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Learn about enrolling your name in the Lamb's Book of Life and why it matters

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Is Your Name Written There?

            We put our names on many different types of lists. Take a moment to identify all the different lists your name is on. Write down every one that you can think of. Our names are enrolled with governments as being citizens of those nations. Young men (in the USA) must register their names with the Selective Service. Our names may be part of an employer’s payroll. Our names may be enrolled with a school. Our names may be on a waiting list for a product or service. Our names may be on many different mailing lists.

            But, is your name written on the most important list? This is a list that has eternal ramifications for your soul. This is a book that the Scriptures call, “The Lamb’s Book Of Life.” How much do you think about having your name written in this book? Have you given very little thought to it and made very little effort to have your name enrolled in this Divinely-kept record? Or, are you focused on having your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and are being diligent to get and keep your name written in this book? Or, perhaps you have never even heard about this book before and simply did not know that your name needed to be written in this book?

            There are many Scripture references to this book.

  • Exodus 32:32-33: “’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.’”
  • Psalm 69:28: “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the righteous.”
  • Daniel 12:1: “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.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.”
  • Hebrews 12:23: “to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.”
  • Revelation 3:5: “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.”
  • Revelation 13:8: “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.”
  • Revelation 17:8: “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, which they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”
  • 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.”
  • Revelation 21:27: “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.”
  • 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.”

            The purpose of this lesson is to learn about this book and encourage you to ask yourself, “Is my name written there?” If it is not written in this book, I hope this lesson helps you to understand how to get your name written there. If it is written in this book, I hope this lesson helps you understand how to keep your name written there.

What Is The Lamb’s Book Of Life?

            What is this book that is called the “Lamb’s Book of Life”? I believe gaining a fundamental understanding of who owns and possesses this book and what is written in this book will go a long way in creating the desire to have your name written there.

A book belonging to the Lamb

            This book is called the “Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 13:8 refers to names that have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:27 refers to “those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” So, very quickly you learn that this is not an ordinary book! In fact, there are some very important applications that need to be made upon recognizing that this book belongs to the Lamb (Jesus Christ).

            (1) Jesus Christ is God. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (note that in this text Jesus is referred to as the “Word”). Also, Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Both of these passages (along with many others) demonstrate that Jesus Christ possesses the full nature of Deity (or, “Godhood”).

            Now, how does this impact our understanding of His Book of Life? You must recognize that He has all authority (Matthew 28:18). So, His book has the necessary authority to carry out its purpose. In addition, you must recognize that He is also all-knowing and all-seeing. Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Hebrews 4:13 states, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” So, His book contains a perfect (infallible) record since He has seen and knows everything that has ever been done!

            (2) Jesus Christ is the Savior. It is in this way that the designation of Jesus as the “Lamb” is used in Scripture. John 1:14 identifies that Jesus Christ (the Word) left Heaven and came to earth. Later in the chapter, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and proclaimed, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus Christ, as God’s sacrificial Lamb, willingly offered Himself as the sacrifice for sin, making it possible for all mankind to be saved from their sins!

            Now, how does this impact our understanding of His Book of Life? He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). So, the only way we can spend eternity with God, the Father, in Heaven is through Jesus Christ! He is the One who has purchased and built His church (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28). So, as we will discuss a bit later, it is Christ’s church (the saved) who have their names written in this book.

            (3) Jesus Christ is the Judge. He is the one before whom all people who have ever lived will stand and be judged (read the picture of the Judgment given in Matthew 25:31-46). Acts 17:31 says that God “has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” Again, Hebrews 4:13 says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” So, we will be judged by Jesus Christ concerning everything that we have ever done – whether good or evil (including every secret thing, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

            Now, how does this impact our understanding of His Book of Life? This book is one of the books that will be present on the Day of Judgment (read Revelation 20:11-15 again). The other books are the books containing God’s message to mankind (the books of the Bible). These books will be the standard/criteria by which we will all be judged, having our lives evaluated as to whether we have obeyed the instructions and commandments of God while we lived on this earth. The Book of Life, however, is different from these other books. The Book of Life, as we will see in a moment, is said to contain the names of those who will be eternally saved in Heaven (those who have obeyed God’s instructions and commandments). So, the picture is one of our perfect Judge with an infallible record of those who are going to be saved – based on the way in which He observes them living their lives (whether they are living for Him or against Him while on earth)!

