"AND I SAW A GREAT WHITE THRONE, AND HIM THAT SAT ON IT, FROM WHOSE FACE THE EARTH AND THE HEAVEN FLED AWAY; AND THERE WAS FOUND NO PLACE FOR THEM. AND I SAW THE DEAD, SMALL AND GREAT, STAND BEFORE GOD; AND THE BOOKS WERE OPENED: AND ANOTHER BOOK WAS OPENED, WHICH IS THE BOOK OF LIFE: AND THE DEAD WERE JUDGED OUT OF THOSE THINGS WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE BOOKS, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS. AND THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN IT; AND DEATH AND HELL DELIVERED UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN THEM; AND THEY WERE JUDGED EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS. AND DEATH AND HELL WERE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. AND WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE." REVELATION 20:11-15
What is God warning us about in this Bible text? It talks about the great final judgment in which Jesus Christ will give the final verdict over every human being. You and I will be there along with every person that has ever lived in this world so that God will tell each one whether he will enter to live with Him forever in His new heaven, or if he is to be condemned for ever to hell, the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.
How will it be determined whether you enjoy heaven for ever or whether you will go to suffer forever in the lake of fire? According to the word of God it does not depend on whether or not someone has been baptized, confirmed, or has received communion. Your eternal destiny depends entirely on whether or not your name is found written in the BOOK OF LIFE. If God finds your name there you will have a place reserved in God's new heaven where you will enjoy things which "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him (I Corinthians 2:9)." For those who have the right to enter into the new heaven, God has many wonderful surprises reserved which no human heart in this world can imagine. But if God does not find your name in the Book of Life, you will be tormented forever in ways which you cannot now possibly imagine. God will not need witnesses to testify against the lost. From the other "books" mentioned in the Bible text God will bring out every lie, every profanity, every vile thought, and every secret sin that a person has committed in his lifetime. Nothing will be forgotten. "For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad (Luke 8:17).
HOW CAN ONE HAVE HIS NAME WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE?
By being born again. The Book of life is a civil register in which the names are found of all who have been born into the family of God. Jesus Christ said, "Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3)." Christ clarified this statement by saying, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." The word "water" does not mean baptism. When one is born physically he is born in water. When one is born into God's family it is done by the Holy Spirit. Just as one must be born physically to be part of his human family, one must be reborn spiritually to belong to the family of God. When one experiences the new birth, God registers him as his son in the Book of Life.
God made it so simple that a little child can do it, simply because Jesus Christ did all that is impossible for us to do. When Christ died on the cross He suffered our hell for us. If a man dies for his own sins he will suffer forever in hell because he will never finish paying for his sins. But Christ rose from the dead on the third day to prove that the sacrifice which He had made was enough to pay for any sin. Since Christ did the hard part, the part which we must do is very simple. It can be summed up in three words:
When the Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31)" It is not enough just to believe in the facts. Even the devil believes in God, but that doesn't save him. The meaning is, "Depend on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." From this moment on, do not depend any more on your own good works to save you, nor in the church where you attend, nor in Mary, nor in any saint. Put all your confidence in Jesus Christ and in the sacrifice which He made for you when He died and rose again, because "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" Acts 4:12.
To repent means more than to confess to a priest. Even Judas confessed to a priest, but that did not help him. It is more than even resolving to never sin again because, although it is very noble to make this resolve with all sincerity and determination, our resolutions are very weak and we fall very quickly. To repent simply means that a person wants God to change him. A person is not able to change his own heart the way God wants it to be. God can change anybody's heart, but He will only give a new heart to someone who wants it. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
To God, the human heart is like a house. Christ said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). Jesus Christ is a gentleman. He knocks at the door of your heart, but he will not knock the door down to come in. If you open of your own free will, He will come in. "But as many as received Him, to them gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). When Christ enters your heart He will wash it of all sin by the blood which He shed on the cross.
But what if a person's sins seem too many and too great to be forgiven? What if someone has been a thief, a prostitute or a murderer? Christ assures us, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:13). There is no sin too great to be forgiven, and there is no sin so small that it doesn't need to be forgiven. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" Isaiah 55:7.
Dear reader, do you want your name written in the Book of Life? Do you want to escape hell and be accepted as a child of God? Remember that Christ has already done all the work that is necessary. The only thing left for you to do is DEPEND, REPENT, and OPEN your heart to Christ, and God will do all the rest. If you want to open your heart to Jesus Christ, in your heart you can pray a prayer like this one:
Lord Jesus Christ, I recognize that I need your salvation. I accept Your death on the cross as the payment for my sins. I invite you into my heart to wash away my sins with your blood."
If you decide to take this step of opening your heart to Jesus Christ, or if you desire spiritual help, let us know.