Shelby G. Floyd

After King David captured Jerusalem, he chose Mount Moriah as the site to build the permanent place of worship called the temple.

Solomon’s Temple
Solomon, the son of David would build this temple. David could not build it because he was a man of bloodshed! Solomon finished building the temple in 957 B. C. This building had three rooms. The Most Holy Place was where the Ark of the Covenant rested.

Babylon Destroyed Solomon’s Temple in 586 B. C.
The Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the city of Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple in 587 to 586 B. C. (See 2 Kings 25:8-12). After Jerusalem fell, a man who escaped came to Ezekiel in Babylon and said, “The city has fallen” (Ezekiel 33:21). The Temple treasures and several detachments of Jews were taken to Babylon, including the prophets Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jeremiah. Continue reading “ISRAEL’S TEMPLE WORSHIP”



Shelby G. Floyd



Finally, I shall point out in plain language, that the Bible teaches us explicitly that we can know the truth.  Therefore, truth is attainable.


We can know the truth—we may not attain to all of God’s truth revealed to us, but it is possible for us to know the plain truth of God revealed to us in his word.  How do we know that?  We return to the words of our text:

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32 NKJV).

Did Jesus teach explicitly that we can know the truth?  Yes, Jesus declared very plainly that his disciples would be able to truly know the truth and be made free from sin. But that would be contingent upon continuing in his word.  If every one of us will continue in the word of God, we will be a true disciple and we will know the truth. And the truth will set us free from the power, the stain, the burden, and the guilt of our sin.  That is very plain and that is my favorite text on this subject.  Do not ever forget it and stamp it indelibly in your hearts.  The statement of Jesus is an explicit statement that man can know the truth.

But the apostle John has a statement that is almost as explicit as the words of Christ:

“I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth” (1 John 2:21 NIV).

John, why are you writing to these people?  Is it because they do not know the truth?  No, it is because they do know the truth!  Well, John, what else do they know?  They also know that no lie is of the truth.  Therefore, man can know the truth and man can know the difference between the truth and a lie.  No lie is of the truth; no truth is of a lie.  That is according to the law of contradiction.  The truth cannot be truth and a lie; and a lie cannot be a lie and the truth.  John, do these people know certain things?  Yes, they know the truth.  And they also know that no lie is of the truth.

While I do not have the time and space to refer to all of the explicit statements in the Bible that affirm that man can know the truth, I will only say that the apostle John uses the word know 24 times in his first letter (1 John).  Why did John use the word know so many times?  He did so because the Gnostics of his day claimed to know truth that others could not know. That is the reason John countered by using the same word to teach that Christian people can know the truth of God. Continue reading “YOU CAN KNOW THE TRUTH NO. 4”



Shelby G. Floyd

Jesus Christ said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). How can we know the truth through contemplation?

The Bible teaches us through contemplation in two ways. The Bible teaches us implicitly and explicitly. What does that mean? The Bible teaches truth by explicit statements that are true. That means that the Bible implies certain things. We all know and learn certain things by implication.

For instance, I could take a dollar bill out of my billfold and put that dollar bill in an envelope. You could see me do that. Then I could seal up the envelope and put the envelope in the trunk of an automobile. How do you know that the dollar is in the trunk of an automobile? You could not see the dollar bill when the envelope was put in the trunk. But by the process of contemplation, reflection, perception, precise reasoning, and drawing conclusions, you would know obviously that if you put a dollar bill in the envelope, and then you put the envelope in the truck of the car, the dollar bill is in the trunk of the automobile. And so we can know a lot of things in the realm of contemplation.

Now, if it be the case that the Bible teaches certain things and we can know certain things implicitly, then it is the case that we can know implicitly certain things that God has taught us. Continue reading “YOU CAN KNOW THE TRUTH NO. 3”



Shelby G. Floyd

Good morning church! We have a lot to be thankful for. Please introduce yourself to the newest person at Heartland. Baby Millie Mae is here with us today!

