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As insightful as this may be, it is more likely that we should look for a biblical background to this imagery. On the one hand, Jesus may be saying that it is possible for a sinning, unrepentant Christian such as were many at Sardis to fail to overcome or conquer and thereby to forfeit their place in the book of life. Their names, already inscribed in the book, will be erased, signifying the loss of their salvation.

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The idea, then, is that such people are saved, but will forfeit any hope of an honorable position in the coming kingdom of God. They are saved, but will experience shame at the last day. It is not the loss of life, per se, but the loss of a certain quality of life that otherwise could have been theirs. Thus, what one loses by having their name erased from the book of life is eternal rewards in the kingdom.

Several factors lead me to conclude that John does not envision the possibility of a true Christian forfeiting salvation. The rebukes in these seven letters indicate otherwise. Nevertheless, the evidence of the reality of true saving faith is perseverance i. There is no indication in Scripture, least of all in Revelation, of additional names being inscribed in the book as a reward for faithfulness or perseverance.

It is clear from Revelation and that there are two and only two groups of people. On the one hand are those whose names have not been written in the book of life from eternity past. The second group consists of those whose names have been written in the book of life, which constitutes the reason why they refuse to give their allegiance to the enemy of Christ. Nowhere does it suggest a third group: people whose names had been written in the book in eternity past but, because they worshiped the Beast, failed to overcome or conquer and thus have their names blotted out.

My book of the year, “Enjoying God” by Tim Chester

Those who worship the Beast do so because their names were not in the book. Piper summarizes:. I will not erase his name from the book of life. It is not nonsense to state the condition: if you conquer, God will not erase your name ; and to state the assurance: if your name is written, you will conquer and Therefore, this declaration of Jesus is a promise to the elect that nothing will ever, by any means he uses a double negative , prevent them from possessing the eternal inheritance to which they have been ordained. In other words, we must take note of what Jesus does not say.

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He does not say that anyone will be erased from the book of life. Rather, he says the overcomers will not be erased. His word is a promise of security to overcomers, not a threat of insecurity to those who lapse. So again, Jesus nowhere says he will erase names previously inscribed in the book of life. What joy! What comfort!

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What incentive to love him and praise him and serve him. Jesus will never blot my name out of the book of life! What is it that brings the greatest and most intense joy and happiness to your heart? Others might say that their greatest source of joy is their good health and good friends and a robust bank account.

There was an event in the lives of the first-century followers of Jesus that brought this question very much into play. There Jesus sent out 72 disciples, not apostles, but average followers like you and me.


For Eve, pain overwhelms the promise of a people. For Adam, perspiration and thorns will impede the promise of place. Because of their disobedience, Adam and Eve are now exiles; their mission is in shambles as they stand outside of Eden. The presence of God they once knew freely is no longer free. But in grace, God steps in to pay the price.

Through his covenant promises, the Lord restores what Adam failed to do.

Can We Enjoy Heaven Knowing of Loved Ones in Hell? - RC Sproul

God makes a people and a place through the covenant all the while keeping his promises to humanity. God does all of this so that he can be our God and we can be his people Gen ; Ex ; , Rev , etc. At the heart of the covenant, then, is a relationship—one that is decidedly on his terms. God enters into his creation to create a people and a place for his presence.

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As evangelicals, we talk a lot about the presence of God but seldom look to the Bible to see what it is. When we do, we find that it is first and foremost a theme on which the story of Scripture hinges. If we read our Bibles though we begin to see a two-fold pattern. And second, the presence of God is, not only an objective, it is also the means by which the redemptive mission is fulfilled. God writes himself into his own story to bring salvation.

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God himself comes to save. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, entered human history to give his life as a ransom for many Matt ; Mark In his grace, God buys us back in the most unimaginable way possible: God in Christ became a man, walked among humanity, and died for his people.


In this merciful act, Christ reconciles us to himself and re-opens access to the Father so that those who were once exiled from his presence might again draw near to God Heb ; The presence of God has massive implications for the way we understand the church 1 Cor ; 2 Cor ; Eph The New Testament calls the church a temple for a reason. We keep him on the shelf until troubles arise or there is something our neighbor has that we really want. When we push all our peripheral issues to the periphery, this is all that is left and all that really matters.