Shelby G. Floyd
You ask how can I know that my name is recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27)? How did you have your name recorded in the book of the physically living? You were born into your family and your name was recorded in your family’s book of the living. And so it seems to me that likewise if we want our name in God’s Book of Remembrance or the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we must be born again into the Family of God.
And that is exactly what Jesus declared unto Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3-5, NKJV).
Faith and Baptism
And He then explained how “the new birth” takes place. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 5:6-8, NKJV). The wind is a material substance, but it is invisible, and you cannot see it. We can see the effects of it, but we cannot see it. The Holy Spirit is invisible, but works through the power of the Word of God. And when a person obeys God’s Word, we see the effects or the results of the Holy Spirit working through the gospel.
So Jesus said we must be “born again!” I believe that is how we get our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Nicodemus asked how can I be born again? Jesus said you can be born again of “water and the Spirit.” The Spirit begets faith in our heart through the word of God. And then we are delivered forth from the water of baptism into the family of God (1 Peter 1:22-23). And Jesus records the names of all his children in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Rejoice Because Your Names Are Written in Heaven
In the book of Luke we have the record of Jesus sending out his disciples to preach the gospel and to confirm their message with all kinds of miracles. When they returned they were full of joy because the demons were subject unto them. But Jesus said, “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20, NIV). So, for the same reason we should rejoice because our names are written in heaven in the book of life.
Work Together With the Gladness of Heart
Jesus taught that God’s people should rejoice every day of our life. We should be people with gladness of heart because of the grace of God and the love of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The key word in the book of Philippians is rejoice, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4, NKJV)! Over and over again Paul says to that church “rejoice,” and be glad. God is on our side and because we are on his side we should always be full of gladness.
A Prison Letter
Paul was in prison when he wrote a letter to the church at Philippi. And he had a joyful spirit even while he was in prison for the name of Christ. In this letter Paul pleaded with two ladies to get along and work together in the Lord. “I plead with Euodia, and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice” (Philippians 4:2-4).
Christians Can Have Disagreements
We do not know what their disagreement was about. We do not know if it was over a doctrinal matter or a personal matter. These two women had contended by the side of Paul in the cause of Christ and the gospel. Paul pleaded with these two women to work together with other fellow workers such as Clement.
It is hard to have a spirit of joy and gladness when there is dissension and division. Therefore, the motive to get along and work together in unity is to rejoice because our names are in the book of life. If we remember this, then we will always work out any differences with love for each other.
Going Through a Struggle
When we reach a certain point in the Christian life and we are going through some struggle, we should never give up ground and go backwards. Therefore, let us all admit our mistakes, forgive and love one another because our names are written in the book of life and heaven is our goal. Let us take Paul’s advice and when a spirit of brotherly love permeates the congregation, outsiders will want what we have and will want to be a part of God’s family.
The Church of the Firstborn
And the Hebrews writer speaks of the church of the firstborn: “…to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect…” (Hebrews 12:23, NIV). Actually, in the original it is “the church of the firstborn ones.” It is in the plural and therefore refers to all of God’s people who make up the church—the called-out assembly. And all of these people have their names enrolled in heaven in the book of life. Their names are written in heaven because they are justified and made whole by the blood of the Lamb.
God Made Us Perfect
We become the church of the firstborn ones when we are born again of water and the spirit (John. 3:1-5). God made us perfect. We did not make ourselves perfect. God made us perfect through Christ. Please observe that the church of the first-born ones has come to God, the judge of all men.
Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd, Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana. firstname.lastname@example.org