Week of June 25
A Divine Eraser?
by Skip Heitzig
There's a new online, interactive publication being created by the Smithsonian Institution and the British Natural History Museum. In this "book of life," the British and American scientists hope to eventually catalog every species of life on earth. They're calling it a "macroscopic observatory" that will include information on local species, changes in the density of forests, etc. It's an interesting effort. Some of the data will be submitted by members of the public, so this "book of life" will be constantly changing, in response to animal migration, growth or decline in species, and climate information.
Maybe you've already seen where I'm going: What about THE Book of Life? Does God make changes in His record of those who will enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven? Specifically, does He remove people from the Book of Life?
Jesus speaks about the Book of Life in Revelation 3. The letter to the church at Sardis is the fifth letter to the seven churches, and unlike the other churches He has nothing to commend them for. But even so, He ends the letter with an affirmation. "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 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" (v. 4-5).
A little background is necessary here. White garments are almost universally a symbol of purity. The Romans wore white togas. In Sardis, if you had soiled garments, your name was removed from the citizenship list of that city. Because it was an area where the garments were manufactured, they wanted you to dress right, especially in the worship of their gods. You had to come to the temple in unsoiled garments.
When Jesus says, "You'll walk with me in white," it symbolizes salvation and victory. It also symbolizes eternal fellowship with God. And when He says "I'll never blot your name out of the Book of Life," it's simply a strong affirmation that death can never separate a person from heavenly citizenship. He's saying, "Don't worry; I'll never remove your name from the Book of Life. I don't follow the practices of the people."
So there will be no deletions from God's Book of Life. If your name is in there, it's there forever, and you will spend eternity with Him. If it's not—if you've never sincerely prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and turned from your sins—I hope you'll do that right now!
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