My Question: Can someone's name be written in the book of life and still be evil?

Hi everyone,

Can a believer do evil? The flesh is still being crucified, so sometimes believers do things that are not in line with the life of Christ in them. Can a believer be evil? No. If any one be in Christ, they have become a new creation. Can we tell who is a true believer? What is the fruit of their life? Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Meekness? Or do we see just the opposite?

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There are many different views on the book of life, and how one interprets what the Bible says about it will largely be determined by the rest of their theology.

I will give you my understanding, those who differ can give you theirs, and you can judge what makes the most sense to you.

Some people believe that a person’s name is written in the book of life at salvation. But if that were true, then the only people ever in the book of life would all be saved people. What then would we make of those whose names are blotted out of the book? Obviously, they would be lost people. So, did they lose their salvation? Some would say yes, but I’d disagree. I do not believe that names are entered into this book at salvation.

Others would say that God has already predestined everyone who will be saved, and their names have already been written in the book before the foundation of the world. But again, what about names being blotted out? Did God later change His mind about who he had predestined? That seems pretty silly!

Putting all that the Bible says about the book of life together, the best explanation seems to be that the Book of Life is a record of everyone who ever had life - for however long they had it. So from the moment your life was conceived in the womb, all your members were written in God’s book even as they were being fashioned – Psalm 139:16.

The names of all who have ever lived have been entered, not all at once before the foundation of the world, but across the millennia from, or ever since the foundation of the world – Revelation 17:8.

But when lost people die, their names are blotted out of it. The temporary life they were given never became eternal, so Psalm 69:28 says, Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

People can also be blotted out before they die by committing an unpardonable sin, like worshipping the antichrist. They are the “living dead” whose damnation they themselves have predestined by their own hardness. So Revelation 13:8 says, all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the antichrist], whose names are not written in the book of life.

So by the end of time, everyone’s name will have been written in this book at some point, but all the lost will have finally been blotted from it. Revelation 20:15 says, Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Only the saved will remain in the book forever. Revelation 3:5 says, He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

I hope this will make sense to you.

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[Psalm 69:28]
Rev 3:5 - He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Mentioning of the possibility of the name being blotted out the book of life, suggests that the idea of someone not being as faithful as one should be for not have his name blotted out.

  1. There is a Book of Life , and it will be opened and referenced on the Day of Judgement. This means that the Book of Life is real , and will be read . (Revelation 20:12) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books .

  2. There is a Book of Life , and it determines if we go to heaven or hell. This means that the Book of Life is important . (Revelation 20:15) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire .

  3. There is a Book of Life , and knowing our names are written there should bring us great joy. (Luke 10:20) Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven .

  4. There is a Book of Life , and there are five different references to people being blotted out of the book. This means that the idea of being blotted out of the Book of Life should be taken seriously . Perhaps it is only a symbol, and that person’s name was never there to begin with. Even if that is the case, the Lord still wants us to take it seriously , because there are some who by every human appearance are saved, yet will not be in heaven.

Moses said to the Lord: Yet now, if You will forgive their sin; but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written . (Exodus 32:32) And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” (Exodus 32:33) Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous . (Psalm 69:28) He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels . (Revelation 3:5) And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book . (Revelation 22:19)

A good example of how we should take this warning seriously is the life of a man named Charles Templeton. A generation ago he was deeply involved in the foundations of Youth for Christ and impacted the nation for Jesus. Many people received Jesus at his meetings, and Mr. Templeton was an associate with Billy Graham in the early years. Nevertheless, he renounced his belief in Jesus, renounced even his belief in God, and said he was an atheist. Charles Templeton totally renounced his early confessions of faith and wanted to “rescue” the people he once brought to Jesus. Obviously, this man – in his present, apostate state – is not going to heaven and did not want to. One may long debate if he was ever saved or if he lost his salvation, but at the end of the debate there are two conclusions. First, at one time – by all human appearance – he was saved. Second, he didn’t honor the warnings of the Bible telling us to keep walking, to keep trusting, and to keep persevering in the faith. ( 2019 David Guzik)

Indeed, there are many positions to the approach of the question on hand. And I trust that the Lord who is rich in mercy would lead us into all truth. To begin with, I would say that, the counsel of the triune God has determined that evil would not enter in Heaven. All them that enter Heaven are those who are regenerated by the act of God’s own grace prior to the person’s act or work. In this, the Holy Spirit is the sanctifier, and HE works on the saved to become the image of God’s dear SON, in time all to glory. Well, there could be the appearances of the lost in the life of the saved, but certainly, that individual would yield to perfect obedience in sanctification before enter into glory with credible fruits of righteousness, of course, through God’s gracious outworkings. So, what really is the testimony of this reality, the saved will always long after God’s commands and would truly hate evil. Even when he or she buys sometimes into lustful temptation, such a one groans and truly look forward to overcoming all sins for perfect obedience to Christ. Now, I would say that, the book of life is a catalogue of the names of the saved. This is to say then that, the evil has not his or her name in the book of life. So, what is the notion of “I will blot your name out of the book of life”? At this juncture, let me say that, we can understand this well in employing a fair understanding of both didactic and phenomenology. By didactic, I mean the accepted teachings of the Bible and the other would mean how things appear to us. The bible narratives often comes to us phenomenologically, in this we can relate with them as humand. God’s anthropomorphism helps us to relate to God. Sometimes, HE appears to us as though HE lacks knowledge. NO! GOD forbid. Yet, God does that so that the human mind could comprehend him. For example, when a natural father speaks to his little son, he uses languages that the little son would understand, and sometimes the father behaves as though he did not have a prior knowledge of his son’s actions. In similar vein, God does same too, just to give us “wonder” and encouragement in walking with HIM, but not that HE lack any knowledge of whatever sort. If we look carefully, much of the notion of “I will blot” in the Bible refer to the unsaved. For example, Rev. 3:5 “…I will not blot out his name out of the book of…” This promise is for the overcomers. Let me strongly reiterate that the evil (an unregenerated person) is condemned already. Now, how do we know that this person is saved or not? Jesus answers Nicodemus on this, “No one know where the wind comes or go” (John 3: 8). Well, everyone knows genuinely in the heart whether he is saved or not. Now, the proof that persons are saved and were saved is the condition that they will ultimately overcome (hearing the fruits of the Spirit, even standing right in the providence of holiness) before enter into glory. So, all them whose names are blotted from the book of life are the evil. Actually, their names were never even written, the scripture only uses a language to reallyshow that their names are to be erased should there be ever a hope that it is there. In the book of life, only the overcomers have their names inscribed and such will never be blotted out. Now, inside the field are both the wheat and the tares. The tares look so alike to the wheat but the husbandman knows the difference. Pardon me for my long talk. Actually, I would like to continue but I have some restrains not, so I pause. The Lord bless us.