Today I speak on the topic, “The Traditions of Men or God.” You might ask, “Does God have traditions?” Yes he does! And he has handed them down to us. Please open your Bible to 2 Thessalonians 2:15: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” The Greek word for traditions is [paradosis]. Therefore, Paul tells the church to hold fast to the traditions they had received and were taught. So we have God’s traditions handed down to us by inspired spokesmen of God.

Now we go to a conversation Jesus had with the scribes and Pharisees: “Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition” (Matthew 15:1-3 NKJV)? Jesus then rebuked these people because they followed the traditions of the elders. And their traditions actually violated God’s eternal word. Here traditions is translated from the Greek word [paradosis], the same as in 2 Thessalonians 2:15!

Now we examine our main text in Mark the seventh chapter. At the close of Mark chapter 6, we see that the common people loved and followed Jesus wherever he went. But the scribes and Pharisees are quite different. They were always trying to catch him in something that they could use to condemn him. Why? Because he violated the traditions of the elders!


Once there was a story about a young rabbi who went to work at a synagogue. And he was new on the job. So he had to get acquainted with the people. But he got off to a rocky start! When the congregation had a prayer service, half the congregation would stand, and half the congregation would be seated! And the group standing while praying were saying to those seated “stand up, stand up!” And the ones who were seated while praying, said to the ones who were standing up, “sit down, sit down!”

So the young rabbi had a problem. And he said to himself, what am I going to do? All they do is fight all the time over whether to stand or sit! Someone suggested to him that he go to the nursing home and talk to an old man who was the oldest member of the synagogue congregation. So he took a representative from both groups with him to see the old man. They asked him, “Is it our tradition to stand while we pray?” He said, “That is not our tradition!” They asked, “Is it our tradition to stay seated while we pray?” He said, “That is not our tradition.” The young rabbi then asked him, “What shall I do? All they do is fight all the time.” The old man said, “That is our tradition!”


Sadly, that is the tradition of too many churches! Now Jesus Christ had to deal with situations just like that. And his conversation with the scribes and Pharisees is such an example. In Mark’s account the apostles “gathered together” and shared with Jesus what they were doing, and what they were teaching. But the enemies of Christ also “gathered together.” For in Mark 7:1 the same verb is used to describe the assembling of a delegation of scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem. But they came together to discredit Jesus.

Now we see two groups who have gathered themselves together. One group wants to learn from Jesus, and the other group is made up of adversaries who want to discredit Jesus. When they observed the disciples of Christ doing something not in keeping with their tradition, “they found fault” (Mark 7:2). Their main occupation was “fault finding!” So I ask all of us, “Are we here today to worship God and to learn his word or are we here to be a nit picking, faultfinding type of person?” It all goes back to our attitude of heart!

Now these two opposing groups who came to Jesus, clash together. And what did they clash over? The adversaries saw some of Jesus disciples eating bread with unwashed hands. I think we have become too particular over this washing thing. As a child I do not remember washing my hands often before I ate. We would play all day and eat with “unwashed hands.” Remember when they criticized the disciples, Jesus said to his adversaries, “It is not what goes into your mouth that offends you, it is what comes out” (Mark 7:17-23). And so Jesus did not condemn the disciples for eating bread without washing their hands!

His critics were “fault finders” and that was their tradition to wash their hands before eating bread. How does God’s word describe these traditional fault finders?

  1. “The tradition of the elders” (Mark 7: 3, 5);
  2. “The precepts (commandments) of men (Mark 7:7);
  3. “The traditions of men” (Mark 7:8);
  4. “That you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9); and
  5. “Your tradition which you have handed down” (Mark 7:13).

So do you see how that word tradition was used by those who opposed Jesus? Mark explained it in these words, “For the Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders” (Mark 7:3). Now if they wanted to wash their hands every time before they ate, that was certainly all right. What made that wrong was when they wanted to bind that action on everyone else. God had not made that a law. It was their law! And the human tendency is to bind our opinions on everyone else!

