Can You Name Be Erased From The Book Of Life?

By: Woody Godbey

From a previous mini-sermon I had someone ask me about Revelation 3:5, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." Some Christians worry about their name being blotted out of the book of life and losing their salvation. Most Christians probably don't struggle with their security in Christ but at the same time MANY do. I believe that only a true Christian would have that disorder. People who are not Christians don't worry about it because they believe they’re going to heaven as they are. I had a time in my Christian life where I struggled with the thought of losing salvation or that I didn't do it right, etc. I said the sinners’ prayer but that didn't give me assurance. The day came when I finally understood that the moment I truly believed, I was saved and secured! But a Christian can be tormented if they do not have that know so salvation. Every time you hear a convicting sermon or you compare yourself with some other believer, doubts come. Stop right now and don't let anyone rob you of the joy of salvation. Everybody, and I do mean everybody, is a dirt bag sinner underserving of God's heaven but His marvelous grace has saved us and secured us in Christ.

Some churches, preachers and people believe that our text teaches that your name can be erased from the book of life. Notice that the verse doesn't say that a person's name can be blotted out of the book. It says, "I will not erase his name from the book of life." So, instead of worrying and being fearful of being blotted out, this verse gives assurance that a believer's name cannot be erased.

In ancient Israel and most of the Middle East every city had a register which recorded each resident. If a person moved or died, his name was blotted out of the book. Jesus says, "You might get erased from that book, but you will never be erased from MY book." This verse doesn't teach you can lose your salvation, but that you can't.

Let me ask you a question, when were the names written in the book of life? Jesus told His disciples to "rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven." (Luke 10:20). He told them to REJOICE because their names were already recorded in heaven. They couldn't rejoice if they could be blotted out the next day.

Revelation 17:8 says, "And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast." Why would God write in a person's name if He knew that He would have to blot it out? Notice it doesn't say that their names were blotted out, but that their names were never written in. From when? From the foundation of the world. Saved people's names were recorded at that time. "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world." (Eph. 1:4)

How can He choose us before we are even born? We are chosen "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father." (1 Peter 1:1-2). God knew ahead of time who would call upon Him to be saved, and He recorded their names before the foundation of the world.

Some have taught that a person can be saved, then lost, then saved, then lost, etc. That would mean that God would write down the name, then erase it, then write it in, then erase it. Wow, the Book of Life would be pretty messy with all that writing and erasing! No, God doesn't make mistakes. God doesn't have an eraser on His pencil.

I know someone will ask, doesn't Revelation 3:5 promise this only to those who "overcome"? Yes, it does but you have to understand who overcomer's are. The apostle John, who wrote the book of Revelation, also wrote First John. He explained what it means to be an "overcomer" in 1 John 5:4: "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world." Everyone who is born of God is an overcomer and will not have his or her life erased from the Book of Life.

What about those who appear to be Christians but then quit the faith? Were their names erased from the Book of Life? John explained that as well. "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us" (1 John 2:19). No, their names weren't erased. They never were believers in the first place, meaning their names were never written in the Book of Life.

Ephesians 1:13-14 say's it all--" In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

Can you imagine having parents who were always threatening you that they were going to disown you or send you to an orphanage if you didn't behave? God the Father wants all of His children to feel secure in His steadfast love. Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us that before we even existed, He chose us in Christ and determined that we would be adopted into His family. When He did that, He knew everything about us and yet He still chose us, based on His grace, not on anything in us. To assure us, He gives us the Holy Spirit as the seal and pledge of our future inheritance, guaranteeing that He will complete what He has begun. That's what "the earnest of our inheritance" means. I pray that this will help those Christians who struggle with their security in Christ and that you will start rejoicing because your name is written down in heaven. God Bless!!!!!