There are several things that amaze me about the Doomsday Book. Here they are in no particular order:
- It’s Antiquity
- It’s Detail
- It’s Finality
It’s Antiquity-It dates from 1086 and we still have it. Of course there are older castles, older trees and lots of other older records written in stone. However, for a record of this kind it is unique and it has stood the test of time.
It’s Detail-In our day getting a detailed record of every property and possession would take very sophisticated computers and programs. Now imagine doing that with just pencil and paper. The details recorded in the Doomsday Book are impressive to say the least.
It’s Finality-The Doomsday Book received it’s name after it became such a reliable and dependable document that it was compared with the Book of Revelation, the final book in the Bible and chronicle of the final judgments on humanity.
The Book of Revelation mentions, along with a number of other Biblical books, a great book than the Doomsday Book. It is more ancient, more detailed and more final than the Doomsday Book could ever hope to be.
The Book of Life-The Book of Life and associated books (which I’ll talk about later) appear all through the Scriptures. Their antiquity stretch back before the creation of the world, their details include the names of every individual who has ever lived and ever will live, they also record everything we have ever done or ever will do. And they are the final record used to judge our lives.
Today I just want to give a summery, but over the next week or so I want to do something of a survey of the Bible and the Book of Life.
In Luke 10 the disciples return from one of the missions Christ had sent them on and they rejoiced because of everything they had seen. In verse 17 they give their excited report,
Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
Amazing things had happened. Growing up they had learned about the miracles in the Old Testament. They sat in awe when they heard tales of Elijah and Elisha calling fire from Heaven and defying the wicked enemies. Now they were the heroes! Now they were living the adventures! I am sure they gave all the glory to God, but you know the excitement of knowing God has used you! You know the excitement of seeing God work a miracle in your life, you see the impossible happen and you get excited!
These disciples came back to Jesus and they were buzzing! Nothing like this had happened in many hundreds of years and now they found themselves playing a part in this wonderful new story in which God was working! But when they return to Christ, He does not pour cold water on them, but neither does He let them focus on the wrong thing. Christ gives an answer bringing them back to what really matters.
18 I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
The disciples cast out demons, Christ declares that He saw Satan cast out of heaven. Christ then gives wonderful promises about what they will do through His name. Then, perhaps with a compassionate smile, He tells them,
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
We will work through all the details of the Book of Life over the next few posts, but I’ll jump to the conclusion here. If you’re name is not in the Book of Life then you do not enter Heaven. Plain and simple. There are other books as I mentioned above. Books that contain every thing you have ever thought, said or done. If you think the Doomsday Book is detailed imagine a book containing everything about you. Have no doubts that your good deeds will not outweigh your bad. You may try to excuse yourself, but one of the godliest men in the Bible honestly admitted,
If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
Job has just asked how a man can be right with God and immediately he admits that he couldn’t honestly excuse any of the sins he has committed.
The Bible also talks about imputation, this simply means to credit something to someone else’s account. When Christ died on the cross He paid the debt of our sins. When we sin we transgress God’s law and for that there is a punishment. Christ took that punishment upon Himself. But more than that He made His righteousness, the standard God requires, available to us. If we accept God’s gift of salvation then God will impute, He will credit, to our account the righteousness of Christ. Our sins will be forgiven, our names will be found in the Book of Life. Instead of Hell and punishment we receive friendship with God and eternal life in Heaven with God.
This is a summery of many of the ideas we will be going over in the next few days. But realise that this really is a matter of life and death. I’ll close with this question.
If you were to die today and stand before God, are you confident your name will be in the Book of Life?