I love reading books. It became a lot more convenient to read when I got my Kindle Fire. Now, I can carry around any number of books, including a number of different Bibles without putting a strain on my back.
Here, though, we find two books. And perhaps more.
John tells us that on the day of judgment, he saw all the dead both great and small standing before God’s throne with the books were opened. What is in those books? Apparently everything we have ever done in our lives.
In addition to those books, there is another book: the book of life. And in it is the name of every person who belongs to God; all those who have put their trust in Jesus and his work on the cross for their salvation.
And John tells us,
The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (12-15)
What do we learn from this?
We have a choice. We can either put our trust in ourselves and our works to get us to heaven or we can put our trust in Jesus and his work on the cross for our salvation.
If we do the latter, then our names are written in the book of life and we will be saved.
But if we choose to do the former, all of our works will be found lacking before God. Lacking because he sees not just the good we do, but the evil. Lacking because even when we do good, many times we do so with wrong motives and attitudes. But most of all, lacking because we have rejected Jesus as King and Savior in our lives.
In short, if we insist on being judged for what we’ve done to get to heaven, none of us will ever make it. Every one of us will fall short.
I don’t know about you, but I do not want to be judged by what I’ve done to get me into heaven. I’d much prefer to rely on Jesus’ completed work on the cross for me.
The choice, however, is yours. Which will you choose?