Revelations talks about the book of life (Rev 14:12, Rev 20:12-15). From my understanding, it’s basically the list of people who are getting into heaven. Is this a fact or symbolism? At what point would one’s name be added to the list? Could it ever be removed?
[quote=annb]Revelations talks about the book of life (Rev 14:12, Rev 20:12-15). From my understanding, it’s basically the list of people who are getting into heaven.
When it is first mentioned in the Old Testament (Exodus 32:32) the book of life seems to refer only to the living. If you were physically alive, your name was in the book of life and, if you died, your name was removed from the book of life. Later, in the Old Testament, the book of life also seems to be a list of the righteous who would one day be resurrected. In the New Testament, the book of life seems to be a list of Christian believers who would, if they persevered in faith and charity, one day inherit eternal life.
Is this a fact or symbolism?
Is there a big book in heaven? No. Everything in heaven is done by computer now.
At what point would one’s name be added to the list?
At the beginning of time; Revelation 17:8 says:
8The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to perdition; and the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will marvel to behold the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.
Could it ever be removed?
Yes; Revelation 3:5 says:
5He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
What I mentioned above notwithstanding, I think our names are written in the book of life when we first come to believe in Jesus and receive the Sacrament of Baptism, when we become spiritually alive. Our names will be blotted out of the book of life if we commit a mortal sin, when we become spiritually dead again. Our names will be written back in the book of life if we repent and confess our sin and receive absolution in Sacrament of Confession, when we become spiritually alive again.
I think it’s just like St. Paul’s explanation of the grafted vines. Yes, we can be grafted in (our names can be written in the Book).
But if the original vines (the Jews) can be pruned for their lack of faith, how much more can we be pruned off if we do not have faith (e.g., even after having our names in the Book, we have to persevere or He will blot them out.)
LOL, I loved the computer comment!
Thanks for your help. I get it.