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The Book Of Life

The Book of Life is a heavenly book in which the names of the righteous are written. The concept of God's having this Book of Life was probably first affirmed by Moses in Exodus 32. The people of Israel had sinned against the LORD by making and worshipping a golden calf, and Moses pleaded to God on their behalf:

"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." (Exodus 32:32-33)

Our names were written in the Book of Life from the very beginning. But they can be blotted out. God wrote and registered our names in the Book of Life even before we were born. The psalmist David revealed this truth in Psalm 139:14-17:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!

In the Book of Revelation, John the Apostle wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that our names were written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world:

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

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. 17:8)

God gave us a winning edge at the beginning, but it is our own choices that make the difference between eternal life and eternal death. God created Adam, and gave him eternal life. But Adam sinned, and God drove him out of the Garden. God placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). Similarly, our names were written in the Book of Life from the beginning, and will remain in the Book of Life unless they were blotted out.

There is one thing we must know about God:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

In Daniel 12:1, God will deliver every one whose name is written in the Book:

"At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book. "

Jesus told us to rejoice that our names were written in the Book of Life in Luke 10:20:

"Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

Paul told the Christians in Philippi about this Book of Life:

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. (Phil 4:3)

God does not desire that any of us be blotted out of the Book of Life. He desires that all of us to be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29-30):

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

The salvation message is for everyone:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

The LORD loved everybody, and He desires that every name should remain in the Book of Life:

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 3:5)

But man may choose otherwise, and as a result, his name will be blotted out:

And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book." (Exodus 32:33)

Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
And not be written with the righteous. (Psalm 69:28)

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 21:27)

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. (Rev 22:18-19)

The righteous in Christ, and the dead in Christ will not have their names blotted out of the Book of Life. They will be involved in the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6):

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Jesus will reign on earth in His Holy City, Jerusalem, for 1000 years. His saints will reign with Him during His Millennial rule. After which, Satan and his evil gang will be thrown in the Lake of Fire and tormented forever (Rev 20:10). All the rest of the dead will then be resurrected. This is the second resurrection. They will be brought to life, and they will be judged according to their works. Each of them will have a chance to stand before their Creator and God.

God will judge them righteously. He is the righteous and just Judge. He actually takes the time and initiative to bring them back to life, and also remove all the presence of evils. They are not dead in the presence of the LORD Who is sitting on the Great White Throne. The dead cannot receive the LORD, but the living could. Before their God, they would have to make the decision.

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)

I believe it is at this moment during the Great White Throne Judgement that the names will be blotted out. If their names remained in the Book of Life, they would not be cast into the Lake of Fire. If their names were blotted out, and therefore cannot be found written in the Book of Life, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire:

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. (Rev. 20:11-15)

The Jews have a very interesting tradition during their New Year. On their Rosh Hashanah, they will greet each other with these words:

"May you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a good year!"

Similarly, may our names be continually inscribed in the Book of Life from the beginning till forever as we remain in Christ! May they never be blotted out! Amen!

Please read also:

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Written on:
15 November 2004