Summary: A sermon on the Book of Life (Thanks to Shane Williams on his sermon The Book of Life for much of this sermon)
Sermon for 8/7/2005
The Book of Life
A. “That will go into your permanent record,” -Teachers are fond of saying this.
B. Those aren’t the only records: There’s also one being kept by the all-knowing, everywhere-present God. A time is coming when all the dead will stand before the Creator-Judge. His books will be opened, and those assembled in His presence will be “judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”
C. (Dan 7:9 NIV) "As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. (Dan 7:10 NIV) A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.
D. What kinds of books are being talked about? (Psa 56:8 NIV) Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll -- are they not in your record?
E. God knows everything about our lives. A few years before the time of the New Testament, some rabbis came up with the concept that God has a scroll written on every life. At the final judgment, they said that God would take each person’s scroll and read it aloud and call us to account for every good thing and every bad thing. Our whole life will be on display. This goes along with the words of (Mal 3:16 NIV) 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.
F. These rabbis just simply broadened this concept to include not only those who feared the Lord, but also those who did not fear the Lord. The Lord is keeping a scroll of remembrance on every individual life.
G. Rather humbling isn’t it, to think that everything will be out in the open one day. This idea should help us to live good and righteous lives.
H. Fictional writers have written parables about this concept and we will find it in some movies and books. Magically, someone stumbles into a large bookstore and each book has the name of a person on the cover. As she looks into these books, she finds the details of every person’s life. When she gets to the end of each book she sees that there are still many chapters that are yet unwritten. She sees sentences and lines being filled in. They are still living their lives and as they live the books are being written. The story goes from their.
I. If God literally keeps books to be read on each life, no one has access to these scrolls but God alone.
J. Revelation 20:11-15 really mentions two types of books. There is another book that really is the most important one and that is the Book of Life. There’s not another place more important to have our name placed than in the Book of Life. On Judgment Day, the books will be opened but only One Book will really matter. Yes, as Christians we will receive rewards or lack of rewards based on our works but the only way to get into heaven at all is to have your name on the Book of Life.
Thesis: This morning I want to make some observations about the Book of Life.
I. Men Do Not Control Whose Name Is In the Book of Life
A. Praise be to God this is true. If they did, some people might not want us there.
B. Consider Psalm 69.
1. Here David is talking about his enemies and how they need to be destroyed.
2. Listen to what he says in Vs. 27 and 28- (Psa 69:27 NIV) Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. (Psa 69:28 NIV) May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.
C. God was the one to determine who was in the book of life and who was not. David was not the one who controlled this.
D. In Exodus 32 we have Moses and the Lord talking with each other right after the Israelites made the golden calf. The Lord desired to destroy the Israelites but Moses intercedes for the people. (Exo 32:31 NIV) 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. (Exo 32:32 NIV) But now, please forgive their sin--but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."(Exo 32:33 NIV) The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.