Blotted Out of the Book of Life
Series The MacArthur Commentaries
He who overcomes will thus be clothed 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. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:5–6)
Christ promises every true Christian that He will not erase his name from the book of life, but will confess his name before the Father and before His angels. Incredibly, although the text says just the opposite, some people assume that this verse teaches that a Christian's name can be erased from the book of life. They thus foolishly turn a promise into a threat. Exodus 32:33, it is argued by some, supports the idea that God may remove someone's name from the Book of Life. In that passage the Lord tells Moses that “whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” There is no contradiction, however, between that passage and Christ's promise in Revelation 3:5. The book referred to in Exodus 32:33 is not the Book of Life described here, in Philippians 4:3, and later in Revelation (13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27). Instead, it refers to the book of the living, the record of those who are alive (cf. Ps. 69:28). The threat, then, is not eternal damnation, but physical death.
In John's day, rulers kept a register of the citizens of a city. If someone died, or committed a serious crime, their name was erased from that register. Christ, the King of heaven, promises never to erase a true Christian's name from the roll of those whose names were “written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain” (13:8)...
|Oct 21, 2010