Now there may not be a country in the World today which doesn’t take a Census of it’s population. For instance the Government exercise towards the population count in Canada is due in 2021. The data thus obtained would eventually be used by the Canadian Government (and likewise other Countries which take periodical Census) to facilitate better governance of its citizens. It follows that that the statistics pertaining to its citizens is recorded and stored in a “register” (Hey…in this cyber age…it may be in a Super Computer)!
Be that as it may, it’s also time to reflect on the importance of yet another ethereal Citizenship Register…and that is the Lamb’s Book of Life!
In this Series of 3 parts, while toeing My Master’s line of gleaning spiritual lessons from contemporary events, intend to bring different dimensions of the Book of Life to the fore…using alliteration beginning with–what else: The letter “R”…(Doesn’t the word “Register” also begin with an “R”?)
“However, the important thing is not that demons obey you, but that your names are registered as citizens of heaven” (Luke 10:20)
Our Lord unequivocally brings out the paramount importance of having our names recorded in Heaven’s Book of Life putting its significance thereof over and above even great public Ministry involving miracles.
Opps…undertaking Christian Ministries which on the surface value appear great may not take one to Heaven as evidenced in the following Scripture portion:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness'” (Matt 7:21-23 BLB)
But on the other hand having our names not only recorded in Lamb’s Book of Life and doing our part in ensuring they remain therein is guaranteed to land us safely in Heaven (See Rev. 3:5/20:15).
Our names are written down in that ethereal Book…in this New Dispensation of Grace…the moment we repent of our sins and appropriate Christ’s atoning work on the Cross in our lives (See Romans 4:13-25/5:1-2/10:8-10) …and the same would be retained if we on our part faithfully keep obeying Him in all areas of our life.
Now who are they whom the omniscient Jesus (See Pro 15:11, Heb 4:13) does not know? His words of condemnation (in the context of failing to obey) to the accursed, “I do not know you” (Matt 7:23 BLB) seem paradoxical considering His omniscience. St. Augustine, the well-known Christian Saint of the 5th Century, observes that these words actually mean that these men–purportedly “Servants of Christ” in public perception–never knew Him properly in the first place. In other words, they never fully understood Christ and His priorities. After becoming Christians, with due passage of time, they may have made a good start in Ministry, but somewhere down the line, they may have got carried away by the lust for “fame and riches”. Take Demas (See 2 Tim 4:10) or his O.T. counterpart Balaam (Jude 1:11), for example. An anointing in them that is irrevocable (See Rom 11:29) may have served the purpose of “blessing the people” (people are always precious unto the Lord), amongst whom these men ministered, but their hearts were far-removed from the Lord’s priorities in the matters of total obedience. They were thus, never a source of joy to their Master (see 1 John 2:4). Let’s remember that the Lord CAN blot out names from the Book of life: “But the Lord replied to Moses, ‘No, I will erase the name of everyone who has sinned against me.'” (Exo 32:33 NLT). This, of course, was a result of their persistent disobedience despite being given much (read responsible leadership privileges–See Luke 12:45-48) and all of scriptural warnings.
While the disobedient lot are said to be those “who do not know the Lord”, look at what the Scripture has to say (in stark contrast…employing the same word “know”) about the faithful Servants of His for whom total obedience to the Master (synonymous with loving the Lord–See 2 John 1:6) is more important than anything else…
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments…” (1 John 2:3 ESV); “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7 ESV)
On our part (I reiterate), and only by depending fully on His sustaining grace, let’s strive to finish the race of our Christian lives with our names retained in the Book of Life. This would result in we being acknowledged by the Master Himself eventually as “Victorious” (Rev 3:5 –NLT), rather than as “Workers of lawlessness” who having lost their place in the “Heavenly Census Register” and are “deported” to Hell!
Just a word…about the “victorious” folks, many of them, just like their master being at the receiving end of injustice and lies (faithful Cross bearers — See Luke 23:23/1 Peter 2:18-23), may end up appearing in the sight of the World as “defeated” ones, again much like their Master. They too would be exalted by the Heavenly Father when it would matter the most.
Prayer: Father, we throw ourselves at Thy Feet weak as we are to live a life of complete obedience at all times. Strengthen us to walk in the straight and narrow path faithfully. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire “Heavenly Census” mini-series, please click here!)