Shelby G. Floyd
In the New Testament we find that “the book” mentioned by Daniel the prophet is actually “the Lamb’s book of life.” Those whose names written in the Lamb’s book of life will be delivered to heaven because they relied on the blood of the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Let us again be reminded of those two scriptures in the book of Revelation with which we started this lesson. John declared, “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8, NIV).
And in the last chapter of the Revelation John said, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27, NIV). God has made it possible for our names to be recorded in “the Lamb’s book of Life” because his beloved Son offered himself up as our Passover lamb and because we have been cleansed by his precious blood like a perfect lamb without spot or blemish.
THE CELESTIAL CITY
We must receive, believe and obey the whole counsel of God. If our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life and we do not add to or take away from what God has revealed to us in his word, then where are we going at the last day? We will not be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. Then where is our destination? We will go to that celestial city. It will be a large city. According to the measurements given its literal size would be a cube 1500 miles square. That is probably a figure of speech—a definite figure standing for an indefinite figure. That would mean that the city in heaven would be as large as the United States from shore to shining shore. God uses these terms to assure us that there is going to be plenty of room for all of us whose names are in the Lamb’s book of life.
DANIEL THE PROPHET
It is interesting to note that Daniel the prophet, who lived some 700 to 800 years before Christ, saw and recorded some things that are going to take place at the last day:
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:1-2, NIV).
There is no doubt that Daniel is referring to the last day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns and the resurrection of both the just and the unjust. But on that day God’s people whose names are found written in the book will be delivered unto everlasting life. But those not found written in the book will be reserved to shame and everlasting contempt. Everlasting life and everlasting contempt stand in contrast. And the difference is whether our name is found written in God’s book. What a wonderful promise from Daniel to God’s people!
MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE
Recently, when I looked at my original birth certificate, where it listed baptism it was blank. My father and mother did not have me baptized when I was born. They left that blank. I did not need to be baptized as an infant because I was innocent and without sin. At that point I had done nothing right or wrong. Also, I did not have the capacity to believe, repent, confess Christ, and choose to be baptized of my own free will.
BAPTISM FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN
And as I grew up like everyone else I became a sinner and in need of forgiveness. I remember as a young man when I went forward and made the good confession and was baptized into Christ. One of the men who assisted me in obeying the gospel stated, “you will never regret what you have done today.” And I have been thankful all the days of my life that I made a commitment to live for Christ while I was young.
GOD GAVE ME A NEW LEAF
And it was on that day that God gave me a new leaf clean and white. God took away and blotted out all my past sins. He gave me a new leaf and he gives me a new leaf every day because none of us are perfect. We make mistakes and fall short every day. But the Bible declares, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7,KJV). So if we confess our sins, and repent and acknowledge that we are sinners every day, and pray that God will forgive us, he will keep that leaf in his book of remembrance just as clean, pure and white as it possibly can be.
I hope now as we prepare to stand and sing a song of encouragement, and you realize that your name is not in the Lamb’s book of life, that you will come forward and have your name recorded in the book of registry—the Lamb’s book of life. Before we sing that song of encouragement, I would like for all of us to take note and listen to these words that I wrote down many years ago:
He came to my desk with quivering lip—
The lesson was done.
“Dear Teacher, I want a new leaf,” he said,
“I have spoiled this one.”
I took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave him a new one all unspotted,
And into his sad eyes smiled,
“Do better, now, my child.”
I went to the throne with a quivering soul—
The old year was done.
“Dear Father, hast thou a new leaf for me?
I have spoiled this one.”
He took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave me a new one all unspotted,
And into my sad heart smiled,
“Do better, now, my child.”
—Kathlean Wheeler, Gospel Advocate, September 13, 1973, page 592.
That is exactly the spirit that God has in his relationship with you, if you will obey the gospel and have your name recorded in the Lamb’s book of life. As we sing this song I want you to remember that the Lord Jesus Christ as it were will be standing here with his arms outstretched as he did in the long-ago when he said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, KJV). You will never find any rest for your eternal soul unless you have your name recorded in the Lamb’s book of life! Do not delay another day.*
*Copyright © 2010, 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
This sermon was delivered by Shelby G. Floyd, August 15, 2010, at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142 email@example.com