The Book of Life

The Book of LifeText: Revelation 20:12

On the day of judgment, there will be “books” opened before the Lord – one is the “book of life.” The names that are in this book are those who have been saved (Revelation 20:15; 21:27). Whose names are in this book? Was this determined before creation and our place is forever fixed? How we understand this will affect the nature of our hope and our sense of responsibility. Let us consider what the Bible has to say about the book of life.

The Book Belongs to the Lamb (Revelation 13:8)

  • Some variation in different translations – “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (KJV); this is about God’s foreknowledge; regardless of the translation, we clearly see that this book belongs to the Lamb
  • The Lamb is Jesus Christ (John 1:29) – our salvation depends on Him (Hebrews 2:10); without His suffering and death, there could be no salvation (Romans 5:6)

Names Are Being Added Now (Philippians 4:3)

  • Paul spoke of those whose names were already in the book of life – this is being compiled now; if we want to have our name in this book, we need to make sure it’s there NOW
  • When the books are opened at judgment, it will be too late (Rev. 20:12) – we will be judged according to what is written; based on our deeds in this life (2 Corinthians 5:10); no second chance or opportunity to appeal
  • How do we have our name added? – Jesus is the author of salvation (Hebrews 2:10) to those who obey (Hebrews 5:9); these are added to the church (Acts 2:47) and enrolled in heaven (Hebrews 12:23)

Names Can Be Erased from It (Revelation 3:5)

  • This is an important point – one who is added to the book can later have his name removed; just as it true with the adding of names, only Christ can erase them (“I will not erase…“)
  • In order to keep our names in the book of life, we must – continue to practice righteousness (Psalm 69:28), continue to labor for Him (Philippians 4:3), and continue to endure until the end (Matthew 24:13)

If Our Name Is Missing, We’ll Be Condemned (Revelation 20:15)

  • The record will not change on the day of judgment – any adding/removing will be done prior to that; therefore, we need to be preparing NOW
  • Those whose names are absent will be “thrown into the lake of fire” – prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41), eternal (Matthew 25:41, 47), outer darkness (Matthew 25:30), away from God (2 Thessalonians 1:9), second death (Revelation 20:14)

If Our Name Is There, We’ll Be Rewarded (Revelation 21:27)

  • John just described the beauty and grandeur of heaven (Revelation 21:10-27) – only for those in the book
  • Heaven is the reward – a place of no tears, death, or pain (Revelation 21:4); in the presence of God (Revelation 21:23; 22:1, 4); access to the tree of life (Revelation 22:2)


  • The book of life is the record kept by the Lord of those who are saved
  • We can be added to the book by obeying Him OR removed by falling away from Him
  • Let’s prepare now for the day of judgment to ensure that our names are in the book of life

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