A Voice in the
"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." (Rev3:5)
"...and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life." (Php4:3)
"And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire." (Rev20:15)
"But there shall by no means enter [the Holy Jerusalem] anything that defiles, or produces an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lambís Book of Life." (Rev21:10,27)
"Your eyes saw my embryo, and in Your book I was enrolled, and all my days had been preordained, when as yet there was nothing." (Ps139:16)
"You have kept an account of my wanderings; O put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your Book." (Ps56:8)
There has been a TV commercial running recently (during April, when this is being written)... A mother is sitting at a table, busy making entries into a book, checking schedules and making plans. Her little son comes wandering over and asks what she is writing in the book; to which she replies, trying to impress him, that the book contains notes, lists, schedules... and the names of a -lot- of 'important' people.
So little son then asks wistfully, "Is my name in this book?"
This question, of course, crushes mommy, wondering how she's going to answer that; because she has just spoken of 'important' people, and knows her son's name isn't in the book, because it is a 'business' book. And as she then begins to gather the son in for a hug and comfort, the camera switches to various blurbs by missionaries promoting Mormonism, and the -caring- "father of our spirits" and how the "church of Jesus Christ" that has been (presumably) -missing- (out of commission? They say, "lost") for centuries, in these last days has been "restored" the way Jesus (allegedly) established it; as they also offer an 'added' gospel (the Book of Mormon) to -supplement- the Bible, to reveal added revelations... they say: "...another testament of the Savior that goes hand in hand with the Bible..."
This article is not going to address the errors of Mormonism this time (except to remind the reader of Galatians 1:8-9), but the little boy's question: IS MY NAME IN THIS BOOK? It is a question that every person alive should be asking.
Paul exhorts: "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know, yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you; unless indeed you are ones failing the test?" (2Co13:5)
Failing the test. What is that?
Years ago I worked for a time at a small business that built chokes and transformers, the small variety as one sees them in computer power supplies. There was one particular toroidal choke (inductor) we built where the wire was wound around a ferrite donut. The ferrite, of course, was encased in a plastic sheath...so when the wire was wound, there is no visible cue whether the ferrite is in good shape, or broken. So, once the donut is wound, it is tested. The leads are touched to two touch plates, and the quality-check person reads the reading on the test instrument. Inductance needed to be within a certain tolerance. If the ferrite was OK, and the winder had put the correct number of turns on it, the reading was good. Sometimes the tester might remove a turn, or add one, to bring it closer to spec. But if the ferrite material inside the plastic sleeve was either broken or crushed, the reading would be waaay off...because inductance is a mathematical formulaic relationship of the turns of wire to the magnetic properties of the ferrite material. If the ferrite donut was bad, there was no amount of 'adjusting' turns of wire that would bring it to within spec. It was rejected. It -failed- the "test". It was thrown out.
In terms of eternal matters for those who fail the test, Jesus says, "And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Mt25:30)
So then, back to Paul's exhortation: how is "Christ in you"? (Col1:27) Through the Holy Spirit. (Rom8:10-11) And what is the "test" of the Holy Spirit's indwelling? The "witness": "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Rom8:16)
This is not something the carnal/natural mind is capable of understanding. (1Co2:10-16) The carnal person, a backslidden Believer, -may- have inklings as his conscience smites him from time to time; just like the two disciples mused amongst themselves, "Did not our heart burn within us while [Jesus] talked with us...?" (Lk24:32) But the natural person, the unsaved, will not.
There are many people who DON'T KNOW -whether- or not they are saved. I've said this before... let me say it again: If you DON'T KNOW, then you are NOT saved. You don't know 'when' you were saved? Then, you were not. You hear Christians talk about things of the "Spirit" of God, but you wonder 'what' they are talking about, because it is 'strange' to your ears? Then, you are NOT saved. You do NOT -belong- to God. Your name is NOT in the Book of Life. You do not partake in the "witness" of God's Holy Spirit in your heart, because He is not in your heart. "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His." (Rom8:9b)
How is this so? you ask? What is this thing called "witness"?
Well, let's consider some examples from things in the natural physical world. What is the sensation to float weightless in space? I don't know; I've never done it. I would never have a camaraderie (witness) with anybody who did. What is the sensation to float over a lake underneath a parasailing canopy? That, I know, because I've done it; and it is nothing like I would have imagined from those times I would see others doing it, while I was driving down the hiway. If I had told somebody, "I can -imagine- what it's like", before I had done it, I would have been wrong; because I would have -imagined-, among other things, wind 'blowing' past as the tow boat was pulling. But in reality, it is overwhelmingly 'calm' and serene. (Haven't yet figured out the physics of 'why' that is so.) What is it like to fly in a small airplane and take off from the runway? Oh, I would 'imagine' it's like...? Well, probaby not. I've flown with others, both Cessnas and one time with a fellow in his homemade "experimental" plane. I have no words to describe it...it is a one-of-a-kind experience. (I'm still waiting for that rare opportunity to be a passenger in something like a fighter jet! YaRight! Like: that will ever happen!) A person might say, I've been riding a bicycle all my life, I think I'm gonna get on this motorcycle and, just, 'ride' it. Since I'm a good bicycle rider, I can 'imagine' that there is nothing to a motorcycle. Wrong! That's how many have injured themselves over the years, and died early deaths. Just because somebody 'owns' a fancy Harley Davidson, doesn't mean he knows how to ride it...like was shown on an episode of America's Funniest Videos recently, where the guy crashed a $30,000 Harley (all decked out) into a parked car, ended up 'pinned' under it, because he didn't know what he was doing. He 'imagined' it was "no sweat". But unless you 'know', you don't know.
