Three Sweet Facts from the Book of Life
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)
In this blessed verse 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, three sweet facts revealed in the Book of Life.
First, the Book of Life shows us the eternal election of grace. It is called “The Book of Life.” The Spirit of God tells us about some whose names are written in the book and others 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” (Romans 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 (Matthew 24:22-24). It is God’s eternal election of grace that secures His people from the delusion of false religion (2 Thessalonians 2:11-14).
Second, John’s inspired description of the Book of Life speaks about 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 accomplished for God’s elect before the world began, for Christ is 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 Timothy 1:9; Romans 8:29-30), God would have immediately destroyed the race as soon as Adam sinned. God’s longsuffering is the result of His eternal grace toward his elect, the result of eternal redemption. And His longsuffering results in the salvation of all those sinners eternally redeemed by Christ, the Lamb of God “slain from the foundation of the world” (2 Peter 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.
Third, 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. We are saved with an eternal, everlasting salvation.
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