The Books

God has a library: He’s having it all written down, everything we do and say. (Re 20:12) Every idle word we speak, all our feelings, motives and thoughts, things we aren’t even aware we’re doing … it will all be publicly scrutinized. All is recorded here, in the books; nothing is forgotten, and we’ll answer for all we’ve done. (Mt 12:36)

This must be an immense work, The Encyclopedia of Humanity, precisely documenting every nuance of every act of every person who has ever lived. As our minds capture everything we experience, making the more significant events available to us for our inspection and reflection, these volumes perfectly preserve all the same data, but make it all available for everyone to peruse. (Mk 4:22) Nothing will be hidden (Mt 10:26); secrecy is an illusion, a temporary one. We’ll all be participating in judging each other, thoroughly apprised of all the facts. (Lk_11:31)

Yet there’s another book, The Book of Life (Php 4:3), or The Book of the Living, listing those who are righteous before God. (Ps 69:28) Some names are engraved into this book before Creation (Re 17:8), others are evidently penciled in afterward, only to be finally blotted out (Ps 69:28) due to their ungodly lives. (Ps 69:26)

We should all rejoice, at least for now, that our names appear in the Book of Life (Lk 10:20), the precious token given to every one of us that there’s a place set aside for us in God: God is graciously willing to receive any soul that turns to Him in faith. (2Pe 3:9) Those who do so, who seek Him until they find Him (Is 55:6-7), the elect chosen from eternity past (Ep 1:4-5), are counted righteous (Ro 4:3), and will never be blotted out of the Book of Life. (Re 3:5)

The only way to survive this searching, exhaustive, judgement, to avoid an eternally fiery end, is to be found written in The Book of Life. (Re 20:15) Only those written in the Lamb’s Book survive; everyone else is corrupt, polluted, unworthy to enter Paradise. (Re 21:27)

Let’s be diligent to make our calling and election sure. (2Pe 1:10) It isn’t so much what we know, as it is Who we know. To have eternal life is to know Him (Jn 17:3), to be known by Him (Mt 25:12) and transformed by Him (Ep 2:10), inscribed indelibly into God’s Book of Life.

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God Is Just

The human heart longs for justice, to see evil punished: we say, “Don’t get mad; get even!” We demand that wrongs against us and our loved ones be righted, that sin be paid for, that the crooked be made straight. Our sense of injustice, that evil goes unpunished in this life, can be maddening, driving us to bitterness.Lightning

Our instinctive longing for justice is beautiful; it’s God’s image at work in us, even proving His existence, but there’s a problem: we’re unjust. We seldom see our own sins rightly, and our response to evil is usually warped; we exact more than we should.

So God says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” (Ro 12:19) He wants perfect justice more than all the rest of us combined, but only He knows what it looks like.

God is perfectly just, and only God is perfectly just; He will make all the crooked places straight (Is 40:4); He will right all wrongs … even our own. It’s an awesome mystery how God’s justice and mercy work together (Ps 89:14), how He can offer eternal salvation to sinners, His own Son taking our place and satisfying His own indignation against us. We do well to receive His mercy rather than the second death, and to rejoice when others do … especially our enemies(Mi 6:8)

How and when God makes everything right is up to Him; when He does it will be supremely satisfying, beautiful beyond thought! (Re 15:3-4) Enjoying it now in hope, before He does, glorifies Him and gives us peace.

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Saved by Hope

Hope: an expectation that something good will happen, the delightful foretaste of blessings not yet seen, the heart’s response to God’s faithfulness. Hope is a cornerstone of spiritual life, intrinsic to all godliness. (1Co 13:13a) Life can be unbearable without it; Jehovah says we are saved by it. (Ro 8:24)

Hope saves by rescuing us from anxiety, worry, despair and despondency, giving us strength to live joyfully, to walk worthy of Him, with purpose and dignity even in the midst of our afflictions.

Knowing God is just and good keeps hope alive in this broken world. We must remember that YHWH has a glorious purpose in allowing evil and suffering. His Day will come: He will right all wrong; He will judge all in righteousness and truth. (Ps 9:8) In the end, as surely as we are, God’s children will exult in Him.

The Almighty makes no promise lightly; He puts His name and character on the line in every single one. He need not do so for Himself: He is giving us an ultimate opportunity to honor Him, to trust His heart before seeing His hand.

Will Heaven see any promise unfulfilled? to even one person? What have we to lose in acting out His faithfulness? Is there a better way to glorify Him? Or any other way … is it even possible to honor Him without trusting Him?

Let the world go its way, heedless of glory and judgment to come. Keeping our eyes on the heart of our King, let us count on Him; expect Him to fulfill His Word. Let our story be the joyful anticipation of heavenly reality … an abiding witness of God’s eternal faithfulness. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Ro 15:13)

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