Today you can buy a book about almost anything. There are self-help and how-to books. There are books on poetry, politics, patriotism, popular people, and more. You can find books about any of these things at Barnes and Noble or Amazon. But there is one book you can’t find at any of these places. In fact, this book (which is a book of names) can’t be found in any bookstore on this planet. The owner of this book has the original edition and there are no copies.
This book I am referring to is called “The Book of Life.”
Consider a few interesting things the Bible says about this book:
- It is a book that belongs to Jesus. It contains the names of those who belong to Jesus and have had their sins washed away by His blood (Revelation 21:27).
- It is a book of life. Those whose names are listed in it are allowed to enter into heaven. Those whose names are not listed will be excluded from entering the holy city (Revelation 21:27).
- In the first century, when people obeyed the gospel their names were immediately written in the book. A great example of this can be seen when the gospel was taken to the city of Philippi (Philippians 4:2-3). After Paul preached the gospel in this city, many lost people responded to his message with belief, repentance, and baptism (Acts 16:11-15, 30-33). Once they did these things, their names were placed in the book of life. There wasn’t another way (Philippians 3:16).
- It is a book of joy. Those whose names are written in heaven experience a joy that words can’t describe (Luke 10:20). There is no better feeling than knowing you are right with God and your name is in His book!
- It is a book where names can be removed. Contrary to what many believe, the Bible does not promote the doctrine of “once saved always saved.” A person can become saved, but later lose their salvation. When that happens their names are blotted (erased) out of the book of life (Exodus 32:32-33; Revelation 3:5; 22:18-19). Once your name is written in the book, you must continue being faithful to God to keep it there. Whenever you sin you need to repent, confess your sin, and ask God to forgive you (1 John 1:8-10).
- It is a Judgment Day book. Those who lived under the Old Covenant will be judged by that standard. We on the other hand will be judged by the New Covenant, the covenant that Jesus instituted when He died on the cross (John 1:17; 12:48). These are the books that John is likely referring to in Revelation 20:11-14. The other book mentioned in this section is the book of life (Revelation 20:15). Those whose names are not in it will not experience joy on the Judgment Day, but sorrow and grief because they will be thrown into the lake of fire forever. This is why it is vital to get your name in the book of life and keep it there!
God wants every person to be saved and have their names placed in the book of life (1 Timothy 2:4). But it is not enough for God to desire our salvation. We also must desire it. We must obey what God has said to get our names in His book.
Examine yourself right now. Is your name in the book of life?
– Shawn Jeffries