Thought for the month – June 2019

Many things in life can bring delight and great emotion with them. There may be an exam pass, a job offer, a sporting success, or a wedding which may bring such a reaction from us in our natural lives. Sometimes we are excited about things we have done in our spiritual lives; perhaps overcoming a particular temptation, maybe deciding to be baptised, or perhaps the way we were able to share the gospel with someone. All these are not without merit, and sometimes there might even be a sense of pride attached to them.

The Lord Jesus commissioned seventy delegates who returned to Him, elated at their results. The Saviour’s response to them was: “rather rejoice, because your names are written in Heaven” [Luke 10:20]. There are books in Heaven, such as a record of sins and the Book of Life [Revelation 20:12]. Having your name recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life in Heaven means that you are reckoned a citizen of Heaven. Only when your sins have been forgiven (because you have repented and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Saviour) will this happen. He died on the cross, thereby paying the penalty for the sins of the whole world [1 John 2:2]. He did it so that by repenting and trusting Him, anyone can have their sins forgiven, “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Romans 10:13].

Anyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life is still spiritually “dead in sins” but can be quickened (given new birth) by grace (an unearned gift) through faith [Ephesians 2:5, 8]. Those still spiritually dead when they physically die will stand before the Great White Throne and be “judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books”. [Revelation 20:11-12] “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” [20:15]. That place is often referred to as the final Hell.

If your name is written in Heaven, then rejoice about that – far more than anything else. If your name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then trust Him now, and know your sins forgiven and a place in Heaven. You will then escape the otherwise certain judgement for your sins. In that case, you too can rejoice.

Michael Sparkes