THE BOOK OF LIFE

Pastor James J. Barker

Text: REVELATION 20:11-15; 21:27; 22:19




INTRODUCTION:


  1. James Milton Black was a Sunday school teacher, a choir leader, and a composer of hymns. He was born in 1856 in South Hill, New York, but worked, lived and died in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
  2. He was call­ing roll one day for a youth meet­ing. A young girl named Bes­sie, who was the daugh­ter of a drunk­ard, did not show up, and he was dis­ap­point­ed at her fail­ure to ap­pear.
  3. Black made a com­ment to the ef­fect, “Well, I trust when the roll is called up yon­der, she’ll be there.” He tried to re­spond with an ap­prop­ri­ate song, but could not find one in his song book.
  4. He later said, "This lack of a fit­ting song caused me both sor­row and dis­ap­point­ment. An in­ner voice seemed to say, 'Why don’t you write one?' I put away the thought. As I opened the gate on my way home, the same thought came again so strong­ly that tears filled my eyes. I en­tered the house and sat down at the pi­a­no. The words came to me ef­fort­less­ly…The tune came the same way—I dared not change a sin­gle note or word.
  5. Not long afterwards, that young girl named Bessie died of pneumonia, and Mr. Black's song went on to become one of the most popular Gospel songs of the past 100 years.

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

  1. The book of life is mentioned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is mentioned seven times in the book of Revelation, the first time in Revelation 3:5.
  2. Sometimes it is referred to as "the Lamb's book of life" (21:27; cf. 13:8).

 

I. ONLY THOSE WHOSE NAMES ARE IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WILL GET INTO HEAVEN (REV. 20:15).

  1. Often times when some worldly celebrity dies, we will see a cartoon in the newspaper of the deceased being welcomed into heaven.
  2. If he was an athlete, St. Peter and the angels will all be wearing baseball or football uniforms, etc.
  3. If he was a musician a big orchestra will be playing a welcome tune.
  4. Of course, all of this is contrary to Scripture (Rev. 20:15).
  5. This legend that St. Peter is the gatekeeper at heaven's door is based upon a misinterpretation of Matthew 16:19, where our Lord said to Peter, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven."
  6. But when our Lord spoke of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, He committed this authority not upon Peter exclusively, but upon every disciple, and it is not referring to Peter guarding the entrance to heaven.
  7. Keys are often used symbolically, such as in Isaiah 22:22 and Revelation 3:7 which refer to "the key of David."
  8. Furthermore, Peter was a Gospel preacher, not a pope. There are no popes in the Bible, and no one is guarding heaven with a set of keys.
  9. When people leave this world they go to either heaven or hell. And if they go to heaven, they will be greeted by the Lord Jesus Christ, not by Peter (cf. Acts 7:54-60).
  10. And the only way to get into heaven is to make sure your name is recorded in the Lamb's book of life (cf. Luke 10:20; Phil. 4:3).
  11. Today the world is in turmoil. People are very confused. This world is looking for strong leadership, and lost sinners are being prepared for the arrival of the antichrist.
  12. I went to Google and typed in, "microchip people" and over three million websites came up.
  13. This is from an official government website: "In the future all Americans will elect to have RFID (radio frequency ID) chips, or legislation will be passed that mandates RFID chips. Not only could they monitor your health status, they could be used as GPS, a means to transfer currency, cell phones, computers, etc...(These chips) could potentially be used to control the population. Despite the risks implants pose, the potential health benefits of being able to collect and monitor your health via a RFID chip could be a very useful medical tool that could drastically help people and revolutionize our ability to treat patients."
  14. "A very useful tool" for the antichrist! Read some of these articles (or watch the videos) and then compare all this with Revelation 13:14-18.
  15. During the tribulation, those whose names are not written in the book of life will be deceived by the antichrist (Rev. 13:8; 17:8).