And according to Mark 7:4 there were many more things which the scribes and Pharisees would do after they washed their hands:

  1. They must wash when they come from the marketplace.
  2. And they must wash cups, pots, copper vessels, and couches.

By the way “wash” [baptisontai] is translated from a form of the Greek word [baptidzo], which means to dip, plunge, and immerse. Baptism is by immersion, not sprinkling water on a person. Therefore when you wash your hands, you do not just sprinkle a little water on them, but you immerse them in a bowl of water. Hence,  even this story upholds the idea that baptism is by immersion and not sprinkling a little water on someone!

Therefore, these “fault finders” became very brave. And they finally asked Jesus this question: “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands” (Mark 7:5)? Again, they are pushing “the tradition of the elders.”


The traditionalists wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus ate bread with unwashed hands. All the scribes and Pharisees wash their hands before they eat bread. Why do you and your disciples break that tradition? So they put Jesus on the spot by firing these questions at him.

Over the years I have noticed that sometimes people will ask you a loaded question. After a little thought you realize that however you answer that question you could be in trouble. So you answer their question by asking them a question! Sometimes the best way to answer a question is by asking a question. And basically that is what Jesus did when he turned the tables on these scribes and Pharisees.

He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do” (Mark 7:6-8).

Jesus basically answered their question when he charged that their doctrine of the traditions and commandments of men made hypocrites out of them all! “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honor Me with their lips. But their heart is far from Me. Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:6-7). So their traditions had made hypocrites out of them all!

I have two great granddaughters that love acting in children’s plays. They perform at a little theater for children. Most of them are Disney plays for children. And our Sam Brown does good acting in some adult plays!

What does the word hypocrite mean? The word means one who acts the part of another! Biblically a hypocrite is from the Greek word [hupokrites], and means a “play actor, or pretender.” The scribes and pharisees were hypocrites that were pretending to be someone or something that they were not! So hypocrisy is “playacting!” This all goes back to the Greek and Roman times when a person would act in a play. Jesus therefore condemned the scribes and Pharisees for playing the part of someone they were not.

What are some characteristics of those who play act the hypocrite?

  1. They give lip service to God. So said Isaiah the prophet. Lip service, not heart service!
  2. Their heart is far away from God.
  3. Their worship is vain and empty.
  4. There doctrine or teaching is made up of “the commandments of men.”
  5. They lay aside the commandment of God, and replace it with “the tradition of men.”
  6. And the washing of hands, pitchers, pots, and many other things are examples of “their tradition.”
  7. They were only interested in the external compliance with tradition regardless of whether it conformed to God’s teaching or not.

In fact they were “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do” (Mark 7:13). Tradition [Grk. Paradosis] is the transmission of teaching from one to another until it becomes a way of life. Thus these traditions of men came to replace the commands of God. Then the next step in apostasy is false worship of the true God.


I remember growing up and attending a fairly large congregation. And we would have about four trays for communion on the Lord’s table, with all of those individual cups and unleavened bread. The men would line up at the back and come down front to the Lord’s table. Preparation to communion was like a beautiful ceremony. There was a beautiful linen cloth that covered the Lord’s table. And it was starched and ironed to perfection. The men presiding would carefully pick it up, fold it solemnly and lay it aside. As a little boy I was impressed by that ceremony. That was our tradition in those days.

But then as the church grew, there were eight or ten trays on the Lord’s table. And then there was no linen cloth covering the communion. And I wondered, what happened to the linen cloth? That was our tradition! So I just thought, there must be a reason for the change of habit. But later while reading some sermons I found out why we had a linen cloth covering the Lord’s table. Years ago there was no air conditioning in our church buildings, so windows were open with fresh air, and the flies would come in. The church covered the Lord’s table to keep the flies away. And that was a good thing. But thankfully “our tradition” did not become a permanent way of life. Traditions are bad when they are made “the law of God.” But suppose some “silly Pharisee” had said, “We have always covered the communion with a linen cloth, and we are going to have it that way always!” Lord deliver us from such people! That is a good example of how people can form silly traditions and bind them on everybody else.

