The Lambs Book of Life
One might reasonably argue that the BIBLE is still the worlds number one best seller, and for the Christian, and for me, it is undoubtedly the most important book I could ever read. But there is another most significant Book, this one is not found on earth, but lives on the bookshelves of the Throne-room of Heaven, it is what I might call Heavens most important Book, and the Bible tells us that it’s called The Lambs Book of Life, and that’s the subject of today’s message, as we focus especially on how your name gets into it, for it would appear from the scriptures that I shall be sharing with you, that to have your name inscribed there is vital, its a matter of life and death.
So let me begin by reading a few verses from the Book of the Revelation in Chapter 20 … we read …
“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 (of men’s works) 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).
Apparently there are two Books involved in the Final Judgement:
There is this – The Lamb’s BOOK of LIFE, which is God’s family album, Heavens Ledger of the names of those saved through the Blood of the Lamb: Gods Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. However all those who will stand before the Great White Throne (‘the dead’) who have rejected God’s offer of salvation, choosing instead to trust in and stand upon their good works (this is self-righteousness), have their records in another Book?
Therefore God opens the BOOK of their WORKS which are insufficient to save them – we read: “and books were opened. and the dead were judged according to their works by the things which were written in the Books … and they were judged, each one according to his works.” Their sins were covered by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross – the only sin sending them to Hell is the sin of rejecting Christ and trusting in themselves. Of course, their works, being mere ‘filthy rags’ are not sufficient to save them (God’s standard is perfection) and all whose names are not retained in the Book of Life must go into the Lake of Fire.
The Lamb’s Book of Life proves what you yourself have chosen as your eternal security, if you’ve chosen life in Jesus, or if you have rejected it? Self righteousness is self defilement and we read”… there shall by no means enter it (that is Heaven) 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)
It is the Lamb’s Book (Jesus’ Book) for their names are only there because of His sacrifice – their names are written in His blood (in which they had previously and permanently put their trust). Furthermore, we read that …
“There shall be a time of trouble (the Tribulation), such as never was since there was a nation even to that time. And at that time
your people (those who belong to Jesus) shall be delivered (saved) – every one who is found written in the Book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:v1).
“He who overcomes (a true believer) shall be clothed in white garments, and I will (surely) not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name (as a child of God) before My Father and before His angels” – Revelation 3:5.
This Book of Life is also mentioned in the book of Malachi 3:16-4:3: where we read … “Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A Scroll
(or a Book) of Remembrance was written in His Presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honoured His Name. “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. (My Jewels) I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer (who are not written in the Book of Life) will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere My Name (who are written in the Book of Life), the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And they will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” (from Mal 3&4)
David the Psalmist also knew something of these records when he wrote in Psalm 139:16: “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.”
God has a “This is your life” Book too, and God Keeps the Books so His records are perfectly correct, – there are no errors!
The final list of names in the Book is known and fixed by God’s Omniscience from the foundation of the world (we sometimes refer to these things as election): The Bible says: “The beast (the anti-Christ) 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 were 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 17:8).
God foreknows from eternity those (the believers) who are written in the Book eternally (from the foundation of the world), and He knows which names will be blotted out because of their rejection of Christ (Ephesians 1:4). Those who follow the antichrist and take his mark (either willingly or unwillingly, wittingly or unwittingly) do not have their names in the Book of Life (they are blotted out): “All who dwell on the earth will worship him (antichrist), whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb – slain from the foundation of the world’ (Rev 13:8:). Where their “loyalties” lie, will be revealed by whether they take that awful mark or not? Only unbelievers will take it, and by doing so they make their final, fatal choice to reject God (committing the unforgivable sin), and thus sealing their fate.
Revelation 13:8 can also be read as: “All who dwell on the earth will worship him (antichrist), whose names have not been
written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain.”
I remember as a child growing up singing a hymn that said:
“there’s a new name written down in glory and its mine”.
The popular idea that our name is written down in that Lamb’s Book of Life when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour is not an idea supported by Scripture, which only talks of names of people BLOTTED OUT for rejecting God, rather than written in for accepting Him: Moses prays “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin- but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written. The LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My Book” (Exodus 32:32&33). and again …
“If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy (rejecting or undermining the Bible) 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 22:19).
This then poses the question: How does this ‘blotting out’ fit in with the fact that the Book of Life was written from eternity? This is a manifestation of the parallel truths of Divine Election and Human Free-Will, both of which are taught in the Bible and so both naturally influence the Book of Life. “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows (from eternity) those who are His” (That’s Divine Sovereignty) and, “Everyone who confesses the name
of the Lord must turn away from wickedness
(That’s Human Free-Will)” 2Timothy 2:19.
