Read Icon



The Book of Life

Revelation 20:15

Cities in John's day had a city register which listed the names of every citizen. If a person committed crimes, or otherwise defiled his standing in the city, he could be called before a tribunal and his name removed from the city registry, literally blotted out. He would no longer be considered a citizen of that metropolis and would live from then on in anonymity or be forced to move elsewhere.

This concept forms the background for the Book of Life as John describes it. It is a book originally containing the name of every person ever born into this world. If that person dies having rejected God's offer of salvation, his name is blotted out of the Book of Life. It is a sobering thing to think about a person paging through God's Book of Life in vain looking for his name and not finding it. William Newell, a great scholar and commentator on Revelation, said there are four things to be noted about the Book of Life:

    1. It is the absence of one's name, not one's good works, that dooms a person.
    2. Evil works are not the issue. Many of earth's greatest sinners' names are recorded in the Book of Life because they accepted God's offer of salvation. 
    3. Those whose names do not appear in the Book are cast into the lake of fire. 
    4. All names found in the Book were written before the judgment day. There is no record of names being recorded (decisions being made) on that day.
Back to Revelation