Revelation 20:12-15—12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
There will be a judgment day in which all human beings who have ever lived will stand before the throne of God and be judged based upon the book in which their names or deeds are written. There are many books filled with the details of what people have done but only one book with names written of those who will inherit eternal life. This is the book of life.
The book of the details of what we have done is interesting to think about. Is it a book that lists all of the bad things that we have done or is it a book that lists all of the good deeds that we have done? Or is it both? If it is the bad stuff, we will have that all read before everyone who has ever lived and will be judged accordingly. God will rightfully punish us for the things we have done.
But if it is a book of the good deeds we have done, that gives it a little bit different perspective. It isn’t the good things that we have done that gets us into Heaven and eternal life with Jesus. It’s the fact that our names are written in the Book of Life. When Jesus sends out his disciples in Luke 10, they return to him rejoicing that even the demons were subject to them in Christ’s name. Apparently they were casting out demons in the name of Jesus. Certainly these are deeds worth rejoicing over. But Jesus responds to them, “do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” It is not our deeds that will earn us anything before God but His grace alone in writing our names in the Book of Life before the foundations of the world. Something to think about…
Am I relying on my deeds or my God’s grace to enter the kingdom of Heaven? When what I’ve done is read before the great and the small standing before the throne, what will they discover?