The Book of Life

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians.  As he began to close his letter, he wrote several personal notes to individuals that he knew.  Consider what he wrote in Philippians 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.”  What is this “Book of Life” that contains names of people?

In Malachi, the book appears to be called “a book of remembrance”.  Malachi 3:16-18 “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. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’  Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”

Jesus had sent seventy of His disciples out to go to places where He was about to go. He gave them power to perform miracles. Luke 10:17-20 “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’”  Somewhere in heaven the names of His disciples were written.  Could it be that they were written in the Book of Life?

The book of the Revelation has multiple references to the Book of Life.  One instance is in the description of the judgment scene. Revelation 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 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. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”  I want my name written in the Book of Life because anyone not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire.  The Holy City is also described.  Revelation 21:22-27 “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.  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.” I want my name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life so that I can enter the Holy City and be with God and Jesus.

If a person’s name is written in the Book of Life, can his name be removed?  Let us look at what was written in Exodus.  Moses had gone up on the mountain to receive the law from God.  While he was gone, the people made a golden calf and began to worship it.  This was a terrible sin.  Exodus 32:31-34 “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. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.’” Both God and Moses talk about blotting a person out of God’s book.

At the end of the book of the Revelation, we have this warning.  Revelation 22:18-19 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 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.”  Anyone taking away from the book of Revelation will have their part being taken away from the Book of Life.

Jesus addressed the church in Sardis in Revelation 3:4-5 “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.  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.”  Those who had not defiled their garments are encouraged to overcome.  If they did, Jesus would not blot their name out of the Book of Life but would cause them to be clothed in white and their names would be confessed before the Father.

My encouragement to you is to not “defile your garments” and to overcome so that your name will remain in the Book of Life and your name will be confessed before the Father and you will be able to enter the Holy City to be with God the Father forever.

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