BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 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” (Phil. 4:2-3, NKJV).
In the letter to the Philippian church, Apostle Paul, in verse 3 of the scripture above, touched on a very powerful subject in that phrase “whose names are written in the Book of Life.” Paul referred to two women who labored with him in the gospel, Clement and other fellow workers whose names were written in the Book of Life.
Some questions will immediately arise: What is the Book of Life? Who are those whose names are written there? Who are those whose names will not be written in the Book of Life? Can my name be written in the Book of Life? What happens to those whose names are not written in the Book of Life? The Bible provides answers to all these questions.
Moses and the Book of Life
What is the Book of Life? The Book of Life is a book in heaven where the names of those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and saved by faith in Jesus Christ are written. These are called the righteous and their names are written in a book in heaven.
The man of God, Moses, first revealed the existence of this book when he prayed that God should blot him out of His book rather than destroy the Israelites he was leading. “Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! 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’” (Exo. 32:31-33, NKJV).
In this scripture, Moses spoke about “Your book” (God’s book) and God also spoke about the same book calling it “My book.” They were talking about the same book – the Book of Life.
This is the background: Aaron had molded a calf for the Israelites and they had started worshipping it as the god that brought them out of Egypt. This happened while Moses was with God on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments. In His anger, God said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation” (Exo. 32:8-10, NKJV). Moses, in response, prayed to God to forgive their sin but if not, He should blot him out of His book which He had written.
From the conversation between Moses and God, one is not left in doubt that there is a book in heaven where God writes the names of those who satisfies God’s requirement. As we’ve seen in the Old Testament, God told Moses: “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book’” (Exo. 32:33, NKJV). That means if you want to have your name written in the Book of Life, you must avoid a life of sin. Sinners won’t have their names written in the Book of Life, and in this dispensation, the only way for sinners to receive forgiveness of their sins is through His Son, Jesus Christ, and no longer through animal sacrifice.
There’s a Book of Life for the registration of the redeemed, the forgiven, the righteous, which is similar to the Israelites’ register of their genealogy (Neh. 7:5, 64). This Book of Life is also similar to the Israelites’ register of record of priests and Levites (Neh. 12:22-23). But the Book of Life is of far greater importance.
Referring to the Book of Life, Heb. 12:23 talks about the assembly of God’s firstborn children whose names are written in heaven. There are those whose names are written in the Book of Life who are already dead and are in heaven. There are also others whose names are in the Book of Life but are still here on earth. It is impossible to get one’s name into this Book after death. The only opportunity you have is when you’re still alive. If one’s name is not in the Book of Life before one dies, the name cannot be written in this book after death. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27 NKJV). And the Day of Judgment is a day of wrath which no sinner can stand. “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Rev. 6:17, NKJV).
Insight into the Book of Life
Friend, is your name written in the Book of Life? The Bible tells us what will happen at the judgment to those whose names are not written in the Book of Life – they’ll be cast into the lake of fire. “I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to the things written in the books, according to what they had done. The sea gave up the dead in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead in them. They were all judged according to their deeds. And death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death — the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:12-15, NLT).The books including the Book of Life shall be opened at the final judgment.
What will happen to those whose names are written in the Book of Life? They shall enter the New Jerusalem – where God comes down to live among His people. It’s the dwelling place of God, Jesus, and the church; a place where there’s no death, sorrow, crying or pain (Rev. 21:4). “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” ((Rev. 21:27, NKJV).
Those who’re evil, who’re sinners shall not have their names written in the Book of Life and therefore shall not enter the New Jerusalem. Their portion is in hell – “a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20, Rev. 20:10, 14-15). Rev. 21:8 says, “But cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars — their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death” (NLT).This is the same place where the beast (the antichrist) and the false prophet shall be thrown into (Rev. 19:20) and the devil at the end of the age as well as death and hades (Rev. 20:14). And the Bible says, “They will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).Hell is a place of everlasting torment and that’s where those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will spend their eternity. Won’t you rather have your name written in the Book of Life today?
You need to give your life to Jesus today and begin to live according to the Word of God. Let your name be written in the Book of Life. The rapture is the next thing on the agenda of God. Jesus is coming to take the saints away from this earth then the antichrist (beast) will come who will be worshipped by those whose names are not written in the Book of Life (Rev. 17:8).The Book of Life is real and is so important that the Bible says, “If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life…” (Rev 22:19 NKJV).
If you’re sure your name is already written in the Book of life, you must ensure that it’s not removed – it’s possible for one’s name to be removed from the Book of life if one loses one’s salvation. If this is not possible, God wouldn’t have told Moses that whoever had sinned against Him, He would erase him from His book. (Exo 32:33). Rev. 3:5 also shows that somebody’s name can be erased 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…” (Rev. 3:5, NKJV). Jesus says, “And I assure you of this: If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I, the Son of Man, will openly acknowledge that person in the presence of God’s angels. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before God’s angels” (Luke 12:8-10, NLT). Those who do not deny him are those whose names are written in the Book of Life. The Bible says, “But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:22, 23:13, Mark 13:13, NKJV). Therefore stay in the faith to the end. Don’t lose your salvation.
Friend, you may say that you’re a child of God but does God know you as His child? God knows those who are His. He has a register for them. “‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’” (2 Tim. 2:19, NKJV). Is your name in God’s register? That your name is written in the register of a church as a member is no guarantee that your name is written in the Book of life. You may be a member of a church; you may even be the number one financier of your church’s projects but are you a citizen of heaven? The pastor may know you but does God know you? There is a register for the citizens of heaven written by God Himself, not your pastor!
Have you genuinely received Jesus into your heart? Have you been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus)? Have you confessed Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Are you living according to the Word of God? Those whose name will be found in the Book of life are those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, those who have not soiled their garments with evil deeds and have overcome or are victorious (Rev. 3:4-5), and those who have been faithful to Christ.
The ultimate is for your name to be written in heaven. Wealth, position, fame or power for signs and wonder is not the ultimate. When the seventy disciples came to Jesus rejoicing that even the demons were subject to them in the name of Jesus, he told them pointblank: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:19-20, NKJV). People may know you but does God know you? That’s the ultimate. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of life? If you are not sure, give your life to Jesus now.
If you are not born again, I urge you to take the following steps:*Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I repent of my sins today and forsake them. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God”
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May the Lord make you a Cedar Christian. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be.
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523