What is the Book of Life and Whose Names will be written in it?

All biblical references to the Book of Life convey to us that it is a book that records the names of true believers in God. All of these registered believers are guaranteed eternal life in heaven:

1 Peter 1:3-5  
3Blessed [worthy to be praised] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith [true belief] for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The names of the people written in the Book of Life do not include a single name of anyone who has rejected the Savior at the time he died or at the time of Christ’s Second Coming at the end of the seven-year Tribulation (the beginning of the Millennial reign).

Isaiah tells us God considers all believers to be holy—that is, those who believe in God, will be righteous in His eyes—and will have their names recorded.

Isaiah 4:3  
And it shall come to pass, that he who is left in Zion [the city of David very near SE side of old city Jerusalem], and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, every one who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem.

Romans 3:21a, 22a  
21aBut now the righteousness [holiness] of God…
22a even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.

Daniel also refers to the recording of believers who will be saved:

Daniel 12:1  
[An angelic visitor (perhaps Gabriel) speaks to Daniel:]  
“At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, and at that time: your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.”

The Lord Jesus tells the seventy who returned that their names are written in the book:

Luke 10:20b  
“but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

Paul the Apostle tells us that God revering believers’ names are in the Book of Life:

Philippians 4:3  
And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

John the Apostle first refers to the Book of Life when quoting the Lord in Revelation:

Revelation 3:5  
“He who overcomes [he who was a true believer] shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

John also informs us of some names of those who will live during the Tribulation time of trouble who will not be in the Book of Life:

Revelation 13:8  
All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the Antichrist], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

When a believer dies here on earth, he will not suffer the second death which is eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20:6
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. …
Revelation 20:14
Then Death and Hādēs were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

The first resurrection (Revelation 20:6, 14) has 3 principal phases:

1) the resurrection of Christ;
2) the resurrection of His Church at the Rapture; and
3) the resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.

The second death is preceded by a resurrection of the unsaved to face the Lord at the Great White Throne.

Revelation 7:14b  
“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb [the Son of God].”

John prophesies that all who died while in disbelief in God will not have their names written in the Book of Life. The great white throne judgment will take place at the end of Christ’s Millennial reign; He will judge all rejecting, unbelievers who ever were on the face of the earth:

Revelation 20:11-15  
11Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it [The Son of God, Jesus], from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them [Satan, the Antichrist, false prophet and their followers]. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, [all unbelievers] standing before God [the throne], 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. 13The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death [possibly the ones who had not yet died, but are about to die now] and Hādēs [the ones who had died earlier and were brought up from their graves (Luke 16:19-31) to be judged and to experience the second death] delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14Then Death and Hādēs were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death [lake of fire]. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

In this second death the unbeliever just keeps dying; it is eternal punishment in the lake of fire which will never be quenched (Isaiah 66:24; Jeremiah 7:20; Ezekiel 20:47-48; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Jude 7).

Those who will perish into the eternal suffering of the Lake of Fire did not and will not accept the free offer extended to them by the wide open arms of Jesus that were nailed to the cross on their behalf. (Romans 5:15-16)

Romans 6:23  
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift [free gift] of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Author: Mike and Elfriede

For the past 14 years Michael Copple has studiously devoted his life to the Lord by preaching the Gospel and moderating Bible studies. He is a 1958 Eagle Scout, holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and achieved the highest US Air Force enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant with over 26 years service, one year of which was with Forward Air Control duties in Vietnam. For three years he was the senior enlisted member of the US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team; he has performed over 2,000 parachute jumps and accumulated over 15 hours of freefall. During his parachuting years Mike experienced a mishap of being a “hung jumper” outside the aircraft, and serious parachute malfunctions like a deadly seesaw night jump entanglement with another jumper, and an 85 mph wind shear which almost took his life. This experience inspired and qualified him to author the novel Calling from the Sky. A former world-wide electronic service engineer for 16 years with a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, he and his wife Elfriede currently live in the Canadian Rockies surrounded by 6 National Parks. Besides studying God's Word, they both like to exercise, cross country ski, hike, garden, and walk their dog Kansas. Visit him at https://www.michaelcopple.com/

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