The horrible Day of Judgment is coming, when each person without his name in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire. So important are names in this book, Jesus told His disciples to rejoice in this fact above their miraculous power to cast out devils.
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
Paul also showed the importance of this book, by listing fellow workers, whom he knew had their names written there.
And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. (Philippians 4:3)
But we must ask the great question, "When were names written in the Book of Life?" For this will tell us how the names got there and why. And thankfully, the Bible clearly answers this question, though many are in error about it.
Have you heard or sung the song, "There's a New Name Written Down in Glory," written by C. Austin Miles in 1905? This popular song teaches that God is busily writing new names in the Book of Life on a regular basis, in response to sinners obeying Him.
Apart from Scripture, C. Austin Miles knew no more about the Book of Life than any man. Apart from Scripture, we know nothing; for the Word of God is our only source of heavenly knowledge. So what does the Bible say?
And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 17:8)
The names were written there before the foundation of the world, as that was when God chose His elect and gave them to the Lord Jesus Christ to save.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. (Ephesians 1:4)
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. (II Timothy 1:9)
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (John 17:2)
This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (John 6:39)
What a glorious salvation! God chose His elect before the world began and wrote their names in the Book of Life, and then He sent the Lamb to die and secure their eternal life. Not a single one will be lost! All whom God intended to save will certainly be saved!
So there are no new names being written down at all! The song may be popular among poorly taught Christians, but the doctrine is false.
What shall we do with this news? Instead of trying to get our names written in heaven, we should make our calling and election sure, just as Peter taught.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (II Peter 1:10-11)
To know more about the Book of Life, follow this link to a sermon outline entitled The Book of Life, where you can either read a detailed outline or order an audio copy of the preached message.
May Jesus Christ, the Lamb of the Book, be praised forever and ever! Amen.