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The Book of Life

31/05/2020

The Book of Life

 

On the Podcast:

Introit: Psalm 22:1

Opening Prayer.

 

 

Praise,   Psalm 69:3, 4, 9-11 (Tune: Stuttgart

3 When I am afraid, l’ll trust you. 4 I will praise your faithful word;

I will trust and not be fearful. What can man do to me, Lord?

 

9 When I call on you to help me, then my foes will turn aside;

This is how I will be certain that my God is on my side.

 

10 In the LORD, whose word I honour, in my God I’lI praise his word

11 I will trust and not be fearful. What can man do to me, Lord?

 

Bible Reading Philippians 4:2-3

Prayer.

Sermon

Last week, when we looked at Euodia and Syntyche, we found that Paul said that they were ‘women who laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.‘  In this short message I want to look at what it means to have your name written in the book of life, and most importantly to challenge all of us with the question, ‘Is MY name written in the book of life?’

To listen to this service as a PODCAST click this link.

But before we begin, let’s remember an important fact. God does not need a physical book to remind him of who we are. He is OMNISCIENT. God will not FORGET who we are.   There is a verse in Malachi that might give us that impression, where we read that God is writing a ‘Book of Remembrance’ Malachi 3:16 But this ‘Book of Remembrance is for the benefit of the people of God, ‘For those who fear him…’. To reassure them of this very fact, that God will never forget them.   There is a tremendous promise in Isaiah 49:15   So, what is the Book of Life, and what’s it for?  Let’s search the Scriptures… 

1 It Describes our Natural Life. 

In the OT, there is a connection between the length of our natural days, and a book.  Psalm 69:28,   The idea behind this is that the length of our days is numbered by God. Psalm 139:16   There is comfort for the believer here, especially in this time, when all the news is about the dangers and risks of catching a virus that might kill you.  Know that your span of days is decided by God.  Know that you will not die one minute before your time.    Hebrews 9:27.   

An appointment has been made, and it’s an appointment every one of us will keep.  God’s timing is always perfect. So, the length of our days upon earth are determined/written down by God. 

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2 It Defines Our Spiritual Status Before God. 

It is in this context that Paul uses the phrase in Philippians 4, when he reminds the Philippian believers that those two warring workers, Euodia and Syntyche are true believers.  Like Paul and Clement and the other fellow labourers, their names are in the Book of Life.  So the Book of Life:- 

  • It is the roll-call of believers!  Every believer, every true Christian has an entry in this book!  Your name is there.  Jesus told his disciples that this was the real basis of joy in their lives. Luke 10:17    
  • It is the LAMB’s Book of Life!  Now, the great question arises, how does one’s name come to be written in the Book of Life?  Well, understand right away, that this is not something that you can do.    This book is GOD’S. There is only one way that your name can be found written in the book of life… It is written there by Christ!  It is the LAMB’S Book of Life.  At the Cross, when Jesus died, he died there for you, and for me, not just to offer me salvation on a vague ’take it or leave it’ basis, he died for ME, and he died for YOU, – as an individual, to atone for your sins, to imput to you His righteousness, to bring us into God’s family, to write our names in the Book of Life.    Revelation 13:8, and Revelation 17:8 both remind us that our names were written there before we were even born. 
  • It is an INDELIBLE ENTRY.  Once you name has been written there, it can never be blotted out!  But how!  There are some texts that would lead us to think otherwise.  Let’s read a couple of them. 
    • Revelation 3:5  John Piper puts this very well, “The promise: “I will not erase his name…simply says, to the one who is in the book, and who conquers in faith: I will never wipe your name out. In other words, being erased is a fearful prospect, which I will not allow to happen to those who persevere.“
    • Revelation 19  God takes his revelation to man, his Word, very seriously and so must we and every believer who loves the Lord will already be doing this.   

Now there are some who would use these two verses to build a case that a person can be saved and then be lost – have their name removed from the Book of Life.  But these are warnings, to persevere and to take God’s Word seriously, – a real genuine Christian will be doing these things anyway!   

3 It is the Evidence for Our Admission to Heaven 

So, what is the point of this book?  What does it do?  To find out, we must go back to Revelation and see….  

  • It is evidence of our guilt! Revelation 20:12  Everything in our lives is being recorded in God’s book, and our works, both open and hidden, every thought, every action, will come out into the open on the Day of Judgement.  And we will be judged by our works – and don’t think for a moment that those works will be enough, for ever work that we do, even our works of righteousness, are like filthy rags, soiled undergarments, in the blinding light of God’s purity.  Our works will condemn us.  Romans 3:19-20  
  • It is the determination of our eternal destiny. Where will we be in eternity?  To have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is our passport to heaven! Revelation 21:27. 27   To NOT have one’s name written there, is to be cast away from God, into a Christless eternity, for ever and ever. Revelation 20:15  

So for the Christians at Philippi, to know that Euodia and Syntyche had their names in Book of Life, was a reassurance of their part in the body of Christ, a cause to care for them and help them in their trouble.  And for us, it’s a reminder that God knows us, has redeemed us through Christ’s saving work on the cross, and will keep us until we reach our heavenly home.  If you’ve never before understood that you are a sinner, who needs the saviour, and rested completely in his saving work for you, perhaps God has awakened you to the danger of standing before God with your sins still unforgiven, depending on your useless, sin-stained lack-lustre works.  Trust Christ!  Whosever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved! © BobMcEvoy May 2020

 

Prayer and Benediction

 

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