February 27, 2012 Ė Conquerors, the Book of Life, and A Really Big Eraser
5 Thus shall he who conquers (is victorious) be clad in white garments, and I will not erase or blot out his name from the Book of Life; I will acknowledge him [as Mine] and I will confess his name openly before My Father and before His angels. Ė Revelation 3:5 AMP
The Book of Life has existed in heaven since the world was formed (Revelation 17:8). This Book, up until the time before Christís ministry, contained the names of people who died living righteous lives before God (Malachi 3:16). In the days after Christís ministry, it has contained the names of those who have come to a relationship with Him (Philippians 4:3). But todayís verse will mess with the theology of millions of Christians as Jesus Himself tells us that He has the ability to erase names from this Book.
Whoa. Are you kidding me? Why would a God who loves us so much erase names once we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior? How could He do such a thing? Doesnít He know that we stood waist deep with our clothes on at church in the baptismal pool and let the preacher dip us in water? That was a public profession, wasnít it? Besides, heís not called me to do anything else, so whatís the big deal with me continuing to live my life?
Does any of that sound familiar? It does to me because I lived it. I took the dip in the church baptismal when I was a married father of three and bawled. But I found out that a public profession alone doesnít cut it. Believing in Jesus on Sunday and Wednesday nights doesnít cut it. Paul said near the end of his life that he had fought the good fight and finished the race (2 Timothy 4:7). If thatís truly the case, why arenít more Christians treating their faith as a race rather than a stop at the drive thru? Why are they not running to be victorious instead of just acting like it?
Paul says that through a relationship with Christ that we are more that conquerors (Romans 8:37). I used to pull that one out when I needed something, but the rest of the time it was not Thy will be done, but my will be done. I was victorious alright. I was so victorious in living for the world that Jesus probably had to send Peter out to Staples to buy a new eraser. I can see Him now. Peter, Davidís at it again. You better get that multi pack of jumbo erasers this time.
Maybe Iím making light of the situation. But I know that Jesus doesnít have to use an eraser in the Book of Life. If He did, He would have worn a hole in the paper where my name was written long ago. Sure, there are times in the past when I have followed Him with all my heart, but there were also many times when I played the part of the good, church going Christian family man. When I played the part, my name wasnít in the Book of Life. If the Rapture would have occurred during those times, I know for a fact that I would have been one of those professed Christians left on earth, knowing why I didnít go, but at the same time being too ashamed to admit it.
But thatís not the man I am anymore. Thatís not pride speaking, just someone who knows where his heart is. You see, if we all have Christ in our hearts, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). It means we are no longer guided by an old way of living. We want to please God above all else. Yes, there will be times when all of us fail, but where there is a repentant heart toward God as well as the ones we have hurt, He forgives us. And hopefully those we have hurt also forgive us too.
Maybe this sounds like bondage to you. If it does, let me ask you a question. Through your relationship with Christ, has He helped you conquer anything, or did you join the ranks of Christian because you thought you could help Him look good? The truth is that when I first became saved I thought I could help Him. That was ridiculous. I was a lousy husband and father. My life was full of pride, lies, and manipulation. But I lived the perfect Christian faÁade of a life in the world as well as at church. But I was not a conqueror. I continued in one defeat after another and covered them all with more deception than you can find in the political arena.
What about you? Are you living a faÁade of Christian faith? Do you put reliance on your own abilities to make it in life? Are your mighty works at church vain attempts to buy your way in to heaven? Has your life remained unchanged since you received your salvation? Are you continuing to live life on your own terms? Is your trust in God limited to being able to drive safely to church on Sunday? Stop believing only in yourself. We are more than conquerors in Christ. Leave you pride, selfishness, anger, deception, lust, or whatever else there is in your life behind forever. If you donít, you need to remind yourself that there could be an eraser by your name.