The human tendency has always been to reduce God’s laws to certain external acts which can be obeyed without a true change of heart. About a quarter of a century ago the churches of Christ started singing some new songs. God never handed down any songs or melody, nor did he tell us to sing fast or slow or in between. But there were some who wanted to bind their tradition on everyone else! They only wanted to sing songs that were written in the 1800’s and 1900’s. Some of these people were described as “church clowns!” They wanted to be noticed like a clown, but what they were actually doing was upholding “the traditions of men.” They did not want to sing any new songs. We wonder if they will be able to “sing the new song” that God’s people will sing in heaven (Revelation 14:3).

This is simply another example of how human traditions can lead to false worship. The human tendency has always been to reduce God’s laws to certain external acts which can be obeyed without a true change of heart taking place. For example, when they saw the Pharisees wash their hands before a meal, they took it for granted that they possessed a clean heart, which was not necessarily so. When it was not so, Jesus called it hypocrisy and the outward parading of righteousness:

He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Mark 7:6-7).


Where did the Jewish traditions originate? We did some research and found out that the Jewish rabbis accumulated them over many years. When Jesus walked upon the earth they were among the scribes and Pharisees. But it was not until the third century A.D. that some rabbis produced 613 spoken commandments. The 613 laws are actually listed on the Internet. It would deplete your paper and ink to print all these laws!

Those 613 laws are called the Mitzvot or Mitzvah. We know that a Jewish boy takes his Bar Mitzvah when he is 13 years old. The term “Mitzvah” means command or law. “Bar” means “son.” Therefore “The Bar Mitzvah” means “The Son of the Law.” This law is not God’s law, but “the law of the rabbis.”


In Exodus 20:1-12, we have the 10 Commandments catalogued. Moses received those laws on Mount Sinai by the hand of God. They were on their way to “the promised land.” Therefore by the time of Jesus  the rabbis had multiplied the Decalogue into “the traditions!” And then by the third century A.D. they had 613 commands which became their traditions – the traditions of men called the Mitzvah.


Can you visualize trying to remember all those laws, and then to keep all those traditions? It would be impossible. No one could do that! Now when Jesus came into the world, he realized that for 1500 years the Jewish people have not been able to keep the law. And the apostle Peter reminded his audience in the Council meeting in Acts 15 about this matter. He had those who wanted to bind the Jewish traditions on the Gentiles! Peter said, “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they” (Acts 15:10-11).

And our Lord Jesus Christ actually boiled the 10 Commandments down to just two commandments! Surely, we all can keep these two commands:  Jesus said,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Therefore if we keep these two laws to the best of our ability, we will want to keep all the instructions that God expects of us. This is a stark contrast to the Mitzvah. Ask yourself, do I love God with all of my heart—my mind, my emotion, my willpower, and my conscience? Do I love my neighbor the same way?

As we stand and sing a song of encouragement, remember the words of the apostle Peter when he said, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). *

*Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd delivered this sermon July 30, 2023, at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142



Shelby G. Floyd

Jesus Christ said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Since we can know the truth, what are the laws of finding the truth?




There are certain laws in the philosophical world, just as there are certain laws in the scientific and physical world. 

The Law of Identity

First, there is the law of identity. “If a proposition is true then it is true.”  For example, the law of identity states that if a statement has been determined to be true, then the statement is true. In plain terms, it states that Y is Y. For example, if I make a statement that ‘It is raining,’ and it is the truth, then the statement must be true. That is the law of identity.

The Law of the Excluded Middle

Then there is the law of the excluded middle.  “Every precisely stated proposition is either true or false.”  A proposition cannot be both true and false.  For example, if I said that it is the case that today is Sunday, then it could not be the case that it is Sunday for some of you, and Saturday for others, or Monday for still others.  This proposition is either true or false.  The law of the excluded middle is that every precisely stated proposition is either true or false—one or the other. 

