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“The Book of Life”

For those who like to discuss and debate theology. This is a forum for people who enjoy strong and lively debate with people who may not be likeminded. Participants are requested to always treat other opinions with respect.

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NetChaplain
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“The Book of Life”

Postby NetChaplain » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:13 am

I would not hesitate to say that “the Book of Life” and the writing of its contents had no beginning and has no ending, for it is a conception of God, and everything known by Him is from everlasting (eternity past) to everlasting (eternity future), as in Psalm 90:2. Eternity has no time but it can be compared to time to reveal its meaning, and such is the Book of Life.

Concerning the compiling of its contents (names of people), it had no beginning, for God has always known who they are which will inherit “eternal life” (Mat 25:34). Concerning those involved in its contents, they do have a beginning, but no ending, for God knew when He would create, and knew all who would inherit eternal life even prior to creating, which content of this foreknowledge is unchangeable and unalterable. Can the destiny of one’s life change? All have only one destiny, and the concept of it changing would nullify the meaning of destiny.

For the Christian in this life, there is no greater encouragement than that of being convinced by “the word of truth,” that everyone who is truly “born again” will inevitably enter the eternal presence of God. If the Enemy can adversely affect the believer concerning this truth alone, there will never be a greater “weight” (Heb 12:1) that can hinder the believer from being “strong in faith” (Rom 4:20), nor one that could cause one to be any weaker (Rom 14:1), for the promise of eternal life is the sole hope of the believer in this life—it being the predominant support for the entirety for Scripture.

The hypocritical lives of those who “say” (Jam 2:18) they are redeemed but in truth are not, they give the appearance that one can attain regeneration (born again) and eventually forfeit its position (un-born again?), but this would not be eternal salvation, but rather temporal salvation, which is a non-existent concept in Scripture.

There exists Scriptural terminology which appears to refute this truth, but closer studies reveal their doctrines do not, and everyone is welcomed to present Scripture on which we can examine and share our thoughts and understanding. For example, passages pertaining to the “blotting out” of names in “the Book of Life” never actually design the intention of removing a name from “the Book.”

Here are some examples on which John Gill comments:

Exodus 32:32—“and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of the book which thou hast written“: “of eternal life, and is no other than the book of life of the Lamb, or God's predestination or choice of men in Christ to everlasting life, which is particular, personal, sure, and certain; and Moses asks for this, not as a thing either desirable or possible, but to express his great affection for this people, and his great concern for the glory of God; and rather than either should suffer, he chose, if it was possible, to be deprived of that eternal happiness he hoped for, and should enjoy.

Exodus 32:33—“whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book”: “Not that anyone that is really in the book of life is ever blotted out, or that anyone predestinated or ordained to eternal life ever perish: but some persons may think themselves, and they may seem to be written in that book, or to be among the number of God's elect, but are not, and turn out obstinate impenitent sinners, and live and die in impenitence and unbelief; when it will appear that their names were never written in it, which, is the same thing as to be blotted out of it, see Psalm 69:28.”

Revelation 3:5—“And I will not blot out his name out of the book of life”: “by which is meant the choice of persons to everlasting life and salvation; and this being signified by a book, and by writing names in it, shows the exact knowledge God has of His elect, the value He has for them, His remembrance of them, His love to them, and care for them; and that this election is of particular persons by name, and is sure and certain; for those whose names are written in it shall never be blotted out, they will always remain in the number of God's elect, and can never become reprobates, or shall ever perish; because of the unchangeableness of the nature and love of God, the firmness of His purposes, the omnipotence of His arm, the death and intercession of Christ for them, their union to Him, and being in Him, the impossibility of their seduction by false teachers (Mat 24:24), and the security of their persons, grace, and glory in Christ, and in whose keeping this book of life is; which respects not this temporal life, that belongs to the book of providence, but a spiritual and eternal life, from whence it has its name.”

To me, the phrase “And I will not blot out his name” does not intend the possibility of a name being blotted out, but rather a situation which discloses the converse of such an action transpiring. My reason for continuing to address the truism of "Eternal Salvation" (Heb 5:9) is due to it being the most significant doctrine concerning spiritual growth. Again, the belief of one concerning this truth does not affect the receiving of salvation, but will affect the strength of one's faith.
-NC
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

NetChaplain
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Re: “The Book of Life”

Postby NetChaplain » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:34 pm

The most significant of God's three attributes (Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence) concerning the knowledge of the permanency of salvation is Omniscience, which means He has always possessed foreknowledge of all things, and everything He knows is from eternity past, to eternity everlasting.

