The Book of Life

The Bible makes it crystal clear that there is a great day coming!  Life on this earth is hurtling toward that climactic event.  The history of the world will come down to that one moment. Acts 17:31 – “…He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained…”

The souls of every person who has ever lived (the dead small and great) will be present on Judgment Day – John 5:28-29: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”  No one escapes the coming judgment.

God says this judgment will be based on what is written in the books. These will include the Bible: John 12:48 – “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

But it will also include a record of what we have done. For the unrighteous, these books will contain all of the unrighteousness/sin they ever committed, to include the opportunities they had to obey God and how they refused.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man (man’s all).  For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” 

Matthew 10:26 – “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” 

Matthew 12:36 – “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment.” 

1 Corinthians 4:5 – “…the Lord…will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels (motives) of the hearts…”

Just what do these passages teach us?  That our thoughts, words, motives, and actions will be judged. How we feel, what we condone, what we did wrong and what we didn’t do right.  Nothing will be left out or forgotten, we can not hide anything from God:  Hebrews 4:13 – “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” 

For the righteous, these books will contain all of the righteous things/works they did, since God will not hold them accountable for their sins because the blood of Christ has removed them.  So the Day of Judgment won’t be a day of reckoning for faithful Christians, it will be a day when Jesus says well done, when we receive the rewards He has for us.  But we must be faithful Christians to enter heaven, which means are names must be written in God’s book called the “Book of Life!”

The names of those who are saved are written in the Book of Life.  The Book of Life is the record of the faithful of God, the registry of heaven (Philippians 3:20 – For our citizenship is in heaven…”).  The Bible says that the only people who can enter heaven are those whose names are written in the Book of Life.

The Bible also says that God alone does the adding and subtracting, because it is God alone who adds to the church daily those who are being saved.  What does the Bible say about the Book of Life, how important is this book to us?

Malachi 3:16 – “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.”

Hebrews 12:23 – “…to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.”

Luke 10:20 – “…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Philippians 4:3 – “and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”

Revelation 13:8 – “All who dwell on the earth will worship him (beast), whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Revelation 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.”

Revelation 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.”

But here is the question of the ages.  Is it possible to have your name removed or blotted out from the Book of Life?  Is it possible for a saved person to turn away from God and be lost?  Yes, the Bible teaches us that if we do not remain faithful to the Lord, God will blot our names from His book.

Psalm 69:28 – “Let them (David’s enemies) be blotted out of the Book of the Living, and not be written with the righteous.”

Exodus 32:31-33: “Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold.  Yet now, if You will forgive their sin – but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which you have written.’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.”

Revelation 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.”

What will happen to you if your name is not in the Book of Life on Judgment Day?  (Revelation 20:15 – “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire”).

Point to a book like it is the Book of Life – ask “If we were to open and read the list, would your name be found?”  You must understand that you only get one shot at this life – there will be no sudden death overtime, no extra innings, and no tie breaker shots. 

Hebrews 9:27 – “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…”

We can only imagine that on “…the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6), there will be many excuses made by people who realize their names are not in the Book of Life, and that they are lost.  Let’s consider some:

“But Lord, what about all of the good that I have done!”  This sounds like Matthew 7:21-22: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” 

But what will Jesus say:  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

What were their shortcomings?  They failed to do God’s will.  The Lord wants us to be zealous in doing good works, but all the good works in the world cannot cover a single sin! Only the blood of Jesus can wash our sins away!

“But Lord, I was just doing what other folks were doing.”  Jesus taught that this course of action leads to destruction in Matthew 7:13-14:  “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” 

Just because a lot of people are doing something does not mean it is right in God’s sight!

“But, Lord, I was always so busy with work and everything that I didn’t have time for church!”  A more truthful statement would be that this person didn’t make time.

Jesus warned us in Mark 4:19 – “…the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word…” 

Paul encourages us in Ephesians 5:15-17: “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

“Lord, I am sorry for the way that I lived.  If I had a chance to do it again, I would do better.”  Nobody gets a second chance, because “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). 

Our life on this earth is a one shot deal, we only get just one time around.  We must be certain that we are prepared for judgment day, in advance, so that we won’t need any excuses!

“Those who go into hell will have their names obliterated, completely wiped away from the Book of Life.  Those who go to heaven will have their tears obliterated, completely wiped away from their eyes.”

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