Book Of Life


#1

A while back I went to a Baptist church to see a play called “Heavens Gates, Hells Flames”. The play was ok i guess, but I got a few questions:

  1. In the play, the people would die. When they reached heavens gates, they went to an angel, and the angel had this “Book of Life”, there was no St. Peter, no keys, just this book, can someone explain this book to me and tell me if Catholics believe in a “Book of Life”.

  2. In one of the skits, there were these two construction workers and they were talking about “Accepting Jesus as your Personal Lord and Savior”. The man who had already accepted Jesus was trying to get the other one to accept Jesus. The other one was a drunk, a liar, he neglected his family, and he was lazy. Well that man accepted Jesus, and there just happened to be a wall that fell on them after that. They reached heavens gates, went to the book, and they both made it into heaven. Do us as Catholics believe that the lazy, drunk man would’ve been saved?


#2

[quote=RomanRyan1088]A while back I went to a Baptist church to see a play called “Heavens Gates, Hells Flames”. The play was ok i guess, but I got a few questions:

  1. In the play, the people would die. When they reached heavens gates, they went to an angel, and the angel had this “Book of Life”, there was no St. Peter, no keys, just this book, can someone explain this book to me and tell me if Catholics believe in a “Book of Life”.

  2. In one of the skits, there were these two construction workers and they were talking about “Accepting Jesus as your Personal Lord and Savior”. The man who had already accepted Jesus was trying to get the other one to accept Jesus. The other one was a drunk, a liar, he neglected his family, and he was lazy. Well that man accepted Jesus, and there just happened to be a wall that fell on them after that. They reached heavens gates, went to the book, and they both made it into heaven. Do us as Catholics believe that the lazy, drunk man would’ve been saved?
    [/quote]

The Book of Life is allided to throughout the book of Revelation: 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; 22:19.

I believe the lazy drunkard would have gone to heaven if his repentance was real, just life that of the good thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43). However, he probably would have to spend some time in purgatory first (1 Cor 3:15)


#3
  1. Here’s my understanding of the matter…

In the Old Testament, the Book of Life seems to be mentioned in Exodus 32:32-33; Psalm 56:9; 69:29; 139:17; Daniel 7:10; 12:1; and Malachi 3:16, and seems to refer to a heavenly record of the names and memorable deeds of those who are or who were alive, especially the righteous. In the later books of the Bible, the Book seems to be the basis for determining who will rise again at the resurrection of the just.

In the New Testament, the Book of Life is mentioned in Philippians 4:3 and Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; and 21:27, and seems to refer to a heavenly record of faithful Christians, those who have the hope of eternal life, those who are in the state of grace. The normal way to get your name written in the Book of Life, the normal way to become a Christian and enter the state of grace, is by being baptized. Sin mortally after baptism and your name is blotted out of the Book of Life, at least until your repent and receive absolution for your sins. Persevere in the state of grace until death and your name remains in the Book of Life and you will rise again at the resurrection of the just.

  1. Deathbed conversions are not unheard of in the Catholic faith.

#4

besides the scriptures named, revelation says ‘hell and death were cast into the lake of fire, along with Satan and his angels, and anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life.’

and i would agree that the man who ‘trusted Christ for salvation’ would probably be saved (we can’t know for sure), but that he would spend time in purgatory first. purgatory is simply the process of being made holy, so that we can live in heaven, a holy place, with God, who is holy, and not be ‘out of place’.

we catholics believe that baptism and reception of the eucharist are ‘necessary’ for salvation, in ordinary circumstances. obviously this man’s situation would not be ordinary, so we would trust the grace of God that he could be saved.

that’s where catholic and protestant theology differ - protestants would say ‘he prayed the sinners prayer and repented - therefore he’s saved - he’s definitely in heaven now that the wall fell on him.’

catholics tend to look at more verses than romans when dealing with salvation issues, so sacraments and good deeds are part of the process of our being saved. in this man’s case, the ‘process of his being saved’ would probably be in purgatory.


#5

Interesting topic,

Though Christ addressed this issue specifically. Remember the parable of the vineyard workers?


#6

Well answered RNR! :thumbsup:


#7

[quote=RNRobert]The Book of Life is allided to throughout the book of Revelation: 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; 22:19.

I believe the lazy drunkard would have gone to heaven if his repentance was real, just life that of the good thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43). However, he probably would have to spend some time in purgatory first (1 Cor 3:15)
[/quote]

If the lazy drunkard had never been baptized and if he was just then saved by repentance. What then? It would be same as Baptism by desire? At his first water Baptism all is forgiven? Why purgatory in such a case?

I’m in RCIA. So I don’t know so much.

From my Baptist background – we actually have something very similar to purgatory – same Bible verses back it up. A judgement of a believer’s works. Fire burns the stubble. Good works remain. In the case of the lazy drunkard first hearing and wanting Christ, there would have been no time for him to produce any works as a believer that could be judged in that judgement. I suppose that a Catholic view is that he would perhaps pass through purgatory rather quickly, because there wasn’t anything to refine in the fire. Perhaps too, he would only resemble Christ just a little bit because he had such little time to mature in Christ. But at least the drunkard escaped hell.


#8

your post seems to touch on the answer to your question. why purgatory? because life, and purgatory, is to make us into saints. only saints can people heaven.

if we suffer and die to ourselves daily and take up our crosses and follow Him, then we become more and more like Him in this life, and require little (i understand that EVERYONE goes through some amount of purgatory, as no one dies perfect. i have heard this. i don’t know for sure.) or perhaps no time in purgatory (if what i heard is incorrect).

but if we die in a state of grace, but without having been made into saints, we go through a process (purgatory) where we are made into saints.


#9

[quote=jmm08]If the lazy drunkard had never been baptized and if he was just then saved by repentance. What then? It would be same as Baptism by desire? At his first water Baptism all is forgiven? Why purgatory in such a case?

I’m in RCIA. So I don’t know so much.

From my Baptist background – we actually have something very similar to purgatory – same Bible verses back it up. A judgement of a believer’s works. Fire burns the stubble. Good works remain. In the case of the lazy drunkard first hearing and wanting Christ, there would have been no time for him to produce any works as a believer that could be judged in that judgement. I suppose that a Catholic view is that he would perhaps pass through purgatory rather quickly, because there wasn’t anything to refine in the fire. Perhaps too, he would only resemble Christ just a little bit because he had such little time to mature in Christ. But at least the drunkard escaped hell.
[/quote]

Yes, I think it would be Baptism by desire. As for his time in purgatory, I think his time would be somewhat lengthy. Remember, purgatory is the final process of making the soul fit for the presence of God, and considering he spent much of his life being drunk and slothful, I think his soul would need some major repairs.


#10

Thanks everyone for their replies. I have a question, do Catholics believe that there is a Book of Life?


#11

Rev21:v27 in the Douay -Rheims Bible.

The commentaries describe this chapter as a description of the New Jerusalem. Nothing is said about about a “BOOK”.


#12

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