Several times this column has presented the Biblical truth that there are just two categories of all mankind, i.e. those in the minority who will spend eternity with God and those in the majority who will spend eternity apart from God.
“…for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28-29
The term ‘those who have done good’ means those who have humbled themselves before God and accepted Christ’s vicarious death while the term ‘those who have done evil’ means those who have rejected God’s free gift of redemption. The terms in no way refer to performance.
Jesus confirmed that the minority of mankind would spend eternity with Him and the Father.
“…wide is the gate…that leads to destruction… narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Before the foundation of the world God chose those who would spend eternity with Him and their names were written in His ‘Book of Life’ which is the ultimate registry. All whose names are not written in the Book of Life will spend eternity apart from God.
God’s Book of Life is first introduced in the Old Testament.
Moses loved the Israelites so much that he would have given up his place in God’s book for their sake. After the Israelites sinned by making the golden calf Moses said:
“Yet now, if You will forgive their sin – but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” Exodus 32:32
The Prophet Daniel spoke of the Book of Life when referring to the days at the end of the great tribulation.
“And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1b
And David referred to the book which described his life before he was formed in his mother’s womb.
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16
God’s book is kept in heaven and all whose names are in the book are citizens of heaven. The writer of Hebrews described the permanent home of those whose names are in the book.
“But you have come to…the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven…” Hebrews 12:22-23
Paul also spoke of those whose names were written in God’s book and their heavenly home.
“For our citizenship is in heaven…” Philippians 3:20
“And I urge you also…who labored with me in the gospel… whose names are in the Book of Life.” Philippians 4:3
The final book of the Bible speaks of the Book of Life and during the time of the great tribulation it differentiates between those who are in the Book and those who are not.
“It was granted to him (the satanically energized beast) to make war with the saints…All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:7-8
“…And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world…” Revelation 17:8
So once again the Bible differentiates the two ultimate categories of mankind.
At the end of the millennium God will preside over the great white throne judgment. Standing before God at that time will be those judged according to their works contained in the ‘books’. The ‘works’ of those in God’s Book of Life were previously judged on the Cross.
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
But remember, man’s free choice of eternal life or eternal death is in total agreement with the names of those found written God’s Book of Life.