I have been studying and teaching Bible doctrine for over 48 years and the shepherding teacher for home based Churches. Sola Scriptura
Questions to Ponder
Before I address the topic of the title of this article, one needs to address two key questions concerning the God or the god whom they serve.
Is God absolutely sovereign over the affairs of mankind?
It is interesting when God directly confronted Job, the Lord did not even attempt to explain the foregoing suffering and pain but went to the absolute crux of the matter. God demonstrated that He alone is sovereign in all matters of life and death through a series of rhetorical questions, such as: were you there when I created all things; who are you to explain my workings in the affairs of man and beast; and are you able to instruct and reprove God? Job, being a righteous man, responded in pure humility when he uttered "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." A great problem with today’s believers is that we appear to have a less than humble response to the questions posed to Job.
Daniel 4:35 "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What doest thou?"
Remember this was said by the most powerful sovereign, a god on earth, who completely understood how much power he wielded over his subjects. He was brought to a place where he had to acknowledge that he was hopeless before the Almighty God and knew that our God alone is worthy of all glory and praise. No one can alter His course nor question His doings. I have heard many times over the years, Christians who plan to question God when they come into His presence, as if they have a right to know. It will be an exceedingly challenging task to accomplish when we all are on our faces with a true fear of our Lord of Lords and King of Kings, completely overwhelmed in His presence.
- Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent.
- Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
- Psalm 119:89 "Forever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven."
- Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
- Matthew 4:4 "...It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
- Hebrews 12:2a "Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith..."
Note: the majority of those who believe that one could lose their salvation consider themselves the author and finisher of their faith. Do we have a teachable spirit and study the Word of God to show ourselves approved to God or are we seeking inclusion with others and their beliefs?
2. What does all of this have to do with our understanding of the sovereignty of God?
Being that we are very emotional creatures, we have many tools at our disposal to balance out our emotions with some Spock-like logic. We, as Christians tend to live and act by what another person in which we have strong confidence writes, preaches, or teaches. The Bible commends those who search out the Scriptures to prove the validity of another's teaching, using the written Word as the final authority. Having the written Word in hand helps us not to take Scripture out of context and as 2 Peter 1:20 states "...no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.", for we need to keep everything in perspective. That which I write and teach is open to reproof and correction when another rightly uses the Word in its entirety as their basis. We must have a teachable spirit about us; sadly, I find this lacking in many who call themselves believers, as the social media has become a haven for the un-teachable.
Is Your Name in the Book of Life?
The Lamb’s Book of Life – A Book of Names
Whose names? The elect of God only. It is an exclusive list that consists of the foolish of this world to confound the wise, the weak to confound the strong and the nobodies, the base, and despised to bring to nothing the elitists and the powerful of this world. [1 Corinthians 1:27-28] They are the overcomers of this world from the moment Christ accepted us into the beloved. [Revelation 3:5; Ephesians 1:6] Note: being an overcomer has nothing to do with future performance but everything to do with who we are in the here and now; it is a moniker of the elect. The elect grow in wisdom and knowledge of our God whereas the religious stagnate into ritual and routine.
As Revelation 13:8, which describes the 70th week of Daniel, an age of martyrdom, that most of the world will worship the Beast because their names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Neither shall any be allowed access to the New Jerusalem whose names are not written in the Book. [Revelation 21:27] Also God’s promise stands firm in that He will not blot out any name from the Book [Revelation 3:5], so shall NO NEW NAMES BE ADDED TO THE BOOK!
Until the White Throne judgment, there is yet an uncountable number of names of those who will be drawn to the Savior, for their salvation is sure having their names written in the Book of Life. Every day the Father is drawing those whose names have been written since eternity past and will up to the very end of time as we know it. A family member or neighbor today or tomorrow, the martyrs of the seventieth week of Daniel, the sheep of Matthew 25 and those during the millennium until EVERY name written in the Book is secure in Christ.
When was the Book written? All of mankind’s history from day one in the Garden of Eden until the White Throne judgment, was settled in eternity past before God created the heavens and earth. [Revelation 13:8] We were the elect before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:4; Titus 1:2], just as Christ was foreordained to be sacrificed before creation [1 Peter 1:19-20], as only the Lamb of God [Revelation 5:6-9] is worthy.
Where? The Book of Life is in the possession of our Lord as no one other than Himself is worthy to open the book. It resides in heaven and will be opened at the White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:12-15.
Why? Simple answer ... because He is God. Romans 9:21-23 He does not need our approval, nor can we constrain God to our desires or man’s doctrines. Our sovereign God will do what He wants when He wants and how He wants. Only those who can spiritually discern the scriptures can come to acknowledge that God is sovereign over His entire creation and including the names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
To those who love our Lord and long for His return, may you rest secure whether in peace or peril that He “… is able to keep you from falling and present you spotless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 24