Read Revelation 20
Focus on verse 11-12
Humanity has a fascination with judgment. We make movies about heroes who rise up to bring justice to the evil that threatens the innocent lives of peaceful citizens…and the heroes always win in the movies. There can be two hundred storm troopers all shooting at Luke Skywalker and not one shot manages to hit Luke! The old westerns I used to watch growing up were no different. The hero can be out numbered and out gunned twenty to one, and somehow he manages to kill them all with two six shooters. The math doesn’t make any sense but it makes a great feel good story as the forces of evil are defeated by the good guys one more time.
In today’s reading John describes the final judgment – which I suspect may have a bearing upon why we are all so fascinated with evil being judged.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (v. 11-12)
Apparently, the day will come when every one of us, great and small, will be judged by God Almighty. According to John’s account this appears to happen after the whole shooting match is over, and all the humans have either been raptured or killed one way or another. So there we all stand – our physical bodies are dead, but our souls still very much alive, standing before a huge white throne upon which God is seated. The books will be opened – these are the books in which every deed, every word, every thought of every person has been recorded. This is a data collection process that makes Google look like a high school computer science project. The most important book among these books that will be opened is called the Book of Life. In this book all the names of those who have genuinely trusted in Jesus Christ for their eternal life have been written. This is the book that will determine where we spend eternity. If your name is in it – you are in and it’s all good. If your name is not found in it – you are in big trouble, as your destination is apparently been book for a very hot location… literally!
If you happen to be wondering how one might be certain of getting one’s name written in the Book of Life, it is not complicated, but it involves a significant shift in one’s world view, which often results in some changes in attitude and behavior. The up side to this is that it is also more rewarding as you come to know Jesus Christ as a person rather than just as a swear word. The key to having your name in the book of life is that you have a relationship with Jesus. That is really pretty much all there is to it.
Here is how it works. When you repent of your sin (that would be all the bad stuff you have done that is written in those other books) and choose to believe that Jesus paid the penalty for your sin, and you accept His free gift of eternal life, which He offers us to receive by faith, all the bad stuff that was written in those other books gets whited out – erased – gone – like it never happened! So then, when God looks at your record, He doesn’t see what you have done, rather, He sees what Jesus did for you. As a result your name gets written in the book of life and you get a free pass. I’d say that is a pretty good deal!