In the end what matters most in your life is the question of whether your name is in the book! Daniel 12:1 says: “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.” That book is what our lives are all about. We humans don’t get it. Jesus redirects us to this truth. After the seventy-two who saw the power of God work through them to cast out demons came back rejoicing and focusing on their power over Satan, Jesus redirected them to the book. He said: “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).” It’s all about the book. Your life is an opportunity for your name to be written in the book.
The entire chapter of Revelation 5 focuses on the time when the book (scroll with names written on both sides) will be opened. Evidently it is sealed with seven seals. The book is not accessible to just anyone. In a dramatic scene, the entire chapter centers on the moment in time in heaven when the scroll is brought out. No one in heaven or on earth can open the scroll. John, the writer of Revelation, begins to weep. During the hopeless reality an angel announces that there is one who can open the scroll. That Being who can open the scroll is the Lamb who appeared as if He were slain. This Lamb—our Risen Lord Jesus Christ—takes the scroll from the hand of God and John’s hopelessness is dissolved. Every creature in heaven and on earth, even under the earth and in the sea, breaks forth in praise and hope because of the One in heaven who can open the book.
This scene in heaven is played out every day of our lives whether we are aware of it or not. We wake up on earth and are faced with the reality of existing in a sin-filled world. We experience broken relationships, inadequate provisions, disease, toil and sweat. We do our best to survive each day by opening the book God gave us for inspiration and direction to a life of holiness and godliness, or gleaning from the world distraction and comfort. Every day we fall short of our goals to make our lives into reflections of God’s glory. We go to bed at night having failed to live a perfect life but aware of God’s goodness to us despite our sin. The oppressive reality of sin does not overwhelm us as it did for John in Revelation 5 simply because it is far too real and hopeless than our minds can take in.
Although it doesn’t seem to be the most important thought on the mind of most people every day—whether your name is in the book of life—the scroll that creates so much drama in heaven is the eternity transforming purpose of your life here on earth. Is your name in the book?
The book of eternal life is real, it is sealed, it is vital. No matter how difficult your life on earth becomes, if your name is in the book all will be well. God is very good to provide comfort and beauty in the world, but Daniel prophesied that there would come a time that distress will overwhelm every human being on the whole earth. Although God is generous in His many undeserved comforts and provisions here on earth, He has never inoculated us from suffering. It appears the suffering and distress at the end of the age has never been experienced up to this point in time. That is hard to imagine. The following chapters of Revelation describe some of this suffering that is mandatory for the scroll to be opened. Although the human experience of suffering from the reality of sin will heighten beyond our historical perspective, those whose names are in the book will have hope in heaven.
Is your name in the book?