A book of names

            This book contains names. Luke 10:20 said to “rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Philippians 4:3 identifies some “whose names are in the Book of Life.” Also read Revelation 3:5, Revelation 13:8, and Revelation 17:8 again. 2 Timothy 2:19 says, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:  ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’” Jesus Christ knows who are and are not faithfully serving Him! Remember, He has perfect knowledge and wisdom.

            A name is representative of who a person is. A name is how we are known and how we are identified to others. As 2 Timothy 2:19 says, “The Lord knows those who are His.” Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10:14). So, does Jesus Christ (the One who died so that you could be saved) know you as being one of His followers?

Why Does Your Name Need To Be Written There?

            What is so important about having your name written in this book? Your name, clearly, is either written in this book or it is not written in this book. So, you need to consider why your name needs to be written there.

Because of what it means if it is…

            Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will spend eternity in Heaven. Revelation 21:27 says, “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.” Recognize that Revelation 21:1-22:5 describes the beauty of the Heavenly city in terms that we can understand. So, Revelation 21:27 says that only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be permitted to enter this glorious city for eternity! Therefore, if your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you have eternal “reservations” in Heaven (1 Peter 1:3-9). Now, let’s observe how eternity in Heaven is described.

            (1) It is called “eternal life,” as opposed to eternal death (in Matthew 25:46). It is never-ending spiritual life because it will be fully in the presence of God (the Giver and Sustainer of life)!

            (2) It is the inheritance that will be given to the children of God, an inheritance that is “incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4). So, this is a lasting inheritance and not a temporary or fading inheritance.

            (3) The beauty of Heaven is depicted in Revelation 21:1-22:5 (in terms that are familiar to us). The passage describes the city as having no need of sun or moon because God is there and illuminates the city, as having a wall composed of precious stones (like jasper and emerald), pearly gates, and a street of gold.

            (4) There will not be any death, sorrow, crying, or pain in this place (Revelation 21:4). All these things will have passed away.

            (5) Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be permitted in the city. Nothing that is evil or sinful will be permitted inside the city (Revelation 21:27).

            (6) God Himself (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) will be in the city (Revelation 21:22-22:5).

            Clearly, you should want your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life so that you can partake of the blessings of Heaven! In fact, you should desire to partake of these blessings so much that you would do anything it takes to have them! For instance, along with other things, Luke 9:23-26 teaches that you must be willing to deny yourself of your own desires and earthly pleasures to serve and follow the Lord – even if it means giving your life as a martyr for Jesus Christ!

Because of what it means if it’s not….

            In contrast, those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will spend eternity in Hell. Again, Revelation 20:15 says, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” On the great and final Day of Judgment, those who did not have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be cast into “the lake of fire.” The phrase “lake of fire” is used to depict the eternal place of punishment called “Hell.” Therefore, if your name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you have eternal “reservations” in Hell. 2 Peter 2:9 says, “then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.” Now, let’s observe how eternity in Hell is described.

            (1) It is called “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46). Thus, the Scriptures refer to the “torment” which lasts “forever and ever” they will experience (i.e. Revelation 14:10-11).

            (2) It is a place of eternal death. Revelation 21:8 speaks of those who will have “their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” It is a place of eternal “death” because it is a place in which you will be eternally separated from God (the Giver and Sustainer of life). Consider how 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 describes this punishment as being away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power:  “and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

            (3) It is a place of “outer darkness” in which there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 25:30). God, the source of Light, is not there. This is complete darkness. Furthermore, the agony is so intense that it is pictured by never-ending weeping and gnashing of the teeth!

            (4) The punishment in this place is depicted as being cast into a lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 14:10-11). So, just imagine being dropped into the middle of a lake that is engulfed in flames! Mark 9:43-48 pictures Hell as a place where “Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched” multiple times.

            Clearly, you should want your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life so that you can avoid the punishment of Hell! In fact, you should desire to avoid this punishment so much that you would do anything it takes not to go to Hell! For instance, in Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus teaches that it would be better to pluck out your eyes and cut off your hands than to go to Hell (if doing so is the only thing that would keep you from sinning)! He says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

Whose Names Are Not Written In The Book?