The Law of Contradiction

The law of contradiction is that no proposition can be both true and false in the same respect. For example, the statements: “All apples are red,” and “It is not true that all apples are red” is contradictory. This means that one of those statements must be false; they cannot both be true at the same time and in the same manner.


Finally, the law of rationality is that we ought to justify our conclusions by adequate evidence.  When there is enough credible evidence, then a conclusion must follow. Then your conclusion must be true if it is based on logical facts. For example, Alexander Campbell once said to the young students at Bethany College, “Never put more confidence in a proposition than there is evidence to back it up,” or words to that effect.




I believe that is enough preliminary background into the realm of knowledge that comes by contemplation. And even knowledge that comes by contemplation, perception, and reflection, comes by at least two of our five senses.  We cannot contemplate about something unless you have read it, and we read it by looking—using the eyesight—the optical sense.  And we can contemplate about certain things by hearing—by the auditory senses.  And therefore, even knowledge that comes by contemplation comes through at least two or more of our five senses.  Helen Keller could not see or hear, but she knew a lot of things by contemplation.  She used a third sense and that was the sense of touch—the tactile sense.  She was taught certain things by Braille.  Therefore, knowledge that comes by contemplation can come through three or more of our senses—hearing, seeing, and touch.  But it doesn’t have to be in the realm of personal experience.

Copyright © 1993, 2010, 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd delivered this portion of a sermon, November 31, 1993, at the South Central Church of Christ, 265 East Southport Road, Indianapolis, Indiana



Shelby G. Floyd

It is a beautiful morning! And it is good to stand before you and present the word of God. I have decided to speak on the subject, “Watchmen on the Wall!”

We do not usually hear many sermons from the book of Ezekiel. But over the past six months, I have presented at least two lessons from Ezekiel. I spoke to you about those Dry Bones representing Israel who was dead spiritually. Then not long ago I spoke to you that Ezekiel was looking for someone to “Stand in the Gap!” And he found no one.

Today, we study “Watchmen on the Wall.” We all need watchmen. We do not have walls to watch out for invaders to come as far as nations are concerned. The Great Wall of China is probably the last example where nations tried to protect themselves by building a big high wall. But we do hear a lot about we need a wall on our southern border to protect from illegal invaders! So we still see the need for some kind of walls. Continue reading “WATCHMAN ON THE WALL”



Shelby G. Floyd

We hear much news about sexual misbehavior in politics, business, news corporations, religious organizations, and regular homes. it is timely that we share what the creator said about honoring your marriage bed. Both the Jewish and Christian writings in the Bible are replete with high principles of marriage fidelity. Continue reading “GOD ORDAINED MARRIAGE”



Shelby G. Floyd

The writer of Hebrews 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.” Please observe that the church of the first-born ones have come to God, the judge of all men. Therefore, we must speak of the great judgment to come.




Now I speak of the great white throne judgment and the book of life. God dwells on a great white throne.  The books will be opened, and another book will be opened, which is the book of life.  John describes this awesome scene: “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books” (Revelation 20:11-12). What stands out in this reading is the fact that books are going to be opened and there will be judgement based on what is written!

Continue reading “THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE NO. 4”



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.



Shelby G. Floyd





At the last day the names recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter the Heavenly City!

“And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:26-27 NKJV).


We note that some names will not be recorded in “the Book of Life of the Lamb,”

“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 13:8).

This is because they worshipped the Beast of the Sea and the Beast of the Earth instead of the God of heaven and earth! (Revelation 13:1; 11). Why would any sane person go to meet God with their name not recorded in “the Book of Life of the Lamb” (Revelation 13:8)?

Some Names Blotted Out

Some names recorded in the Book will be “blotted out!” Your name recorded in the Book of Life, can be blotted out. This should wake us up, for we do not want our names blotted out of the Book of Life.

