written by Shelly McGraw
Rev 18:20-24; 19:11-16; 20:11-15; 21:1-7; 22:8-21; Isaiah 65:17-19
Last week, we read about The Ancient of Days and how Daniel describes his vision of God’s throne:
10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The judgment court was seated, and the books were opened. ~ Daniel 7:10
This week, the apostle John was also given a vision of God’s throne:
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. ~ Revelation 20:11-12
The Book of Life
Both Daniel and John talked about books that were opened. One is the Book of Life, which is a roll-book of those who belong to God-those who have surrendered their life to Jesus Christ and have accepted eternal life.
Throughout Scripture we’re reminded as believers, our names are written in heaven (Hebrews 12:23), we’re God’s children (Romans 18:16), and that from the moment of salvation we were sealed with the Holy Spirit as a “deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14). Praise God!
But can we be removed from the Book of Life?
In a previous week (day 43) of our reading plan, Jesus implies there’s a possibility of being “blotted out” from the Book of Life:
5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ~ Jesus (Revelation 3:5-6)
Even after salvation, we will always struggle against our flesh and a fallen world that’s constantly trying to sway us away from conforming our life to Christ.
Because of this, making a mistake, repenting, and receiving forgiveness should be a daily habit. Jesus calls those who ask and receive forgiveness “dressed in white,” meaning they have received a covering for their sin and are once again restored in the eyes of God.
However, rejecting Christ, turning away from His forgiveness, and distorting passages of Scripture to justify sin, quickly leads us further and further away from God. Worse, it could take away our “share in the tree of life.”
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. ~Revelation 22:18-21
There is always grace and forgiveness for those who truly seek Christ.
Our reading this week isn’t meant to instill anxiety or stress to be perfect, rather to remind us we need Jesus everyday to renew our minds, hearts, and strength to stand against the enemy (Romans 12:2).
It also gives us perspective, so we can fully understand how thankful we should be for what Jesus did for all of humanity on the cross. We deserve hell. But because of His sacrifice, we are now co-heirs with Him and are given heaven.
All we have to do is humble ourselves, repent for our sins, and receive forgiveness. Thank you Jesus!
Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin, paying the ultimate price so I could have eternal life. Help me to not stress over trying to be perfect, but to focus on You and conforming my mind, heart, and life to Yours. If I have allowed deception or pride to distort my view of Scripture, please remove those blinders and help guide me to Your Truth-even if it’s not what I want to hear. Lord, You are so amazing and I can’t thank You enough for what You’ve done in my life.
If you would like to join us in reading through the New Testament during the rest of 2017, go to the YouVersion Bible app found on iTunes and click on the OWNit365 reading plan.