Two Books

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. … And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”1

According to the Bible, God will judge all people after death. The final judgment will be based on what is written in two books. The first book contains a record of the works each person has done. If this book contains a record of everything we have done, are any of us good enough to escape God’s judgment? The sad answer is no. The Bible says that “we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses [good works] are like filthy rags.”2 It is clear that God is not impressed with our “good works.” The Bible also says that “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”3 If this is God’s description of the works of all people, then none of us has a chance to escape a guilty verdict at the final judgment.

The second book used at the final judgment is the Book of Life. The first book contains a record of all the works each person has done. This second book only contains a listing of names. At the end of this final judgment, anyone whose name is not listed in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire—God’s punishment for all who have sinned and rebelled against Him. But anyone whose name is listed in the Book of Life will escape this judgment. Instead of eternal punishment, they are given life. The big question that should be asked is this. How can my name be recorded in the Book of Life so that I can escape the coming judgment?

1 Revelation 20:11-12, 15
2 Isaiah 64:6
3 Romans 3:10-12

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