            Fortunately, you do not have to try and guess whether your name is written in this book. God has told you about those whose names are and are not written there. So, consider what God has said about those whose names are not written there.

There are many who do not have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life

            Jesus said that most (the majority) would not live their lives in such a way so as to be saved. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Revelation 17:8 says that there are those whose names are not written in the Book of Life. Revelation 3:5 identifies the possibility of having your name blotted out (removed) from the Book of Life. Revelation 22:18-19 says that God can remove an individual from the Book of Life.

Sin – the cause of spiritual death

            Why are some not written in the Book of Life? Because they are living in their sins! The “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That is, eternal spiritual death in Hell (as we’ve already described) is the result of living in sin (it’s what we earn/deserve when we sin). Remember, nothing and no one will enter the Heavenly city that “defiles,” “causes an abomination or a lie” (Revelation 21:27).

            What is sin? James 1:14-15 describes the process that leads to sin. You should notice that sin is closely connected with the decisions to fulfill your own desires (or, even the desires of others) instead of the decision to serve God. Once again, you also notice that this passage demonstrates that death (spiritual death) is the ultimate outcome of sin. 1 John 3:4 defines sin as “lawlessness.” That is, sin is acting against or without the laws of God. So, sin is the result whenever you do what God says not to do and when you do not do something God says to do! It is also important to understand that sin is not categorized into “big sins” and “small sins”; but, that every sin will result in spiritual death!

            Here are some passages to consider as you think about whose names are not written in the book. Galatians 5:19-21 identifies some things that are called “works of the flesh.” Notice that verse 21 says that all of these sins result in not inheriting the kingdom of God (also notice the phrase “and the like”). Revelation 21:8 identifies some who will be cast into Hell, the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (the second death). Matthew 7:21-23 says that there will be many who profess to be followers of Christ (and even believe in Him) who will be eternally lost in their sins because they have not obeyed God’s commandments. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 connects the eternal punishment in Hell fire with those who fail to know God and fail to obey the gospel of Christ. Revelation 22:18-19 helps us to understand that those who change/alter the message of the gospel will be eternally condemned. The same thing would be true if we simply follow a perverted gospel instead of the true message of the gospel (2 Peter 2:1-3).

Whose Names Are Written In The Book?

            Not only has God told us whose names are not written in this book, but He has also told us about whose names are written there. So, let’s consider the criteria God has given for your name to be written there.

There are few who have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life

            We saw that Matthew 7:13-14 indicates there will only be a few who will conduct their lives in a way that pleases God and be eternally saved. Luke 10:20 and Philippians 4:3 identifies some who were faithful servants of God and had their names written in the Book of Life. Revelation 21:27 implies that there would be some who would have their names written in the Book of Life and be granted access into the heavenly city.

The church of Christ – the collection of the saved

            Whose names are written in the Book of Life? Again, Hebrews 12:23 says, “to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.” Those who are part of Christ’s church are those who have their names “registered in heaven.”

            What is Christ’s church? The word “church” simply means “congregation” or “assembly. Thus, this term refers to Christ’s congregation, His people (His disciples). Remember that Jesus Christ died to purchase and build His church (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28)! Those who are saved from the consequences of their sins are those who have come to Jesus Christ for forgiveness, being washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 1:5; Revelation 7:14)! These are those who are part of Christ’s church! And, it is only Christ’s church that will be saved!

            There is only one true church! Jesus only promised to build one church (Matthew 16:18) – and only one church was built (Acts 2:41, 47). There is only one body, which is the church of Christ (Ephesians 4:4; Ephesians 1:22-23). So, there is only one church!

            There is salvation in none other besides Jesus (Acts 4:12). Today, there are thousands of different churches that all believe, teach, and practice their so-called “Christianity” differently (i.e. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Jehovah’s Witness, etc.). However, these are not the true church of Christ! As we have seen, Jesus only established one true church. Therefore, you must be part of this church you can read about in the pages of God’s Word!

            There is only “one faith” (Ephesians 4:5). “One faith” refers to one system of acceptable religious belief, teaching, and practice. The faith is found in the gospel. Philippians 1:27 instructs us to “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” So, the gospel tells us what we must believe, teach, and practice to please God (remember, the Bible will be the standard for our Judgment)!

How Do You Get Your Name Written There?

