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Books and Ledgers

Record keeping is a natural human function. People buy diaries, picture albums, and ledgers. Today people use such things as Facebook, QuickBooks, and Excel to help them remember and to keep records. Most cities have a Hall of Records containing property records, marriage licenses, death records and divorce records.

If you and I keep a record of our lives -- the trips, vacations, and special events, does God keep records too?

The Bible contains lists of genealogies and records of tribes and families. We read in Psalm 56:8, “You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” It's as though God keeps a record on individuals. No wonder Jesus said that the very hairs of your head are numbered.

Through the prophet Malachi God speaks of a "book of remembrance" of those who feared The Eternal (Malachi 3:16).

Several Old Testament passages refer to a book or record that God keeps. As early as the time of Moses there was a reference to the "book of life." Speaking with God, Moses said if God would not forgive Israel then "lock me out of your book which you have written” (Exodus 32:32).

In one of the cursing psalms David was so angry that he wanted God to blot out his enemies from the book of life (Psalm 69:28). The prophet Daniel wrote about a time of terrible distress on God's people but wrote that "everyone who is found written in the book will be rescued" (Daniel 12:1).

The most numerous uses of the phrase "book of life" are from the New Testament where all but one appear in the book of Revelation. The one reference outside the Book of Revelation is in the book of Philippians where Paul wrote about his fellow workers "whose names are in the book of life" (Philippians 4:3). To the church at Sardis Jesus wrote that he who overcomes will be clothed in white garments "and I will not erase his name from the book of life” (Revelation 3:5).

The Bible talks about a time of great deception where people will receive the mark of the beast and will worship the beast "everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the lamb who has been slain"(Revelation 13:8; 17:8-9).

After Jesus had sent His disciples out to heal, cast out demons and preach the good news, they returned rejoicing that diseases and demons were subject to them when they used Jesus’ name. But Jesus told them not to rejoice that the demons were subject to them in His name but to rejoice in this: "that your names are recorded in heaven" (Luke 10:17-21).

At the end of the great white throne judgment we read that there are "books" and also "the book of life." It says, "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:12 -15). It is most important to have your name written in God's book of life and never to have it blotted out!

You and I have our names in the Book of Life now. Let's be sure our names stay there.