Christ placed great emphasis on our name being recorded in Heaven. He had sent out the 70 to preach; God gave great revivals, and they returned elated with their success.
Jesus responded: Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven (Luke 10:20).
In numerous places in Scripture, the Book of Life is discussed. Just what kind of book it is, we do not know.
Nonetheless, God, who gave man the ability to build the computer, is certainly capable of recording and storing the exact name of every person who belongs to Him.
A moving story is told about a dying soldier and the Book of Life. Thousands of young men died at Gettysburg, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
At the close of the battle, an army surgeon came looking for the wounded and suffering, searching for somebody still alive. Presently he saw a man down in a ditch on his back.
The surgeon stopped his horse, looked at the man and thought, “I’m too late, he is evidently gone.” But then he saw a slight smile come to the face of the dying soldier. The doctor dismounted and knelt down by him.
Every few seconds a smile played upon the dying face and the lips parted and the soldier whispered, “Here!” “Here!” “Here!” The surgeon shook him gently, bringing him back to consciousness.
“Why are you saying ‘Here?’” he asked the dying man. The soldier replied: “Oh, Doctor, they were calling the roll in Heaven and I was answering to my name. Long ago I gave my heart to Christ.”
Are you ready for the roll call? Will you answer, “Here?”
A most somber portion of the Bible has to do with the Great White Throne Judgment and the Book of Life. At that time all the wicked dead since Adam will appear before God to be judged for their sins.
What an awesome time that will be! The Bible says the Book of Life will be opened, not to show a name is there, but to show it is not.
Listen to the sober account: “I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of life.
“The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
“The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done” (Revelation 20:12, 13).
Oh, the seriousness of that judgment! Every individual who ever died without knowing God will be there.
Pastor Erwin Lutzer reminds us: “That you will appear before God is more certain than sunrise. And the judgment at which you will be summoned [as a believer at the Bema or an unbeliever at the White Throne] is determined in this life, based on your relationship with Christ.”
He continued, “there is no opportunity to reroute your travel plans after you have died. One minute after you die your eternal destination is unalterably fixed.”
Lutzer also states many men and women acquitted on earth before a human judge will then be found guilty before God.
Men who have been accustomed to perks, special privileges, and legal representation will then stand as naked in the presence of a holy God.
To their horror they are judged by a standard that is light-years beyond them — the standard is God himself. Little wonder they feel what one writer calls “unfamiliar awfulness.”
People throughout the world, including most religions groups, believe they will be accepted on the basis of their goodness.
If they live good, moral lives, if they treat their neighbors with respect and do their best in life, they will be saved. However, that does not prepare us for Heaven — does not put our name in the Book of Life. Only God’s righteousness, offered at Calvary, can make anyone good enough for Heaven; only Christ’s redemptive work on the Cross gives us escape from the White Throne judgment.
Matthew Henry wrote, “It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day.”
Though evil may seem to be triumphant in the world, in God’s time and in His way, every evil thing will be brought into judgment, and His righteousness and sovereignty will be fully vindicated.
“Though the mills of God grind slowly,
Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience He stands waiting
With exactness He grinds all.”
— Friedrich von Logau