Updated: Sep 12
Revelation 20-12 KJV "And I saw the dead small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, and another was opened, which is The Book of Life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works,"
I suppose there are two things a man desires to know. First, where am I going when I die? and second, will my name be written in the Book of Life.
We have addressed the first question in previous lessons, when a man accepts Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within that person's heart. This is not a decision made lightly, but belongs to those who have been chosen and genuinely choose to follow Jesus. They have forsaken the things of this world for spiritual things, having "set their affection on things above." In other words, believers are focused on the kingdom of God and not on those things below on earth, "laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21 KJV). While the world appears to have many wonderful things, they are corrupt. We are told in I John 2:15 to "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. This is another piece of evidences validating what a believer has done when he accepts Jesus Christ in his heart.
Our second question may sound like a foregone conclusion reaffirmed in our initial commitment to follow Jesus and you would be right. But for those who are uncertain, let's see what Scripture has to say about these books.
First, scripture says, everyone will stand before God; both small and great. A person's status will not spare an individual from facing God's judgment. Thus those who are small, poor, or considered the least in society will stand before God just as those who are great, rich, and/or having favor in society and the world. In other words, all will stand before God.
From our reading, we also discover "the books were open" plural, suggesting these books contain a large number of dead people compared to the next book, which states, "and another was opened, which is the Book of Life." singular. It is hard to imagine why some are unwilling to follow Jesus Christ, but they will not. Notice what these books also tell us about those who are written there in. "The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
Our works or actions will reveal which book our names we will be found written therein. The first and foremost action is found in our acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ. This will reveal what we "do" verses what we "say". In other words, our actions will speak louder than our words. Simply saying we believe or accept is not enough, we, through the Holy Spirit will perform the works of the Spirit, demonstrating a genuine or dis-ingenuine relationship with Jesus Christ. Does the Bible give us some examples of the type of works that are favorable or considered unfavorable? Yes.
Galatians 5:19-26 KJV identifies two types of works, the "Works of the Flesh" and the Works of the Spirit." The first, are frowned upon for obvious reasons. They are "Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanliness, Lasciviousness, Idolatry, Witchcraft, Hatred, Variance, Wrath, Strife, Envying, Murder, Drunkenness, and Reviling" to name a few.
An example is found in the act of performing any one of these acts, which the world gladly commits; such as "adultery." The act of sleeping with another person's spouse.
The second, are the fruits (works) of the Spirit: "Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith. Meekness, and Temperance."
For example, to love someone is best demonstrated in the act of laying down one's life for another just as Jesus did for you and me. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish" (John 3:16).
Again, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad." II Corinthians 5:10 KJV "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment." Matthew 12:36 KJV "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him;" John 12:48 KJV
This, of course, is not what God had in mind upon setting the world in motion. "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:17 KJV "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 KJV
From this brief study we can clearly see why it is so important to have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. The questions before us now are, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Is your name written in the Book of Life? If not, perhaps now is the time to commit to Jesus Christ and be assured of your salvation and that your name will be found in the Book of Life. Today, is the day of salvation!