The Book of Life
You’ve heard about the book of life, haven’t you? Most people have, if they’re at all familiar with the bible. It’s spoken about in the old testament, and it’s spoken about in the new testament.
In Exodus 32, verse 32, Moses speaks these words to God; “And yet now, if You would, forgive their sins; But if not, blot me I pray, out of Your book, which You have written.”
And in the next verse, we have God’s answer; “And the Lord said to Moses; He that has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book.”
But the bible isn’t talking about a literal book. It’s talking about the fact that God knows who belongs to Him. He knows of our sins, and He knows of our repentance. The Lord knows everything about us, even without a literal “written record” of it. If you think that God is like us, and that He can’t remember things, without writing Himself a note, then you’re not understanding God very well.
Here’s something that’s written, so that we can remember it; Psalm 56, verse 8 says; “Thou numberest my wanderings.” The Lord knows everywhere we’ve gone, and everything we’ve done. “Put my tears in Thy bottle; Are they not in Thy book?” The psalmist is saying; Please don’t forget my “tears”, in other words my sufferings. Keep them in “Thy bottle” so that you don’t forget them. “Are they not in Thy book?” Do you not already remember them?
The Lord knows your sufferings, and He knows your hardships, and He knows your grief, and He knows your pains, and He’ll never forget even one of them. They’re all there in His “book” so to speak. But it’s really right there, in the mind of God, in His eternal memory.
We’re told in Hebrews 4, verse 13; “..But all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of Him whom we have to deal.” Wouldn’t that include everything from the past, as well as the present? Every thing that has ever happened, is “laid open” before God’s eyes! I’m pretty sure that He can see it as if it were happening right now.
But the scripture says that the Lord has “books”. More then one “book”. And it sounds to me like the Lord keeps a “book” so to speak, on each and every one of us.
The bible says in Revelation 20, verses 11 & 12; “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.” (No place for the physical heavens and earth. They had served their purpose) “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened; And another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged, out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
Do you see why I said that it sounds like there’s a “book” for everyone? Everyone was there, and the “books” were opened, and everyone was judged, by the things that were written in the “books”, according to “their” works. So then I wont be judged by your works, and you won’t be judged by my works, but each one will be judged by their own works.
That’s what it says in 2 Corinthians 5, verse 10; “For we must all be made manifest before the judgment seat of Christ (that’s the “great white throne” mentioned in Rev 20, verse 11) that each one, may receive, the things done in the body, according to what HE has done, whether it be good or bad.”
God will never forget the good that you’ve done, or the sufferings that you’ve endured. Each one will indeed receive “the deeds done in the body”, as the scripture put it. In other words, each one will receive the fair and just recompense, for the deeds that you’ve done while you’ve lived here on this earth, in your body.
Revelation 20, verse 15 says; “And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.”
Anyone, who is not known to God, as being faithful, will be cast into the lake of fire. And we’re told in 2 Timothy 2:19; “..The Lord knoweth, them that are His..” And He won’t forget, you can count on that!
A Second “Book of Life”
But I want to talk about another “book of Life”. A second “book of life”, if you will. And God has given you a copy of it! It’s the bible, and it truly is, a “book of life”. That’s exactly what the bible itself claims. Jesus Himself says in John 6, verse 63; “The words that I have spoken unto you, are spirit and are LIFE!”
The words of the bible are life. Make no mistake about it. Jesus said to the Jews, in Mathew 5:3 & 40; “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them, you have eternal life. And these, (these scriptures) are they which bear witness of Me, and you will not come to Me, that you may have life!”
The Jews searched the scriptures, because they though that “in the scriptures” they had eternal life. And Jesus didn’t say that they were wrong, because they weren’t wrong, they were right! In the scriptures, you have eternal life, that’s a fact! But Jesus said; “You will not come to Me.”
The old testament scriptures that the Jews had, were telling them to come to Jesus, because Jesus was the Messiah.
And of course the same holds true for us today. If we will not come to Jesus, the One who the scriptures are telling us to come to, then we won’t receive the eternal life, which is contained in the scriptures. The words of Jesus are life! But to receive that life, we must obey those words! Come to Jesus!
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.” Mathew 11:28 & 29.
God has given us, the “book of life”, so that we could have “eternal life”. But we’ve got to open it, and we’ve got to read it, and we’ve got to study it, and we’ve got to believe it, and we’ve got to obey it! And we’ve got to come to Jesus, on His terms. Not on our terms, but on His terms!
You’ve got to hear His words, and believe His words, and confess your faith, and repent of your sins, and be immersed in water for the forgiveness of your sins, and you’ve got to remain faithful to everything that Jesus, and His spirit, tells you to do, for the rest of your life. Those are the terms that Jesus, and our God has laid out for us, if we would “come to Him”.
But if we refuse to follow His terms, then we are refusing to come to Him. And that’s what the Jews did. They too had a “book of life”. It was the old testament scriptures, and for those who obeyed those scriptures, they received the promise of eternal life. But for those who refused to obey, well, the eternal life contained in those scriptures, didn’t do them any good. God offered it, but they refused to receive it.
Through our bibles, God “has granted to us everything, pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and excellence.” (1 Peter 1, verse 3) It’s truly our “book of life”.
The apostle John wrote, in John 20, verses 30 and 31; “Many other signs therefore did Jesus do in the presence of His disciples, that are not written in this book; But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing, you may have LIFE in His name!” It’s our “book of eternal life”!
Don’t let anyone discredit, the value of this book. “Every scripture is God-breathed..”, we’re told in 2 Timothy 3:16. “No prophecy of scripture ever came by the will of men; But men spake from GOD, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)
We have a “book of life”, from the “breath of God”. No wonder the scripture tells us to “Give diligence, to present yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright, the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Have you ever heard of “doing your due diligence”? That’s what God is telling us to do. Do your “due diligence”, because that’s what you owe to God, that’s what’s “due to Him”, for what He’s done for you.
Our “Due Diligence”
Our “Due diligence” of course begins on the first day of the week, when we assemble ourselves together as a congregation, and truly put God first! In God’s “book of life”, He has given us the instructions for our worship assembly. Again, the assembly is to take place on the first day of the week, which of course is appropriate, since we are told to in Mathew 6:33; “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness..”
And God gives us five activities to engage in, when we’re assembled. We are instructed to engage in preaching His word, in praying to Him, in singing to Him (and to one another), in giving the first of our earnings to Him, and in remembering Christ’s death, through the Lord’s supper. And if we fail to engage in even one of these five activities of worship, then we have failed in obeying God, and we stand guilty of sin. It’s kind of like we read in James 2, verse 10; “For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he is guilty of all.”
But that’s just the first day of the week. What about every other day of the week? What do we owe God, every other day, of every week of our lives? Do we owe Him our reasonable spiritual service? Romans 12, verse 1 says we do. “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God..” It’s like God is giving us another chance here. We’ve all sinned and fallen short in obedience to God, but by “the mercies of God”, He’s giving us another chance. So He’s urging us to get it right this time. So the bible says; “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your spiritual service.”
And this isn’t talking about our “spiritual service” in our worship assembly. This is talking about our every day service to God. Seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Our every day obedience to God, and to the bible. We owe it to Him, for what He’s done for us.
And so I beseech you brethren, to hear His word, and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. And to confess your faith in Him, and repent of your sins. And I also urge you, if you haven’t already done so, to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, and then to remain faithful, seven days a week, 365 days a year, until your life on this earth is over.
That’s how you’re guaranteed, that your name is in His other “book of life”, and that it doesn’t get erased.