Some names were blotted out of God’s Old Testament book of remembrance (Exodus 17:14; Psalms 9:5). Some names of the dead church at Sardis were blotted out (erased) of the Book of Life: “The one who overcomes will be clothed the same way, in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5 NASB).

Moses and the Children of Israel

Remember the story when Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the law. He was gone for quite some time and then he came down from the mountain with the tablets in his hand. Moses exploded because the people created a golden calf to worship! And they committed immorality (Exodus 32:6; 1 Corinthians 10:7). It is on this occasion that Moses said to the children of Israel that God would blot out of his book those that had sinned against him:

Exodus 32: 30-33
The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.”

Moses loved the children of Israel and asked God to forgive them. But God said I will blot out of my book those who have sinned against me. God did not blot out the name of Moses because he had not sinned against him.

The Wicked Not Listed With the Righteous

Time went on and King David in his Psalms asked God to blot out of the book of the living the wicked in order that their names might not appear along with the righteous. “May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous” (Psalms 69:28 NIV). David was a man after God’s own heart. He committed great sin, but he was always repentant. And he usually went to God and asked for forgiveness. Most of the time he went before God to find out what he should do before he decided about a matter.

The wicked will not dwell in the congregation of the righteous in the eternal assembly. It is good that we will not be thrown in with the wicked! God is not going to keep the names of the wicked and the righteous together. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-32).

False Prophets Not Listed in the Records

When we survey the Old Testament history, we find there were false prophets. There were also the true prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel. Ezekiel declared in his prophecy that certain false prophets would not be in the writing of the house of Israel: “My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD” (Ezekiel 13:9).

The Faithful Receive A Crown of Life

But we can have assurance of our salvation and eternal destiny. In the New Testament our Lord promised that if we will be faithful even to the point of death, he will give us a crown of life:

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

Therefore, whether our name is in or blotted out of The Book of Life depends upon each one of us. We are made in the image of God. And we have free will of choice. It is up to us to make the right choice. We are glad that God write things down accurately.


Somehow, we like people to write things down. A Doctor after showing me my vitals on a computer said, “It is still alright to write things down!” When we incur a debt, and we are asked to pay for it, we want written proof that we owe such along with the interest. It is permanent and there is less risk of mistakes. Therefore, we are encouraged when we read the Bible that God keeps a written record of his relationship with his creation.

The Songs of Slavery

It is interesting that many poets and songwriters noticed that God writes things down. In America during the days of slavery, the book of Revelation was a favorite book of the slaves. They would create poems and songs they would sing. While they were working in the fields they would sing their spiritual songs with much emotion. One song they would sing had these words:

My Lord sees all you do,
And my Lord hears all you say,
And my Lord keeps a-writin’ all the time.

God writes things down. He writes down what he sees and what he hears. Almighty God is aware of those mistreated and of those who mistreated them. It is all written down in his book of remembrance.

The Prophet Malachi

The prophet Malachi wrote in the last book of the Old Testament that God writes things down concerning those who fear him and honor his name:

“Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him” (Malachi 3:16-17, NIV).

Malachi declares that God writes down the names of those who fear and honor his name in the scroll of remembrance. Those names represent his treasured possession at the last day. Therefore, God writes down his treasured possession is his people.

Omar Khayyam

The poet Omar Khayyam wrote these meaningful words about the fact that God always keeps a perfect record, and he writes this record down in his book of remembrance:

The moving finger writes,
And having writ moves on,
Nor all your piety and wit,
Can lure it back,
To cancel half a line.

God can cancel a line. Man cannot cancel a line except by changing our life to please the Lord! God writes things down and there will be no mistakes. The record will be clear and accurate. God’s memory is perfect! God writes things down in his book of remembrance to reassure us that his record is just, righteous and loving to those who fear his name. Above all, make sure your name is recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd, minister of the heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142