There seems to be many verses in the Bible that relate to a rejection by God of those who give their life to Christ, professing to be Christian, but then who fall away from the truth, believe lies, fall into sin, and don’t continue in their faith, i.e, you no longer know them by their fruit. I had been taught the message of “once saved, always saved,” but the more I read, the more Scriptures I find in the contrary. I’ll need to review those and post them to teach myself as well, but today, I’ll just talk about the Scriptures related to God’s book of life as one set of those which oppose the “once saved, always saved,” theory. This book appears to have be written from the beginning of time which includes the names of those who will be saved; however, even though God originally wrote in these names, God is able to modify this book and remove people whenever He wishes based on whether they continue in rebellion against Him, so basically, He gives those in the book free will to follow Him or rebel. If these choose rebellion, then their names will be blotted out. I don’t see any time where names can be re-added to this book once they are removed as I haven’t found any Scriptures related to this.
We see that King David was aware of the fact that names could be blotted out from the book of life and so he was pleading with God to remove the names of his enemies from these books (but quite possibly, they weren’t in there already due to their sins.)
“Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.” Psalm 69:28
And, in opposite, Moses threatens God by telling Him that if He doesn’t forgive the sins of the Israelites, then He might as well blot out his name as well.
“But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.” Exodus 32:32
But, God responds and tells Moses that He WILL blot out those who sin against Him no matter what Moses threatened. These are His rules only and no one else can tell Him what to do.
“But the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.” Exodus 32:33
We see the greatest description of this book of life when we read passages in Revelation leading up to and during the final judgements of all people on the earth. Prior to the upcoming judgements, God gives a final stern warning to the church of Sardis (Rev 3: 1-6). In order to remain in the book of life, these people needed to wake up, come back to God, and wash their garments again.
““‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Revelation 3: 1-6
- “and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” Revelation 13:8
- The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.” Revelation 17:9
- “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.” Revelation 20:12
“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
“But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27
“and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” Revelation 22:19
Father God, Thank you that you have written down the names of those who love and follow you and who have trusted you for the forgiveness of their sins through the blood of the lamb. We are eternally grateful to be included in your book. Though we know at times we fail and continue to sin at times, draw us immediately into repentance so that we do not continue to fall farther and farther away from you as we don’t want to be in danger like the warning that you gave the church of Sardis. We want to be awake and on fire for you. Keep us grounded in your work and in faith. In Jesus’ name.. Amen.