“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the BOOKS (capitals mine) were opened: and ANOTHER BOOK (capitals mine) was opened, which is the BOOK (capitals mine) of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the BOOKS (capitals mine), according to their works.”
Let me first apologize for capitalizing the words BOOKS and BOOK. I know many don’t care for the capitalized emphasis I sometime use to make a point. But, knowledge of this difference is critical! In the Bible there are separate mentions of “books” and a different “book” which will be opened and read at the Great White Throne Judgement of Jesus discussed in Revelation 20. I am sure we are aware the White Throne judgment will occur at the end of the 1,000 year Millennium reign of Jesus on this earth, just before the beginning of Eternity, in either Heaven or hell. Of course that 1,000 year time period begins with Satan’s defeat (along with the anti-christ and the false prophet) with Jesus Christ’s Second Coming at Armageddon. He will then reign for 1,000 years in Peace and Righteousness to show all Believers what Eternity with Him will look like on the new earth.
Also, I want to make sure we are all aware of the difference between a “biography” and an “autobiography”. A biography is what someone writes about someone else. An autobiography is what you write about yourself. As the Scripture above states, at the Great White Throne Judgement there are many books written by man about himself. These are for his autobiography. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, he has ever done or thought of is written down in these books. Not only are these his individual actions but will also include all his thoughts and desires. You don’t have to be afraid you did or thought all of these actions. God is keeping track of them for you!
So, what separates us from being in one book, the Book of Life, and the other numerous books?
“Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”
As I recently wrote about in It is your choice where you will spend Eternity? you will decide 100% where you will spend eternity. There is only one difference in that decision. Since all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the wages of sin are death, we are all destined to go to hell for eternity UNLESS we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and have asked Him to forgive us of those sins which have otherwise been written in the books.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, your name simply is NOT in the “…book of life”. If your name is not in that singular book, you will be cast into hell forever! Since none of us can “earn” our way to Heaven by way of what we have done while on this earth, we will then be judged by God for every sinful act we have ever committed. These are kept in the “books”. Since we voluntarily elected to not ask Jesus for forgiveness of our sins, we will be held accountable for everything we have ever thought or done and since the Bible tells us the wages of sin are death, it is our own autobiography we have written that will condemn us to hell. Afterall, we wrote it! But, if we do accept Jesus, He personally will tell God we have accepted His Gift of Pardon. For that our names will be taken out of the books and placed in HIS Book of Life!
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
I find it interesting that those people NOT raptured who are alive during the Tribulation and see the anti-christ rise to power will wonder, or be amazed, at him (the anti-christ) “…that was, and is not, and yet is.” Apparently the Scripture below pinpoints those still on the earth who follow the anti-christ, their names were not written in the Book of Life from the beginning of time, the foundation of the world.
“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names WERE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE (capitals mine) from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”
Our God is a Loving God, one that does not want to see anyone perish. But, He is also an all knowing God who knows before something ever happens what will happen. From the beginning of the world He knew us and what decision we would make regarding accepting His Pardon for our sins. We don’t know it! If we are a Believer today, we do know it through faith. If you are not a Believer, you might say “Well, God has already decided where I will spend eternity.” This is the difference between a biographer and an autobiographer. God has still given you the choice to decide, to write your own autobiography. Of course He knows what you will decide. But, you alone can make that decision, even today!
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie: but (except) they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior our sin will be forgiven! There is NO other way to enter Heaven. If you defile something, if you lie, or if you do an abomination before God without asking for forgiveness, you are putting those acts into your book that will be opened on the day of the Great White Throne Judgement and no matter what good things you have also done, they will never be enough to warrant your place in Heaven with those who asked Jesus to place their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
God wrote the entire Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, which is why we call it the Word of God. He gave us this singular expression of His intent for us in order to spend Eternity with Him in Heaven. Since the Bible is the only credible existence of His Plan for us, we are admonished to not change it in any way. If we do, we defile His Word. Since the anti-christ/Satan’s primary goal is to get us to reject God’s Word and make us believe we can somehow “earn” our way to “heaven’, we are clearly told that anyone that worships the anti-christ or takes his Mark of the Beast will have his deeds placed in the books, NOT in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This is why He also tells us what life on this earth will be like AFTER the Rapture of the Church during the Tribulation:
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the anti-christ), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
With all this said, God has a plan for us and He is keeping track of our adherence to His Word. Bottom-line, we are saved ONLY through faith in Jesus Christ and not by any works we might do. It is a gift directly from God as payment for our sinful nature. I mean, can you imagine a billionaire standing in front of the Judgement seat of Christ and trying to explain what a good person he was because he gave millions to feed the poor? If only he had accepted Jesus’s Gift to him he would be saved and his name would be in the Book of Life. Yes, what he did with some of his money was good BUT it did not meet the criteria required by God Himself for eternal salvation.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Please don’t get me wrong. As a Christian I do believe it has been placed in our hearts to do good deeds and for that we will be rewarded, but not judged. This varies from the unbeliever who will be judged but not rewarded. This is comforting to know we have a clearly laid out path for eternal salvation. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and ask Him for forgiveness of your sins. When the Holy Spirit enters your heart you will seek to do nothing but good for your fellow man. You know what good you can do today to help your family and friends? Do one of the things Jesus also told us to do and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” Again, these are not my words. They are His Words!
May God Bless you as we await our rewards in Heaven!