            All the members of Christ’s church have their names enrolled in Heaven. You need to consider how you can be part of this church so that you can have your name written there.

Obey the gospel

            Do you want to have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? There are many false teachings about salvation today (i.e. in the churches of men). Some say that you just have to be a morally good person in order to be saved. Some say that all you must do is believe in Jesus to be saved. Some say that you must ask Jesus into your heart through saying a “Sinner’s Prayer.” Some say that God has predestined some to be saved and some to be lost – so there’s nothing you can do to be saved. Some say that God does not require you to do anything to be saved. Yet, these are all false gospels that are based on perversions of Scripture and on man’s own opinions, doctrines, and traditions (read Galatians 1:6-9).

            Here is what God says that you must do to be saved from your sin (and be part of His church).

            (1) Hear His Word. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Without hearing God’s word, you cannot believe and obey it (Acts 18:8).

            (2) Believe. John 8:24 says, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Hebrews 11:6 says, “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.”

            (3) Repent of your sin. Acts 2:38 says, “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 17:30-31 says, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” To “repent” is to view your past sins with abhorrence, determining to stop sinning and live for the Lord.

            (4) Confess Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Acts 8:37 says, “Then Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’”

            (5) Be baptized. Baptism is necessary for salvation. Mark 16:16 says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Also read 1 Peter 3:20-21; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16. Baptism is the point at which you become a Christian and enter Christ’s church (Galatians 3:27 says that you are “baptized into Christ”). Furthermore, baptism is only accomplished through the immersion in water and not by sprinkling or pouring (Romans 6:3-4 calls baptism a “burial” and Acts 8:38-39 pictures baptism as an immersion). This plan of salvation is the one you read about individuals obeying in the book of Acts (a book about the history of the church in the first century). Read Acts 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 19, and 22 to see this demonstrated.

Keep your name written there

            Some say that you cannot lose your salvation. They often say that it is impossible to fall from the grace of God and have your name taken out of the Book of Life. However, notice what the Bible teaches!

            It is possible to fall from God’s grace. Galatians 5:4 says, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Also read Hebrews 10:26-39.

            It is possible to have your name taken out of the Book of Life. Revelation 3:5 says that those who overcome will not have their names blotted out from the Book of Life. Revelation 22:18-19 also demonstrates that God can remove people from the Book of Life.

            So, you must remain faithful to God until death! Revelation 2:10 says, “…Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” The wages of sin continues to be spiritual death (Romans 6:23) – even after you have been saved! So, you must be diligent to obey God’s commandments and instructions throughout your lifetime in order to keep your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life! Philippians 2:12 simply tells you to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

            If you have failed to keep your name registered in Heaven because you have gone back into sin, God’s word teaches you to have your name enrolled in Heaven again! After a man named Simon had become a Christian and went back into sin, Peter commanded him, “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22). John teaches Christians, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). So, Christians who have sinned must:  Repent of their sin, confess their sin to God, and ask God for forgiveness through prayer.

            Then, there are times that an individual’s sin is not a private matter. Perhaps an individual has sinned against another person, against a group of people, or in a public way. If so, Jesus teaches us to seek reconciliation with him (or them) as quickly as we can (Matthew 5:23-24). James also teaches us to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another’s spiritual healing (James 5:16). This is certainly applicable to “public sin” (sin others are aware of). As much as it is possible, we should make our confession and repentance as public as the sin that has been committed.

Conclusion

            Is your name written there? You must take some time to honestly evaluate yourself! Evaluate your life by the teachings of the Scriptures and you can know for certain whether or not your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life! At the end of your life, only the books on the Day of Judgment will matter to you (Revelation 20:11-15) – whether you have been obedient to the instructions written in the books that reveal the words of God (the Bible) and if your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. If your name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you will have wasted your life! In Matthew 16:26, Jesus asks, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” All of the earthly treasures and pleasures will have passed away; but, those who have been diligent laying up treasures in Heaven by obeying God will have eternal treasures waiting for them (Matthew 6:19-21)! You will reap what you have sown (Galatians 6:7-8). So, if you live life for your own pursuits and desires now, you will suffer eternally later. But, if you live life for the Lord now (sacrificing your own pursuits and desires), you will be able to rejoice eternally in Heaven! Do not delay! Make sure that your name is written in Heaven today!