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The Book of Life contains the names of all people who have ever lived, and the Bible says it will be opened at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11ff).  The Great White Throne Judgment will be a judgment of works.  The dead will stand before God at that judgment and be judged for their own works (Rev 20:12).  They will be found wanting and their names will be blotted out of the Book of Life.  Remember, those who have loved God and trusted in Jesus are not judged by their works.  They are judged by Jesus’ work, which is the salvation in which they stand. In Luke 10:20, Jesus said to rejoice because our names are written in Heaven.  When we got saved, our names were written into another book, Jesus’ book — the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Two Separate Books?

This is often debated and there are varying opinions. Some think it’s one book, and the names of the lost are blotted out.  Others, myself included, believe it is books (plural).  This is why:

Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books [plural, means two or more] were opened: and another book was opened [now, three or more], which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books [the two or more first mentioned], according to their works.

This verse establishes that the Book of Life is separate from “the books” (first mention) and “another book” (mentioned second). 

The Book of Life

The Book of Life is believed to be God’s book and that it’s a record of the names of every person who has ever lived.  Another reference to the Book of Life is found in the psalms.

Ps. 69:28: “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living and not be written with the righteous.”

“Written with the righteous” and “the book of the living” suggest this is a reference to the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Revelation 21 tells about the New Jerusalem (the eternal state) and that only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter in (Rev 21:27).

The Other Books

I believe that the books (plural) opened to judge the dead (in Rev 20:12) are the books of their works.  We know that the works of all who are unsaved are like filthy rags before the Lord (Isa 64:6).  We also know that those who have trusted in Christ are not judged by their works, but by His work of paying for sins.  Their sins are washed away and they have received His imputed righteousnes (Read: What are the Doctrines of Imputed, Infused, and Imparted Righteousness?)  Those who have not trusted in Christ will be judged by their own works, including every sinful thought, word, and deed, so there may be many more than two books.  Since their sins have not been forgiven and they have not received the righteousness of Jesus, they will be judged sinful and unworthy; and their names will be blotted out of the Book of Life (Ps 69:28).

Is Your Name in the Lamb’s Book?

  • Rejoice, if your name is written in Heaven.  (Luke 10:20)
  • Rejoice, if your name is written with the righteous.  (Ps 69:28)
  • Again I say, rejoice, if your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Rev 21:27)

If you are not sure, don’t hesitate. You do not want to stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment and have the book of your works opened.  You will be judged, found guilty, and your name will be blotted out of God’s Book of Life. Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The day will come when it’s too late to change your destiny.  Do so now! Click here: What If You Die Today?


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