Let me explain: From eternity, God knows those who are His –
those who are forever written within His Book. When you were born, your name was written (one might say – provisionally) in the Book of Life (because you are physically alive and under God’s mercy with a chance to respond to God), but if you die having rejected Salvation in Jesus Christ, then it is blotted out. You have this life-time to decide. When you believe in Christ as your Sin Bearer and trust him as your Personal Saviour, your name stays in the Book and stays in, even when you die. From God’s viewpoint your name was engraved from the foundation of the world. From our viewpoint, when you were born your Name was written down, but when you were born again, (or born into Gods Family) your name was established forever in the Book. God writing our Name in His Book when we are born signifies that His grace in Christ is upon us in this life (2Cor 6:2, Rom 5:18) and if someone dies before their age of accountability (e.g. a baby), they will go to heaven, for they have not rejected anything. Remember that God sends no-one to hell, it is their own rejection of Jesus as their Saviour that destines them for a lost and God-less eternity.
Consider next a most interesting verse which confirms this truth in Psalm 69:28: “Let them be blotted out of the Book of the Living, and not be written with the righteous.” This scripture implies all those who are alive physically are written in the Book of Life (which therefore changes with time), but if they die godless (after the age of accountability) they are blotted out.
It therefore records those who are living in His sight, either physically or spiritually – who have not passed the point of no hope. The people which the Psalmist refers to in Psalm 69:28 are those who have rejected Jesus Christ (for it is a Messianic Psalm). They have already committed the unforgivable sin
(a final and fatal choice to reject Christ to reject the Messiah).
We dare not ignore the fact that Jesus was a Jew!
Ultimately it is only the righteous through receiving the righteousness of Jesus Christ who are permanently (eternally) written in the Book – signifying that they are sealed into eternal life in the presence of God. Those who have believed in their life-time remain written in the Book even beyond physical death because they remain eternally alive before God. Thus, at the end of time, as time moves into the Eternal State, the Book assumes its eternal (or fixed) form, only containing the names of believers and will do so for all eternity-future. Thus the names in the Book established from eternity-past agree with the names written for eternity-future, being exactly the names of those born into the human race who were not blotted out because of unbelief.
Thus the Book can be seen from the two viewpoints of eternity and time. Some scriptures clearly refer to the eternal form of the Book, and others to its temporal (or changing) form. There is no contradiction – because ultimately the temporary records come into agreement with the eternal records. The eternal Book of Life is unchanging because of God’s Sovereign Election, –
but its manifestation in time necessarily changes because
of human free-will.
Psalm 69:28 brings together both aspects of the Book: “Let them be blotted out of the Book of the Living” (the temporal form of the Book recording those now alive before God – physically or spiritually) “and not be written (in the Book of Life) with the righteous” (in the eternal form of the Book, thus they are excluded from eternal life). Thus the first clause is a prayer for their physical death, (because they are haters of God and rejecters of Jesus and his atoning, cleansing blood) resulting in the removal of their name since they will therefore, consequentially die in their sin. The 2nd clause describes the necessary consequence: that their names won’t be in the Book eternally – for only the names of the righteous will stand forever.
So the point I am making today is that your name, already in the Lambs book of Life, is in danger of being removed. And I say to you with all the compassion and care that comes from the heart of God himself, … Don’t be blotted out! Make sure that your name is permanently, and eternally written in the
Lamb’s Book of Life?
You can know for sure by trusting in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God: Jesus said so to his disciples and to all who like them had chosen to follow him while he walked and worked on this earth. He was aware that they could well find great joy in the fact that they had received “power” to cast out demons, and power to do many mighty works, but he tells them rather to “Rejoice because their names are written in Heaven” (Luke 10:20). That was something to “shout about”!
The Apostle Paul also takes up the same theme in his letter to the Philippian Church, that they rejoice in the Lord always, and
“Help…the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of Life” (Phil 4: 3-4). This is all about the ASSURANCE of our Salvation. And we can only ever be sure about it, because God says so. Its not about our feelings, not about loyalty, not about paying and praying, its all about what God says: “See, I have engraved you (eternally) on the palms of My hands” (that’s our assurance of salvation) – Isaiah 49:16
Then there is what we call the “Golden Verse”
“God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Its the promise, its the guarantee.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD.
This term “Blotted Out” is used in scripture in two respects.
Either your SINS will be blotted out (through faith in Christ) or your NAME will be blotted out of the Lambs Book of Life.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God says: … “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 44:22). and again …
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
So the conclusion of the whole matter is so simple …
If your SINS have been truly “Blotted Out” then you can be assured, that your NAME will never be “Blotted Out” of
The Lambs Book of Life. It is one or the other, its a matter of
choice a matter of life or death – so don’t neglect it make the right choice!
God Bless you – Amen.