The reason I focus on His omniscience when relating to salvation is because He gives it only to those He knows who are His (John 10:14, 27), which means He knows it will be permanent. It would be to misunderstand God's omniscience if one would think He would give eternal salvation to someone He knew would eventually reject it (eventual rejection evinces never having received), that's why it's not salvation if it's not eternal, because there is only one type of salvation--eternal salvation (Heb 5:9). There is no such thing as temporary salvation; either one is saved or has never been saved. The very meaning of "salvation" means to be eternally redeemed.
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

Ltfaulds
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Re: “The Book of Life”

Postby Ltfaulds » Tue May 27, 2014 10:27 am

I have never thought of the "Book of Life" in this way. But after reading your point of view, I see where it is possible to be as you described it. My point of view was that it was a list of people who, at any given point in time, were spiritually alive. By that I mean, I have believed that all people, when we are born, are born spiritually alive. Our names are written in the "Book of Life." Then, when we reach the age of accountability, whatever age that is, and we knowingly commit sin, we die spiritually, and our names are then blotted out. When we receive Christ as our saviour, then our names are re-written back into the Book of Life never again to be blotted out.
My reason for believing that our names are written in the Book at birth is that, in Revelations, John points out that all whose names are not written in the Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire. With this being the case, babies and young children who die must already have their names written in the Book or they would be forever doomed.
Also, Paul says in Rom 7:9, "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." When we knowingly commit that first sin, we die spiritually. We become "dead in tresspasses and sins." This spiritual death would cause our names - which had been written in the Book of Life since birth - to be blotted out. But when we are "quickened" by the Spirit, we are once again made spiritually alive. Our names are re-written in the Book of Life never again to be blotted out "...as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Heb. 9:27) We can only die once, so our names can only be blotted out of the Book of Life once.
So, I can see where your point of view could be correct. Now I don't know which way to believe, not that it really matters. I know my name is written there and that's the main thing.

NetChaplain
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Re: “The Book of Life”

Postby NetChaplain » Thu May 29, 2014 9:47 am

Ltfaulds wrote:I have never thought of the "Book of Life" in this way. But after reading your point of view, I see where it is possible to be as you described it. My point of view was that it was a list of people who, at any given point in time, were spiritually alive. By that I mean, I have believed that all people, when we are born, are born spiritually alive. Our names are written in the "Book of Life." Then, when we reach the age of accountability, whatever age that is, and we knowingly commit sin, we die spiritually, and our names are then blotted out. When we receive Christ as our saviour, then our names are re-written back into the Book of Life never again to be blotted out.
My reason for believing that our names are written in the Book at birth is that, in Revelations, John points out that all whose names are not written in the Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire. With this being the case, babies and young children who die must already have their names written in the Book or they would be forever doomed.
Also, Paul says in Rom 7:9, "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." When we knowingly commit that first sin, we die spiritually. We become "dead in tresspasses and sins." This spiritual death would cause our names - which had been written in the Book of Life since birth - to be blotted out. But when we are "quickened" by the Spirit, we are once again made spiritually alive. Our names are re-written in the Book of Life never again to be blotted out "...as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Heb. 9:27) We can only die once, so our names can only be blotted out of the Book of Life once.
So, I can see where your point of view could be correct. Now I don't know which way to believe, not that it really matters. I know my name is written there and that's the main thing.


Hi LtFaulds - Scripture may appear to allude to the concept of one's name being blotted out of the Book but it is never said to be done. This is because "the gifts (salvation) and the calling of God are irrevocable (Rom 11:29 - NKJV).

It's instructional to know that everyone after Adam and Eve are born with the sin nature ("old man" - Rom 6:6), which concurs with Romans 5:12. As you know, the guilt of this source is removed in regeneration (salvation), and the dominance of it in the believer is restrained (Rom 6:12, 14; Gal 5:17).

It's also helpful to realize that everything God knows, He has always known and never had to learn anything. He foreknew all of the names in the Book from eternity past, prior to creation, and therefore would not require altering it in any way (add or subtract); due to Him being omniscient.

Thank you for your earnest reply and God's blessings to your Family!
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS


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