Our names must get written into the Book of Life (Rev. 20:15).
And our names must not get blotted out of it (Rev. 3:5).
But is the Book of Life more than just a list of names?
Why would our omnipotent all-knowing God need or want a Book of Life anyway? Our Ancient of Days does not share our senior moments!
Well, yes, but the Bible shows
Records and lists are very important to God
So it’s no wonder they’re important to us. Many of us have a cherished family book. My oldest and youngest sisters have put one together and shared it with me.
Our Creator who fashioned us in His image knows we love genealogical research. The Book of Genesis contains nine genealogies (chapters 4, 5 and 11). Chapter 10’s Table of Nations is technically an ethnography.
Nations keep census records. In Num. 1:2 the Lord directed Moses to take a census of all men age 20 and older who could go to war in Israel. In Nehemiah’s time, God put it in his heart to register the nobles, rulers and people (7:5). During the reign of Darius the Persian, a record was kept of Levites and priests who had been heads of their fathers’ houses (12:22).
In Acts 1:15 instead of saying there were about 120 disciples gathered for Pentecost, the wording is “the number of names.” A church directory? Granted, they didn’t need phone numbers! Thanks to Saul, maybe cell numbers. But don’t we always want to keep track of and contact each other.
God’s Church of the firstborn is registered in heaven” (Heb. 12:23) because they become citizens of God’s Kingdom and Family (Php. 3:20) when they are written into the Book of Life upon receiving the Holy Spirit.
More than our names
Estimates of how many people have ever lived range from 50 billion to 150 billion. How many names would legibly fit on an 8-1/2″ x 11″ yellow ruled sheet? If 50, that would require one billion pages. It’s a good thing the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27) is a spiritual book! After Jesus adds a name, I’m not sure a human could tote it back to the shelf! Oh, pardon me, back to the cloud?
The Bible indicates that the Book of Life holds more than just names.
David wrote “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psa. 56:8), New Living Translation). God wants an intimate relationship with His children and watches us every day (Psa. 139:1-3). Is the Lamb’s Book of Life like a diary?
Apparently this is the same “book of remembrance” written before God when “those who feared the Lord spoke to one another” (Mal. 3:16). God treasures good fellowship that builds the Family of God!—that builds life!
A third scripture to consider regarding what’s recorded in the Book of Life, Rev. 20:12 says, “And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” This verse mentions the books of the Bible and the separate Book of Life. Our works will be judged by the standards of the Bible but will our works be written in the Book of Life? Does the Lamb use a good court reporter for those of us under judgment now (1 Pet. 4:17)?
Is Jesus recording in His Book of Life not only our names but our
Who doesn’t love a good biography! And what better author than the Lamb to give us all a true and fair write-up!
As we’ve seen, the Bible gives some short but very interesting clues about the Book of Life that we can ponder and speculate about.
What we know for sure: Let’s each pray we respond to God’s calling. The goodness of God leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Let’s repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit when a minister of God lays hands on us (Acts 2:38). Our names will then be written into the Book of Life.
Let’s end this three-part series on the Book of Life by continuing with the Father and Son living in us (John 10:10) through their Holy Spirit until They resurrect us to eternal life in their Family and Kingdom!