Revelation 20:12 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.
God’s Sovereignty and human responsibility meet together in Revelations 20:12 in a most amazing way reminding me once again that salvation is of the Lord but nothing absolves any man of their responsibility to obey the gospel.
Let me show you what I mean. Revelation 20:12 describes and event not yet to have happened. It is the final judgment before those who have rejected the grace of God are sent to eternal separation from God in a place called hell.
There is a book called the book of life and then there are other books. And in the book of life there are names and according to Revelation 17:8 the names were written in the book before the foundation of the world.
Revelation 17:8 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.
Yet because God holds man responsible for his failure to observe that he must have been made by a creator God and serve the one true God who created him there has been a record being made of everything that has been done by every person every created for their entire life—these are the books.
And according to Revelation 20:12, “the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
The fact that their name in not written in the book of life is not relevant at the final judgment God will judge them from their actions, decisions and choices—that is human responsibility.
So I see the intersecting of divine sovereignty (the book of life) and human responsibility (the books) intersecting in a most amazing and mysterious way at the throne of Grace. Like two eternal rays of light coming out of the darkness on a course toward the same point yet coming from such opposite locations that one wonders will they ever intersect? Yet there is a point of intersection and that point of intersection is at the throne that our King of the Universe rules from—the throne of Grace.
At that throne and with those books we will see that all who have been saved have had their names written in a most amazing book called the book of life. And we will see the record of how God orchestrated the salvation of a multitude of people from Adam to the very last human being who puts their faith in the truth that God forgives sins through the Person and work of the Messiah—our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
And there will be books upon books with a record of the actions of human beings ensuring that no one can charge God with unrighteousness and to the glory of God these books are mentioned throughout holy Scripture reminding us that God sovereignty never absolves us of the human responsibility to do right.
In the third chapter of the book of Malachi, there is an amazing parallel to Revelation 17. In verse 16, there is a specific mention of “a book of remembrance” being written before God of the words and actions of those who fear the Lord.
Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
This book will show that those whose names are written in the book of life fear the Lord. These books of remembrance being written upon every moment of every day by holy angelic-servants of God will ensure that the fruit of the lives of those who have been radically transformed into believers is remembered.
The moment of conversion when sins are repented of and faith is put in the Lord Jesus Christ and all subsequent decisions and actions which give evidence of conversion and will be rewarded by God from the book of remembrance—glory to God.
Aren’t you glad there is a book of life which contains a list of all whom God has, is and will save from hell? And aren’t you glad that even as you read this blog and recognize that you have not put your faith in Christ as your only hope for forgiveness and eternal life that you can ensure your name is written in that book by putting your faith (trust and dependency) upon what Christ did for you 2000 years ago on a bloody cross on a hill in Jerusalem. Do it right now! With every ounce of dependency you have within your very being depend upon what Christ did for you right now. See yourself as the sinner that God sees you as and seek to have your sins forgiven through your faith in Christ.
And if you are a believer live everyday in light of the reality that books of remembrance are being written this very moment. Do something today that is worthy of being recorded in the book of remembrance.