From the New Testament we learn:

The names of believers are in the ‘book of life’ [Philippians 4:3].

They are already ‘written in heaven’ [Luke 10:20].

Those whose names are not in this book, which belongs to the Lamb, are those who ‘worship the beast’ [Revelation 13:8].

Only those whose names are in ‘the book of life’ which will be opened on the last day, are part of the ‘Holy City’ the bride of the Lamb [Revelation 20:15 - 21:27].

The names that are in the book of life have been there ‘from the creation of the world’ [Revelation 17:8].

This truth parallels Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 1:4 that those who believe in Christ were chosen ‘in him before the creation of the world’. Here we are deep in the sovereign purpose of God. Here we are in touch with that grand assurance that Paul expressed in Philippians 1:6 – ‘he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’, and in 2Timothy 1:12 – ‘I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day’. Here we see the same utter security of the redeemed that Jesus Christ taught:

‘Whoever believes in him is not condemned’ [John 3:18].

‘… whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life’ [John 5:24].

‘My sheep listen to my voice … I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand … no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand’ [John 10:27-29].

Revelation 3:5 expresses the utter security of those who ‘overcome’. This sure security is expressed both negatively – ‘I will never blot out his name from the book of life’ and positively ‘but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.’

A similar promise was made by Christ in Matthew 10:32 to those who acknowledge him [ 'I will acknoweldge him before my Father in heaven.' About those who acknowledge [sometimes translated ‘confess’] Jesus Christ as God, the Scripture teaches:

‘God lives in him and he in God’ [1John 4:15].
They are saved [Romans 10:9].

Those who acknowledge Jesus Christ while they are in this world are already saved and already belong to God. Those who have believed in him, those who have received him, have been given the right to be call God’s children [John 1:12]. Those who have Jesus, the Son, have life [1John 5:12]. This salvation and this relationship with God will be acknowledged by Christ in the presence of his Father and the angels on the last day.

When their names are called out, Jesus Christ will say ‘Yes. He is mine. Yes. She is mine. Their name is written my book, the book of life.’ He who as their substitute carried their sin and guilt to his cross, as their High Priest carries their names on his heart, carries them, right into the presence of God. [See Exodus 28:29, and Hebrews 4:14-16; and Ephesians 2:6].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2015