Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Book of Life

Scripture: Philippians 4 v 3: "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."

Revelation 21 v 27: "And there shall in no wise enter into it (Heaven) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."

Revelation 20 v 11 - 12: "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

 12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

Of all things in this life to which we subscribe or add our name the most important is the Lamb's Book of Life! On the day we are born again our name is written in this Book. It is our duty to make sure it stays there.

In Revelation 3 Jesus writes to one of the Seven Churches, Sardis, and says that if they overcome (sin, demons, disobedience) they shall be clothed in white raiment (the robes of righteousness) and I (Jesus) will not blot their name out of the book of life. This suggests that if we are born again but do not take it seriously and work with Jesus to overcome worldly behaviour our names can be removed from the book of life and on the Day of Judgment we find ourselves cast out of God's presence forever.

We must work on our spiritual life diligently every day - acknowledging areas of our lives that need work; repenting before God and making our needs known to those appointed to help.

We must never shun those who have the oversight of our souls and who work tirelessly to ensure our readiness to meet our Maker when that great day arrives. Rather be filled with gratitude that there are those who truly care whether you make it to eternal rest and not eternal torment.

We all have choices to make and we know our God is merciful and forgiving, but we must not resist the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We need to open our hearts to our Father in Heaven and allow Him free reign. We have committed ourselves to Him when we got saved and baptized, now we need to follow through on this and let our transformation proceed without our stubborn clinging to our worldly habits and sins blocking God from us. 

In Revelation 21 we learn that no one will enter into Heaven who does things that are unclean - any form of sexual sin; whoever works abomination - murder, terrorism, idolatry, addictions, corruption, false doctrines; and whosoever tells lies - scams, cons, deceivers, cheaters and just plain lying. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will enter in.

So what manner of people should we be that our name is forever secure in that Book of Life? We must be very different to who we were before we were saved. We must live our lives close to the heart of God as humble, kind, gentle, clean, pure, merciful and faithful people. People around us must see Jesus in us and be blessed by us. We must allow ourselves to be used by God so that others may have their name written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Our time on Earth is fleeting but Heaven is eternal, never-ending joy. We should want everyone we love and admire to be with us there. It is not an automatic right that all go there. Many who attend church have never made a real commitment to Jesus. Or been baptized in water.

I ministered at a church in the African Township of Duduza some years ago. It was before Nelson Mandela was released from prison and there was much unrest and violence around. I preached on our spiritual weapons rather than the knives and guns they were used to. At the altar call I said that the altar was a place of sacrifice and death to our old way of life and if they were not prepared to die to this world they should not come to the altar at all. To my surprise 100% of the congregation came forward to receive Jesus as Saviour.

A very old lady who said she was 94 years old spoke to me afterwards. She said she had been in the church all her life and this was the first time she had made a commitment to Jesus. I asked her why and she said - It is the first time Jesus was made real to me!

How many are like that old lady? We need to evangelize the churches too to make sure Jesus is real to them and that their names are truly written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Prayer: Father God it is Your heart's desire that all should be saved. It is our job to preach the truth so that Jesus can come alive in their hearts and He can be their Saviour. Fill us O God with a burden for souls that we will pray, preach and persuade the lost back into Your Kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.