met the Savior.
B. Repent of your sin and trust Christ, as you did in the beginning.
C. Stay here, at the feet of your crucified Savior, looking to him.
Look on Christ until your heart breaks for love again, and you say with the bride of Solomon's Song, -- "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me" (Song 2:3--6).
VI. Sixth, turn to Luke 16:25. Here is the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man is in hell, begging for mercy. In answer to his prayer, we see this word "remember" used as A SOURCE OF TORMENT.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. -- Luke 16:25
Among the torments of the damned, I think nothing is more horrible than the fire of a fully awakened, guilty conscience and accusing memory. In hell, you who believe not the gospel will remember everything!
· The Preacher's Word, His Face, His prayers!
· The Instructions and Prayers of Your Parents!
· Every Pricking of Conscience You have Silenced!
If you die in your sins, your memory will never die. It will torment you forever!
VII. Last, I want you to read Hebrews 8:12. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Here the word "remember" falls from the mouth of God himself and is used to assure every believing sinner of A COVENANT PROMISE.
God almighty promises everlasting mercy and complete forgiveness to all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ, his dear Son.
· Forgiveness through the Blood!
· Forgiveness Forever!
· Free Forgiveness!
· Forgiveness for All Who Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
I conclude my message where I began it. "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" (Eccl 12:1). "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (Isa 55:6--7).
May God, whose glory I seek, make this message effectual to you, whose souls I serve, by the power of his Spirit, on whom I depend, that you may all trust, love and rejoice in Christ, who alone is my Savior, the Savior of the very chief of sinners.