SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
BOOK OF LIFE
(Heb 12:23) to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven…
It was always interesting the first day of school when the teacher would call out the roll and you had to answer that you were present. You would hear other names but you waited anxiously for your personal name to be called. Then there seemed to be a relief that it was over. Your name was acknowledged and you were registered that you were part of the class. But did you know God has a list of names? It’s in a register called the Book of Life. It contains all the names of those who have trusted in Christ as their Savior. Will your name be listed? Will you hear your name be called and will you therefore be forever settled in heaven?
Jesus is the first person in the New Testament who talks about names being written in God’s presence. (Luke 10:20)…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Then Paul came along and called that list the Book of Life. (Phil 4:3) And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. In the book of Revelation the term is used seven times. It sounds like as we get closer to the end the more important this book will be. Let’s look at some features of the Book of Life:
(Rev 3:5) He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the BOOK OF LIFE; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels…(Rev 13:8) All who dwell on the earth will worship him (the Antichrist), whose names have not been written in the BOOK OF LIFE of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world…(Rev 17:8) The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the BOOK OF LIFE from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is…(Rev 20:12) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the BOOK OF LIFE. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books…(Rev 20:15) And anyone not found written in the BOOK OF LIFE was cast into the lake of fire…(Rev 21:27) But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s BOOK OF LIFE…(Rev 22:19) and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the BOOK OF LIFE, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
From these verses it looks like the righteous only are written in the Book of Life. Those whose names have not been written there will be deceived and follow the deception of the last days. At the judgment the Book of Life will be opened. Those not found recorded will be thrown into the fires of hell. This insures that heaven will have no defilement and those written in the Book of Life will enjoy eternal happiness in God’s presence.
The question has been that if your name can be added in then perhaps it can be blotted out? The scriptures do speak of the possibility of being blotted out but remember our salvation is not by merit (Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Perhaps a better way to view this is to say the Book of Life is a list of names for whom Christ has died. If you don’t accept the Lord your name will be erased from it (Exo 32:32; Psa. 69:28). At the final judgment it then becomes the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 21:27).
Will your name be on that list? When you are born you are put into a genealogy. When you are born again you are listed as a member of God’s family. “When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there” because of Jesus!