All these people who react to others' grief with the comment, "I can just imagine what you must be going through...." NO YOU CAN'T..! ...if you've not been there.
(Where did such a stupid comment, such a mashing of words, ever come from in the first place? Just by the definition of words, the sentence cancels itself out into total meaninglessness. As if to say: 'I am confident in my doubts, questions and uncertainty...so let me empathize with you in that confidence of uncertainty')
But there's lots of people who "imagine what it must be like" to be a Christian. So they make observations, paste smiles on their faces, go to church, learn the jargon....and as they learn to parrot back the right answers, they get everybody persuaded that they are fine Christians. And since they have "gone forward" and "joined the church" when they answered the questions correctly, they've persuaded themselves that they are Christians, and on-their-way to Heaven.
But they do not know the Lord. They may be on the "membership" roles, but their names are not in the "Lamb's Book of Life". (Rev21:27)
But what is the nature of this "witness" of the Spirit? If the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, "Explain it to me", you might say. Well, what is the sensation when that Cessna first lifts off the runway, and you 'feel' that the plane is air-borne? What is 'love' between a man and his wife? What is the 'witness' between their two hearts? You say that there aren't fully adequate words for any of it? Exactly. An astronaut is the only kind of person who can fully understand another astronaut's experiences in space. Years ago this particular woman who was trying to get my attention, spoke of motorcycle riding (trying to feign a 'camaraderie' with me) with some of the cliques I've read in magazines, about the "wind in the face", and such things; but from everything else, it was quite apparent that she may have never been on a motorcycle before in her life. And no; she didn't find out on the back of mine, either!
What does it take to actually -have- one's name in the Book of Life? This is the stuff of many of the writings online. "...repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ac20:21) "...repentance and remission of sins" available because Jesus 'suffered and rose from the dead' (Lk24:46-47)
An "overcomer" is promised that their name will not be blotted out of the Book. What is an overcomer? There is a good summary of this online in the Revelation series, at the "Seven Churches":
An overcomer is one who has put aside the things of this world. The New Jerusalem does not admit anybody who is defiled, abominable or a liar. It is also stated: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, prostitutes, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev21:7-8)
There are many who claim to be christians, but whine that they just "can't get victory" over all sorts of evil/filthy things. Jesus also said, "..from their fruits you will know them" (Mt7:20) For all their claims, they are NOT saved.
An unsaved person visits a church, and the pastor invites them to "come forward", it doesn't matter about your sin, God "accepts you just as you are". Well, NO HE DOESN'T! God does not countenance sin. Sin puts a "separation between" man and God. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, that He will not hear." (Is59:2)
The WHOLE POINT about "salvation" is the GETTING RID OF -sin-! It's not about "relationships" and getting "love in your heart", or a whole host of other things people spew out their blabbing mouths, because they are not saved, themselves, and a lot of times they don't know any better. Certainly, once a person is saved, there -is- a new relationship with Jesus Christ, and there -will- be love in the heart. But the preliminary and PRIMARY NEED is to GET RID OF SIN!!! To become -clean- through the "washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Tit3:5)
Some forms of so-called 'evangelism' proclaim, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." Yes, God "loves" the sinner, which is why He sent His Son to die on the cross. (Jn3:16) But if the sinner does not receive Christ, God's PLAN for that sinner is NOT "wonderful", but is the Lake of Fire. And a person need do nothing to get there. The very fact that he is a sinner, and is doing nothing about it, guarantees him a spot in the Lake, "the one not believing is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved." (Jn3:18-20)
How does one get their name "in this Book"? Realizing one's state in sin and repudiating it: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved..." (Ac16:31) And this is available to anybody....
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those believing into His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (Jn1:12-13)
And what is this experience like? There are no adequate words (that I know of) to describe it. But if you are in the presence of another who is, there will be a "witness" of the Holy Spirit with your spirits, "that [you, mutually] are children of God" (Rom8:16) And this is a greater camaraderie than people who share experiences in space, in airplanes, or in love. And you can speak of each other as 'fellow-believers' ... "whose names are in the Book of Life"
And when troubles come from the world and this (pre-Heaven) life, and we shed tears, our "fellowship with the Father" (1Jn1:3) will know that He sees our tears, and is keeping track of them "in [His] Book" (Ps56:8), and when the perpetrators of those deeds are judged from the records of their deeds in "the books" (Rev20:12), they will be made to come and bow before God's beloved, as Jesus promises; "Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews [Believers/Christians] and are not, but lie; indeed I will make them come and bow the knee before your feet, and to know that I have loved you." (Rev3:9) because we have overcome and 'KEPT His Word, and not denied His name' (vs8)