Name Erased from Book of Life?

Please explain Revelation 3:5, "He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life…" Does this mean that my name can be blotted out of the book of life and that I can lose my salvation?

Answer: Some people believe that this verse teaches that your name can be erased from the book of life. Notice that the verse doesn't say that a person's name can be blotted out of the book. It says, "I will not erase his name from the book of life." Rather than being fearful of being blotted out, this verse gives assurance that a believer's name cannot be erased.

Every city had a register which recorded each resident. If a person moved or died, his name was blotted out of the book. Jesus says, "You might get erased from that book, but you will never be erased from My book." This verse doesn't teach you can lose your salvation, but that you can't.

When were the names written in the book of life? Jesus told His disciples to "rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven." (Luke 10:20). Christ told them to REJOICE because their names were already recorded in heaven. They couldn't rejoice if they could be blotted out the next day.

Revelation 17:8 says, "And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast…" Why would God write in a person's name if He knew that He would have to blot it out? Notice it doesn't say that their names were blotted out, but that their names were never written in. From when? From the foundation of the world. Saved people's names were recorded at that time. "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…" (Eph. 1:4)

How can He choose us before we are even born? We are chosen "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…" (1 Peter 1:1-2). God knew ahead of time who would call upon Him to be saved, and He recorded their names before the foundation of the world.

Some have taught that a person can be saved, then lost, then saved, then lost, etc. That would mean that God would write down the name, then erase it, then write it in, then erase it-the Book of Life would be pretty messy. No, God doesn't make mistakes. God doesn't have an eraser on His pencil.

But doesn't Revelation 3:5 promise this only to those who "overcome"? The apostle John, who wrote the book of Revelation, also wrote First John. He explained what it means to be an "overcomer" in 1 John 5:4: "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world." Everyone who is born of God is an overcomer-and will not have his or her life erased from the Book of Life.

What about those who appear to be Christians but then quit the faith? Were their names erased from the Book of Life? John explained that as well. "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us" (1 John 2:19). No, their names weren't erased. They never were believers in the first place, meaning their names were never written in the Book of Life.

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