Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can Your Name Be Removed From The Book Of Life?

Did The Lord Threaten The Believers Of Losing One's Salvation?

Question : I have read in the Book of Psalms Chapter 69 Verse 28 which says, "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the righteous." Also related to this verse Rev 22:18-19 also says the same thing. To me this shows that the righteous person who is written in the book of life can suddenly removed from the Book of Life because of doing wickedness. What is the Book of Life in the New Testament and the Tree of Life? Is both the Old Testament Book of Life and the New Testament Book of Life the same? How can then we say that God saves us for life when in fact He is the one who has clearly warned that when we do not stop sinning or change Scripture by adding or subtracting it, He may remove our names from the Book of Life? What is your take on it?

Answer : We must first realize that no one can eat of the Tree of Life unless his or her name is written in the Book of Life
(Rev 21:27; 22:1-5). The Tree of Life represents eternal life (Gen 3:22). Those whose names are written in the Book of Life are saved and thus live eternally with the LORD (John 10:27-30). This is the reason Jesus told His disciples who were overjoyed about exercising authority over the demons in the spirit world and healing the sick, that they should not rejoice for the work they do for Him which carries a reward from God (Rev 22:12), but really rejoice for their salvation because their names were written in heaven due to being saved by grace through faith which has qualified them for a eternal future life with God (Luke 10:20; Eph 2:8-9).

According to the clear views of the Scripture,
Psa 69:28 which says, "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous" is something written by David in the Old Testament days asking God to punish the wicked people who will kill their Messiah through religious spirit, which the Pharisees and all the wicked people along with them did to fulfill these prophesies regarding the death of Jesus Christ two thousand years ago. These were unsaved people who acted as though they are holy saved people of God but finally killed the prince of life who came to save them from their sins (Acts 3:14-15), rightly did Jesus pronounce them to be a white washed tomb which is full of uncleanness inside their heart but externally very polished like a shrine (Matt 23:27). This above verse Psa 69:28, is a prophetic prayer of David the man after God's own heart, who prayed like this seeing the vision of his Messiah's death which God must have showed him, after which he wrote this verse as a prayer towards God to punish these sinners who killed his Messiah but acted as though they were righteous. We know that many who were part of the killing of Jesus were the ones who were saved because of God's grace and mercies that He showed to all the undeserving sinners who later repented and accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord (Luke 23:34; Acts 3:14-15, 17). So we cannot use this above prayer verse to support the idea and make this prayer as a doctrine saying that a righteous person's name could be blotted out of the book of the living. After all this is David's prayer as a man done prophetically seeing the future, not a decree of God.

Yes right from the day God created humans and then they fell in to sin by disobedience, God has by His mercies kept the name of all the people who lived by faith as those who were righteous before Him in all generations till today
(James 2:23-25).

Another solemn warning that God has given to the hearers of the prophecy of the Book of Revelation is the following,
"18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Rev 22:18-19). The above warning is not to the believers who live by faith in the word of God and who believe that the last book of revelation from God is finished when He gave it through His bond servant apostle John in the first century itself and that no more Scripture could be added to the canonized Bible which has been already given to all humanity once and for all time, but it is for those who want to take away the Scriptures of the Book of Revelation and add their own words of deceit to turn people away from God and make them follow themselves (Acts 20:29-30). These are deceived unbeliever who want to deceive others by adding and taking away Scriptures according to their own fleshly desires of earthly religious making, and in context this above two verse speaks to their lives because Jesus testifies to the Churches and also to all the deceived unbelievers in all the 6 verses above it. Rev 22:11 says to both believers and unbelievers saying, "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” Clearly Rev 22:12 is a encouragement to believers who are saved by faith but whose work will be rewarded. The next two verses continue to encourage the believers saying, "13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." These above two verse assures the beleivers that God who knows their end from the beginning of their saved lives will save them to the end to enter in to the city of God and have their right given to eat the Tree of Life by their faith which is a gift from Him (Php 1:6), because He knows them that they will be saved even before they were saved (Isa 46:10; Acts 15:18). No one who is truly saved will not commit the error of taking away the words of this prophecy out of context because their names are written in the Book of Life and also God has promised to sustain the patience and faith of the saints until the end of their lives on earth (Rev 13:8, 10). God's election is something that He does not decide one day based on the work or the spiritual condition of a person and then change it the next day if he turns up to ask sorry to God for his bad behavior (Rom 9:16, 18-24), actually humans are like what we have described, but God writes those who will be saved in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world (Mal 3:6-7; Num 23:19; Rev 13:8). In other words, God is like a movie director who knows what will be the end of the movie that he has directed because of his foreknowledge when he sees it. But unlike a director He does not influence the actors to act in any particular way. He knows the future but He does not influence the decision that people take. If the names of those who are saved and who will be saved are already written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world according to the Scripture, then how come the statement "God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city" (Rev 22:19) can be right contextually within the same Book of Revelation that apostle John wrote, which will again point to the fact that God does not even know the bad or evil behavior of those who are saved and will be saved by Him in the future? This shows that God does not write a persons name in the Book of Life and then takes it away based on their works. The right "to the tree of life" and to "enter through the gates in to the city" does not depend on the works of the believer but it is a gift of God to all believers who are actually overcomers because of their faith (1 John 5:4-5). God is never surprised when people enter in to heaven, because He knows them before time that they will enter in to the gates of the city of God because of what Jesus had done for them. The Scripture in Rev 22:15 is a warning to unbelievers to get saved from sin through believing in Christ Jesus or else they will never enter in to the blessing of the city of God or have the right to the Tree of Life, though they might have heard the gospel and might have even registered their names in the earthly expression of the Church of the living God. In Rev 22:16, 17, Jesus says that it is He who has sent this message to the churches so that all those who are still unsaved within and without by the deception of sin might come to realize that they are sinners in need of the Savior Jesus to save them for eternity from sins evil hold over their lives (John 6:39-40).

From the above clear exposition of the Scripture and its context, we know that
Rev 22:18-19 cannot be taken as a message to the believers and a threat from Jesus that their names in the Book of life shall be taken away, instead it is a affirmation of God to them who are deceivers and are being deceived (2 Tim 3:13), that they need to get saved from the deception of wrongly dividing the word of God which they are doing for their own destruction of their soul which was marked before hand if they continue in the deceit that they have been practicing in order to turn people away from God and His word that has the power to save their lives and their hearers from sin to give eternal life (2 Tim 2:15; 1 Tim 4:16; Jude 1:4). In other words, God is saying to these deceivers that even if there is a little chance for them to get saved through His mercies and grace (Matt 19:23-26), it will be closed in the future because of their own deceitful ways of deception that are practiced by them so that it will be like their names are blotted out of the Book of Life forever (Matt 12:31-32).  

I believe that the Book of life has always been the same because from Adam to the last man who will come to live on this earth needs salvation from sin which is the same for all
(Rom 3:23), and that which has been always promised by God through faith and faith only (Heb 11:39-40; Rom 1:17). We as believers may sin but we cannot continue in it infinitely without the chastisement of God to turn us away from it, because God's seed of righteousness which is His nature is within the core of our being (1 John 3:9; 1 Peter 4:17). Therefore the wicked are those who are not justified by faith and whose sins are not covered by God (Rom 4:5-8). As long as the wicked continue in their sin without receiving salvation from sin which God gives freely as a gift through Jesus Christ, their names will never be written in the Book of Life. So God has never threatened the believer of losing their salvation by being blotted out of the Book of Life because it is He who has saved them freely from sin and death through Jesus Christ (Rom 8:31-32).

Much Blessings.....


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