Is Your Name Written in the Book of Life?
How Thinking About Lists Reminded Me of the Book of Life
by Joanne Troppello
We’re going on a trip soon. As I started organizing clothes that we needed to bring, I had to be very particular about what to pack. We’re heading to another state and will be traveling with several other extended family members. So, we’re limited to 1 suitcase and 1 carry on per couple. We’re only going away for 4 days, so it wasn’t too difficult to pack. However, I needed to have a strategy in place when packing.
That’s where my list came in.
I’m a big list writer. I live by lists. They help me remember all the tasks I need to get done each day for work and housework. I write grocery lists. I write a weekly menu which is sort of like a list.
Thinking about lists made me think about the list that I’m included in—God’s Book of Life.
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. (Philippians 4:3, NKJV)
This book has also been referred to as the Scroll of Life and the Book of Remembrance.
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them;So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LordAnd who meditate on His name. (Malachi 3:16, NKJV)
I know I’m Heaven bound. I’m really a citizen of Heaven. I’m only passing through this world. One day, my name will be read from the Book of Life.
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. (Revelations 3:5, NKJV)
I love how Jesus says in that verse from Revelations 3:5 that for those who overcome, He will not blot out their names from the Book of Life. Jesus will confess these saved people’s names before God and the angels.
What a beautiful image of having your name written in the Book of Life and hearing and seeing Jesus confess it before God and the angels.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before [a]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. 13 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. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second [b]death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelations 20:12-15, NKJV)
If you are saved, your name is written in the Book of Life. You’ll be spending eternity with God in Heaven. As a Christian, you won’t be judged according to your sin, as the unsaved will be judged. However, you will be judged according to your works.
A believer being judged by God according to their works is explained well by Thomas R. Schreiner in his article, “What Does It Mean to Be Judged According to Your Works?”
“Judgment according to works is not merely an OT theme but is also prominent in the NT. Those who are in the book of life have performed works warranting inclusion, while those who are punished are those who have pursued and practiced evil. Such works are not the basis for being found in the book of life but constitute the necessary evidence of belonging to God.”
The last statement by Schreiner says it all. Those works won’t help you to have your name written in the Book of Life. Salvation through Jesus Christ is the only way to get to Heaven. However, those works “constitute the necessary evidence of belonging to God.”
That’s what I want.
I want those works to provide the necessary evidence that I belong to God.
I’m grateful that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect.
You and I can never be perfect and can’t bridge the gap to God.
It’s only through accepting that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, that you can go to Heaven. I’m also thankful for God’s grace and strength that are new each day. They help me navigate through life—with all my lists!
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
Connect with the author on Twitter. You can find her on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clouthub. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Visit MSS Live Well Corner and our Ko-Fi MSS Community.