I think many of us have watched an uncomfortable scene somewhere… An individual is standing in line waiting to enter an event or pick up an item. They give their name to the person at the counter or provide a credit card and their name cannot be found or their credit card is rejected. They fumble around, search their billfold or empty their purse to find a receipt, identification, or another card that will be accepted, but nothing can be found. They seek to find alternatives, they offer excuses, they beg for exceptions, but to no avail, and finally have to leave – probably angry and embarrassed.
That scene reminds me of something I read this morning in the book of Revelation…
The first is at the gate of the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem… “And he carried me away int the Spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel… And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb… 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!” (From Revelation 21:10–27 ESV)
And just one chapter earlier another very unpleasant scene… “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne [of God], 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. 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. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12–15 ESV)
All of which reminds me of the words of a very old gospel song with a probing message:
“Lord, I care not for riches, neither silver nor gold;
I would make sure of Heaven, I would enter the fold.
In the book of Thy kingdom, with its pages so fair,
Tell me, Jesus, my Savior, is my name written there?
“Is my name written there, On the page white and fair?
In the book of Thy kingdom, Is my name written there?
“Lord, my sins they are many, like the sands of the sea,
But Your blood, O my Savior, is sufficient for me!
For Your promise is written, in bright letters that glow,
“Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them like snow.”
“Oh! that beautiful city, with its mansions of light,
With its glorified beings, in pure garments of white;
Where no evil thing enters to despoil what is fair;
Where the angels are watching… yes, my name’s written there!”
“Is My Name Written There?” (Mary Kidder, 1876; and Frank Davis)
Gotta tell you, I’m eternally grateful my name has been written in what the Bible calls “the Lamb’s book of Life!” I didn’t deserve it, but Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” forgave me when I repented, He washed my sin away, and granted me eternal life… Heaven is my home! My name is in the book! And yours can be as well!