Revelation 20.12-14 and 17.8 – Judgment and Salvation
Posted: 23 January 2014 in Revelation

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

The thing I notice in the first of the above two passages is that, whilst it is said that both the books containing a record of men’s deeds, and the book of life, are said to be opened before God, only those whose names are written in the book of life are saved. The works of fallen men serve only to condemn them, and salvation is exclusively through the grace of God. Furthermore, verse 17.8 makes it clear that those who were to worship God in eternity had their names inscribed in the book of life before the foundation of the world.

In history, of course, all men are exhorted to love and serve God, and they are well advised to heed the warnings of Christ. The only indication any of us have that our names appear in the book of life is that we do heed Christ’s warnings, and are obedient to God in the here and now. If there is one thing the Bible does make crystal clear, it is that disobedience always brings judgment and punishment in its wake. The idea that the Old Testament God is wrathful, whereas the New Testament God is all fluffy and cuddly is, frankly, a nonsense.

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