The first mention of a “book” in which names were retained or blotted out, is found in Exodus 32:33 – the first of six mentions in the OT.
The Hebrew word translated “book” is sepher, which means “take account of, to reckon.” There are several interesting points here to examine. First; it is not “Christ’s” book but God’s record of each person’s worth.
Second, there is no mention of when or how the names are added or subtracted, only that God has such a record and that He reserves the right to blot out the names of those who sin against Him.
It seems to be that the names of all people are recorded in the Book from birth. Whether those names remain in the Book is dependent on the choices of action each of us are confronted with making, as we go thru life. The concern, then, is not how to get our names in the book, but how to prevent our names from being erased from the book.
Psalm 69:22-28…..Let Your indignation fall upon them….let them be blotted out from the Book of the Living, remove them from the list of the innocent.
This is a good illustration of the positive and negative aspects associated with being in the book of the Source of Life. Those whose names are in the Book will gain entry to the Kingdom at His appearing, so our prime concern should be to keep our names in the Book of Life.
Daniel 12:1-3 says that entry into the kingdom is a blessing for those whose names are in the book – nothing is said about heaven. In Philippians 4:3, Paul confirmed that the names of those labouring with him were still written in the book of life.
All the other scriptures pertaining to the book of life are in
Revelation and these verses reinforce the message in the OT, updated in the
light of Jesus’ teachings.
In Revelation 3:5, Jesus said: “He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father…” He does not say He would add the names to the book of life. He simply affirmed that he would not blot them out.
He also said that he will acknowledge their names before the Father. What a promise! The message here in Revelation is the same as the one delivered by David and Daniel: The Overcomers will be the ones who actually enter the kingdom of God. The emphasis here is on the positive aspects for those who have believed in faith and trust in Jesus- and He said that His Words were not His but those of His Father.
This verse clearly implies that there is a definite possibility that names can be erased, or blotted out of the book through disobedience to the Lord’s Words.
So; to keep our names in the Book of Life requires us to be an Overcomer. The question then becomes – how do I become an overcomer? An overcomer of what?
Revelation 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
The Book belongs to God. Those entered into it have embraced the testimony of the Life of the Lamb. Those who follow the teahings found in the Life and Words of the Son are to live as He lived – overcoming the temptation of the world by being righteous, even as He is.