The Book of Life

“Anyone not found in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire”

Revelation 20:15

This may seem an inconvenient truth to those not aspiring to have their names in the Book of Life. They may use any one of a variety of ways to quench their conscience and bring false hope to their hearts. Some remain indifferent and ignore their conscience. Others, who love sin, object by opposing anything godly. They will try and coerce others to agree with them in order to bolster their own confidence.

For those who believe the verse above, having their name in the Book of Life is of the highest priority, resting only when they are assured that their name is in that Book. There is but one way to accomplish this and that is God’s way.

John writes, “He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son does not have life” (1 John 5:12). In his Gospel he writes, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:14). Having one’s name in the Book of Life is by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour – but how do we receive Him? The answer is in a number of places in the Bible. Paul writes, “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, and not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). He also writes, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

What is the gift of God? The most memorised verse in the Bible tells us that the gift of God is not a “what” but a “who”. “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” (John 3:16). Jesus is the Gift of God which is why only those who have received Him by faith have eternal life (John 14:6), and therefore have their name in the Book of Life.

The reason Jesus is the only way is because He alone has dealt with our sin. He did that on the cross at Calvary and it is to Jesus we must come, humbly: confessing our sin of not believing and receiving Him. This will mean a total change in direction – from being indifferent or rejecting Him, to believing His word and receiving Him as Lord and Saviour. This is repentance. Our joy in life comes from confidence that our names are written in the Book of Life.

Since the Creation of the World

“Since the Creation of the world the invisible attributes [of God] are clearly seen” Romans 1:20

It never ceases to amaze me what extraordinary things people will believe but anything discovered to be in the Bible as truth will often be automatically called “religious” and be rejected as truth. This is what Paul meant when he wrote, “Therefore God also gave them up … who exchanged the truth of God for the lie” (Romans 1:24, 25). Even the laws of our nation that once reflected to some degree the truths revealed by God in His word are being changed to express the opposite. In verse 22 Paul writes, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.”

Only a foolish person believes that which is untrue especially when that lie has no tangible evidence for it and the truth has no tangible evidence against it. It isn’t that mankind did not know the truth or that the truth is hidden or disguised from those who really want to know it. Peter writes, “For this they willfully forget” (2 Peter 3:5) and Paul writes, “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God” (Romans 1:21). In other words, in spite of the clear observable evidence for God people deliberately choose to remove Him from their minds.

In the process people have also suppressed or rejected the evidence of conscience. Even without the revelation of the Bible people have knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. The conscience reacts to wrong behaviour, words and thoughts but that reaction can be overridden by the will. Eventually the conscience may become insensitive and may even die such that there is no longer any inward restraint on behaviour and will. This is when a nation finds it desirable to remove righteous laws and replace them with laws that encourage wickedness and evil.

When people reject the one true God of Creation they will substitute Him with something or someone else as Paul writes, “and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (v 23). This is what we observe in our world today. Men have created gods of many kinds often in the likeness of man but also often in the likeness of other created objects. Instead of honouring the Creator people give unmerited honour to the creation, especially to mankind.

The truth is that God created man in His image but many people have chosen to create a god in the image of men. That way they make the rules so they can do whatever they like. As with many board or card games we change the rules as we go to fit what we want.

The rejection of God’s revelation in the world around us and of the conscience within man will be revealed for the lie that it is in God’s time. As Peter writes, “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). Today, there is an opportunity to have a change of heart toward God but that opportunity will not be available forever.