Book of Life

What is the Book of Life?

The Book of Life contains the names of those who are redeemed and will go to Heaven(Dan. 12:1). Those whose names are written in it will live in the Heavenly city of New Jerusalem(Rev. 21:27). Phil. 4:3 mentions some associates of the Apostle Paul whose names are written in the book. Jesus mentions His disciples' names are written in the book even though He doesn't mention the book by name(Luke 10:17-20). Psalm 139:16 is taken by some to refer to the Book of Life but more likely refers to how God knows every day of our lives before we are born. If you repent of sin and believe Jesus is your savior, your name will be in the Book of Life.

The Bible also mentions the Lamb's Book of Life. Is this the same book? It would seem to be since those who worship the Anti-Christ in the future will not find their name in there(Rev. 13:8). We also know the lamb is Jesus(1 Pet. 1:18-20). Taken together, we can say the Book of Life is the same as the Lamb's Book of Life(Rev. 21:27) as both refer to those who have eternal life.

Will names ever be blotted out?

Once someone's name is in the Book of Life, can it ever be blotted out? The first possible instance of this is when Moses pleaded with God not to kill the Israelites for worshipping a golden calf(Exo. 32:7-14). Moses offered to have his name blotted from the book God wrote(Exo. 32:32). God then said He would delay their punishment, but when the time came He would punish them(Exo. 32:33-34). Does this refer to blotting out someone's name in the Book of Life? Although some have interpreted it that way, it likely doesn't refer to the Book of Life but rather the census of the Israelites. Another example some point to of someone's name being blotted out is when King David prays God will blot the names of his enemies from the book(Psa. 69:28). This may refer to the book of Earthly life. Even if the verse does refer to the Book of Life, it doesn't explicitly say God blots out names. We can be assured of our salvation as believers since Jesus says He will never blot out any names of those who put their faith in Him and are victorious(Rom. 8:37-39; Rev. 3:5).

Those whose names are not in the book

What about those whose names are not in the book? They will go to the present-day Hell. Later on they will be at the great white throne of judgment and like believers will be judged according to what they've done in life(Rev. 20:11-12). Their wealth and stature in life won't be able to save them. Unlike believers, they will then be thrown into the lake of fire, the eternal Hell(Rev. 20:15).

Some Interesting Questions

Some interesting questions come to mind. What if someone changed his or her name in life? What if two people have the same exact name? Somehow this won't be a problem. Perhaps the book contains our adopted name, the one on a white stone that will only be known to God and us once we are in Heaven(Rev. 2:17).

Is the Book of Life a literal book? In Biblical days there were no books as we know them but rather scrolls. A scroll in Heaven may seem primitive in this day of iPads and mobile devices. However, it may have appeared as a scroll for the benefit of the Bible writers as there was no other means for keeping written records during that time, and they would have had no idea what an iPad was. The Book of Life may be some record of names using a medium beyond our understanding.

Last updated 12/18/2010