"The Book Of Life"
In this text John casually reminds us of three comforting, assuring, soul-cheering truths taught throughout the Word of God. In the midst of this vision of darkness and woe (Read the chapter!), we are given three bright, shining lights of joy.
First, our text sets before us THE ETERNAL ELECTION OF GRACE. It speaks of the "book of life" and those whose names are written in it, as well as those whose names are not written in it. We are here assured that there is a book in which all the names of God's elect are registered and have been registered "from the foundation of the world". It is called "the Lamb's book of life" in Revelation 21:27. It is mentioned here to remind us that, as long as the world stands, there will be "a remnant according to the election of grace" (Rom. 11:5). Even in the darkest days of apostasy, though the world is engulfed in the religion of anti-christ, God has an elect people whom he will save, a people who cannot and will not perish with the world (Matt. 24:22-24). It is God's eternal election of grace that secures his people from the delusion of false religion (2 Thess. 2:11-14).
Secondly, our text speaks of THE ETERNAL REDEMPTION OF GOD'S ELECT. John describes our Savior as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world". In doing so, he is telling us, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that redemption was virtually accomplished for God's elect before the world began, for in the mind and purpose of God, Christ was slain before the world was made. Had it not been for the eternal accomplishment of redemption in the covenant of grace before the world began (2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 8:29-30), God would have immediately destroyed the race as soon as Adam sinned. God's benevolence and longsuffering with men in general is the result of his eternal grace toward his elect (2 Pet. 3:9, 15). God tolerates reprobate men upon the earth for the sake of his elect, for whom the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, who must be saved.
Thirdly, eternal election and eternal redemption assure us of THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF GOD'S ELECT. Those whose names were written in the book of life, for whom the Lamb was slain, cannot perish! If even one believing sinner should fail to attain heavenly glory with Christ, the purpose and grace of God would fall to the ground defeated, the blood of Christ would mean nothing, and the glory of God would be gone!