 

II. EVERYONE HAS THEIR NAME IN THE BOOK OF LIFE AT ONE TIME -- IT IS AFTER THEY REJECT CHRIST THAT THEIR NAMES ARE REMOVED

  1. Some think that Revelation 3:5 and 22:19 teach that a saved person can lose his salvation and have his name blotted out of the book of life.
  2. But that is contrary to what the Bible teaches (cf. John 10:27-29).
  3. Some think that everyone's name is put into the book of life the moment he is born, but actually I believe it goes back earlier than that.
  4. David said in Psalm 139:16, "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."
  5. In any event, I believe everyone's name is written in the book of life, but there comes a point when God blots out some names.
  6. For example, referring to wicked sinners, David said in Psalm 69:28, "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous."
  7. And in Exodus 32:33, the LORD said to Moses, "Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book."
  8. The Lord says in Revelation 3:5, "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life."
  9. This obviously means some people will have their names blotted out of the book of life.
  10. When does this happen? When do sinners reach the point when God says, "That's it -- their names will be blotted out!"

There is a time, I know not when,
A place, I know not where,
Which marks the destiny of men
To heaven or despair.

 

There is a line by us not seen,
Which crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and His wrath.

 

To cross that limit is to die,
To die, as if by stealth,
It may not pale the beaming eye,
Nor quench the glowing health.

 

The conscience may be still at ease,
The spirit light and gay.
That which is pleasing still may please
And care be thrust away.

 

But on that forehead God hath set
Indelibly a mark,
By man unseen, for man as yet
Is blind and in the dark.

 

And still the doomed man’s path below
May bloom like Eden bloomed.
He did not, does not, will not know,
Nor feel that he is doomed.

 

He feels, he sees that all is well,
His every fear is calmed.
He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell,
Not only doomed, but damned.

 

Oh, where is that mysterious bourn,
By which each path is crossed,

Beyond which God Himself hath sworn
That he who goes is lost?

 

How long may man go on in sin,
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin
The confines of despair?

 

One answer from those skies is sent,
"Ye who from God depart,
While it is called today, repent,
And harden not your heart." – author unknown.

  1. In the Bible we read about many people who have reached this point of no return -- Cain, Esau, Lot's wife, Pharaoh, Balaam, Nabal, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, Judas Iscariot, Felix, King Agrippa, and many others.
  2. Genesis 6:3 says, "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man."
  3. Proverbs 29:1 says, "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (cf. Proverbs 1:24-33).
  4. Three times in Romans 1 we read that "God gave them up."
  5. Many years ago I heard J. Vernon McGee refer to the cults as "God's garbage men." It shocked me at the time but In do think he was right (cf. Rev. 22:18, 19).

 

III. THE BOOK OF LIFE WILL BE OPENED AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT (REV. 20:11, 12, 15).

  1. In this present age, God's throne is a throne of grace, and we are encouraged to come boldly to this throne of grace.
  2. Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
  3. But for those who reject God's grace, and despise God's grace, that throne of grace will be a throne of judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).
  4. This throne is "great" (20:11) -- it will fill all heaven and earth.
  5. This throne is "white" (20:11) -- representing the purity and absolute holiness of God.
  6. Up on that throne will be the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 5:22, the Lord Jesus said the Father "hath committed all judgment unto the Son."
  7. Second Timothy 4:1 says the Lord Jesus Christ "shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom."
  8. Our Lord said in Matthew 12:36, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."
  9. It is all recorded. The Lord does not need any computers or tape recorders (Rev. 20:12-15).
  10. How terrible to stand before God and have Him say, "Your name has been blotted out. Now you must be cast off into the lake of fire."

 

CONCLUSION:

  1. I heard a true story about two mine workers who often worked together down in a Pennsylvania coal mine. One man was a godly Christian, and the other was a wicked, profane man.
  2. The Christian often told his co-worker about his need for salvation but all is efforts and pleadings were ignored or scorned.
  3. Then one day, as their shift was coming to an end, a terrible explosion occurred. The earth started rumbling, the open shaft was belching fire and smoke into the dark sky, and the blood-curdling screams for help could be heard from deep in the mine.
  4. The worldly, wicked miner turned to his Christian co-worker and said, "If hell is anything like this, I sure don't want to go there!"
  5. In fact, hell is far worse. Revelation 14:11 says, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night..."
  6. Jesus said hell is eternal torment, and the fire shall never be quenched.


| Customized by Jun Gapuz |