Ministry Perspective

This will give you some things to think on and more importantly study on in coming days.

I was listening to Dr. David Jeremiah on Easter Sunday morning because I had already heard what the preacher at Hinton had to say on Saturday.

David Jeremiah's message came from the book of Daniel, specifically chapter 12. That was of interest to me because that is where our D-groups completed their first year of assignments a few days ago. The title of that message was fitting for our time. It was ‘The End.’ Regardless of whether you believe that we are coming to ‘The End’ or not, since the day of Jesus’ resurrection we’ve been living in the end times. Those are the years that Daniel, John and others spoke of to help people be prepared and to encourage them to help others prepare also.

The prophecy of Daniel, chapter 12 contains not only the prophecy of the ‘The End’ but also the ‘The End’ of the prophecy. In chapter 12, the Archangel Michael is seen standing up in defense of God’s people, Israel. I am thankful that God loves His chosen and Jesus loves His church for in both we are well defended against the enemies of God. Toward the end of the first verse the Word of God says something especially important. ‘... everyone who is found written in the book.’

What book? Why is that so important?

We understand from passages in Daniel 7:10 & Revelation 20:12 that there will be more than one book opened at both the Bema (2 Corinthians 5:10) and the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:12). It is important to understand that these are two entirely different periods of reckoning for two eternally different groups of human beings. There is no general judgment of all humanity at one time in one place recorded in the Bible. However, each group will be reckoned with according to what is written in the books. The group that stand before the Bema, (Judgment Seat of Christ) are saved and can be nothing else because of the provision of God’s promise concerning faith in Christ. Those who stand before the Great White Throne one thousand years later are condemned already. John 3:18 They are condemned because they can be nothing less due to the same provision of God’s Word concerning those who refused the grace of God through faith in Christ.

One of the books mentioned will be the Word of God because it remains the standard of Truth by which all are judged. Another of the books mentioned is the Book of Works. This book records what a person did in life with the life God gave them to live. From this book some will be eternally rewarded, and others will be eternally ruined.

The other important book is the Book of Life. The Book of Life is the record of life activity and productivity during a person's lifetime on earth. It is the book that is mentioned specifically in Revelation 20:12. It is important because some critical dates are recorded in the Book of Life.

One of those dates is the day you were conceived, the day you were given life with the oversight of God in the secret place of your mother’s womb. That date is recorded because life from God's perspective begins at conception, not at birth as many for years have wrongly concluded. Most know their day of birth, but God knows the day of your conception. He has it written down in the record of the Book of Life.

The Lord has another date recorded in the Book of Life. That is the day you came of age, specifically the age of accountability. This is the day when you hear His truth and understand that this truth was specifically designed for you. It is the day when you know that you are naked and ashamed of it. (Genesis 3:7) When like Adam, you try to cover your sin in your own way rather than confessing it to God and being covered through His provision of grace. For some that will be sooner than later. When that day comes, God knows that you know good from evil and He records that day in the Book of Life.

Another entry in the Book of Life is the day a person trusts Christ as Savior. That name though already entered in record of life gets a date entered by the name that reveals the day that person accepted God's gift of salvation! This day is second only in importance to the day of one’s conception as pertaining to the Book of Life. This entry reveals all who embrace grace through faith in Christ. Those who are accepted by God in Christ. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes will have everlasting life and shall not perish." John 3:16

Therefore, at death, IF a person has not been saved, then there is no record of the individual having been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and born again. That name is then blotted out of the Book of Life.

This is not about losing your salvation. This is the record that reveals a person was never saved. These were conceived and they were born. But they were never born again. John 3:3 And you must be born again if you hope to see the kingdom of God!

As I examined this further in following days, I discovered the supporting truth from the Word that never changes. I discovered these words from David in Psalm 69:28. “Let them (lost; condemned) be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.” Then I uncovered Revelation 17:8 that says, “and those who remain on the earth, (during Great Tribulation) whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world will see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” When I read those words, I remembered that God does indeed declare the end from the beginning. Isaiah 46:10 He sees all, knows all and holds all things. Colossians 1:17 As one older preacher said many years ago on the subject of the Sovereignty of God--"Try to explain it and you'll lose your mind. Try to explain it away and you'll lose your soul!" Those words in God’s Word helped me better understand

Revelation 20:15 that says, "and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast (hurled) into the lake of fire.”

When Jesus sits as Judge at the Great White Throne, the books will be opened, and the record of life revealed. The Book of Truth will be there as will the Book of Works. The Book of Works at this judgment is the record of the ruinous life of those who denied Jesus instead of themselves while on earth. The Book of Life will be opened, too. Jesus will look at the person standing before Him at the Great White Throne and that person will look into the eyes that blaze like fire. (Revelation 19:12-15) Judge Jesus will look in the Book of Life for an entry of enrollment by atonement. But sadly, no entry date is found. These are those who were born but not born again. Therefore, all that remains for them is what is written in the Book of Works. During that moment of time, the Bible says that many will proclaim, "Have we not done much religiously for your name's sake?" (Matthew 7:21-23; my paraphrase) But the entry of enrollment by atonement is not found, neither is the name seen for it was blotted out on the day that individual died without Jesus. “And anyone not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” The Word of God says, ‘this is the second death!’ Revelation 21:8

On a much brighter note, when Jesus sits as Lord and Savior at the Bema the books will be open there too. The Book of Truth, the Book of Works, and the all-important Book of Life. By the way, if you are present at this day of reckoning, your name and the date of your new birth is a matter of record! The Book of Works will be open to reveal the record of how the life Jesus provided was lived based upon faith in His promises. And from that book, the redeemed of God will be rewarded for their work. 1 Corinthians 3:10-17 And the Word made flesh will say, “Welcome, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.” Matthew 25:23

When you think about it, the redeemed are enrolled in the glory of God's heaven for one reason only; each was willing to embrace the Word of God. Each embraced grace by faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus as Lord. The ruined are not enrolled for one reason only, as well. Each one refused the offer that would have profited them eternally.

At this point if you are reading this you know something of life and death. Most, if not all have come of age. Your name is recorded in the Book of Life. The one question remaining that must be answered here is this one, 'Is there an entry of enrollment by atonement recorded by my name in the Book of Life?' And I speak of that specific day in your life when you denied yourself and embraced the grace of God and the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus? Not when you joined the church but when you joined the family of God. You may not remember the exact date, but rest assured, if it happened God entered it when it happened in the record of life. However, if that all-important date is not there today or you are not sure, you need to be sure before you die IF you hope to live, hereafter. For contrary to what many think today, all humans are not all God's children. All humans are God's creation, but human beings only become a child of God when that person surrenders their soul to His Lordship in salvation. That is when a person made in His image becomes a part of His family and the record of life reveals it!

My name is recorded in the Book of Life. And by it this date--November 13, 1978. That was the day of my enrollment by atonement for His glory! And like Job, I know that My Redeemer lives, and on the earth again shall stand; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, I shall see God! Job 19:25-26

That is how Job lived through hardship and a season of uncertainty. God will carry those who trust Him through it all, as well!

Happy days are here for those in Christ!

Heavenly days hereafter!

This life will not last forever!

However, what comes later will!

Live the prepared life!

Pstr K