The Book of Life

Question from a reader:

Dear Owen, We are having a discussion in our Sunday school class, of course with many different opinions. Can our names be taken off the book of life, if so what would be the reasons? Myself, I believe if we are truly saved it cannot. What I mean by that is that I feel that some ask forgiveness through emotions and are not truly saved. One must know that they are truly saved and walk in a new light and not have to feel saved all the time by an up feeling. What are some scriptures I can read on this subject? Thank you so much. 

Thank you for your question. You are correct that a believer’s name cannot be removed from the book of life. Revelation 3:5 says, “The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.”

The judgment from the book of life applies only to unbelievers. Revelation 20:15 says, “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 21 speaks of the “Holy City, the new Jerusalem” (verse 2), and the believers who will inhabit it. Verse 27 says, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Psalms 69:28 does suggest that it’s possible for a name to be blotted out of the book of life: “May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.” In this context, it could be that the book of life originally contained the names of everyone, and the names of the unbelievers were blotted out.

Throughout the Scriptures, believers are called “children of God” (Philippians 2:14). This fitting analogy suggests the type of relationship that Christians have with God the Father. We are His children–his sons and daughters. Furthermore, just as we are naturally born as a product of our human parents, we are spiritually born as a product of God the Father and His grace. In both cases, the birth establishes a relationship which can never be altered. One cannot undo a physical birth, so neither can he undo a spiritual birth. I can’t decide that I no longer want my parents to be my parents; and, as a father myself, I cannot decide that I no longer want my children to be y children. The eternal security of the believer is thus demonstrated by this analogy of children.

I hope this helps.

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