88. …that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “whoever believes on Him is not put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. -Romans 10:9-17
In the last section we saw the Book of Romans give us some verses in chapters 8-9 about God’s sovereignty in salvation. Lest the pendulum swing too far away from the individual’s responsibility, these verses make clear that we must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved! When the sinner obeys God by believing and confessing Christ, they are saved, and they will not be put to shame! Then they too can start preaching to others the gospel of peace!
89. “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” -Revelation 3:5
The Book of Life has been the recipient of much speculation. It is specifically mentioned 7 times in scripture. One of those places is Revelation 20:15, which says that “anyone not found in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire. Some have used this text to say, “See, your name can be blotted out of the Book of Life after it is in there.” The problem is that is not what the text explicitly says here or elsewhere. But you can also turn it around – it can also be viewed as a reference to Eternal Security. I can read it as, “see, the truly saved are guaranteed that they are in the Book of Life – here God guarantees they are in it!” In Philippians 4:3 Paul speaks of two church women who are having a big argument as “in the Book of Life.” They were in the Book of Life not because they were “overcoming” at the time but because God had saved them! The other references in Revelation refer to it matter of factly – the lost don’t have their names in there (Rev. 13:18; Rev. 17:18; Rev. 20:12,15; Rev. 21:17). In Exodus 32:32-33 Moses is pleading with God to forgive the Israelites for their sin of idolatry, and even offers to have his name out of the book that God is keeping. The Lord refused to hear Moses on the request that he be removed, but answers, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of my book.” Again you have a difficult interpretation. Some could say, “See, you can be in the book and get blotted out.” I don’t think the text says that! In fact, knowing we’ve all sinned against God, that would mean we all deserve to be blotted out! You could also say this is an eternal security text because Moses was sure his name was in the Book! And God wouldn’t let him out of it! The bottom line is, whatever else you can do with the Book of Life verses, you can’t make them say a person can lose their salvation before God.
90. …and war broke out in Heaven: Michael ad his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in Heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, the serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” -Revelation 12:7-11
Look at that name for Satan – “the accuser of the brethren.” Satan does everything he can do in the courts of Heaven to try and slander those who were once his. But as we look into the future we see that true believers overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. All true believers will overcome, they will persevere! But don’t forget what we learned about Lot! What helps believers overcome is saving grace and keeping grace, and the aid of the Lord in difficult situations. True believers will all point to the blood of the Lamb as the key to their overcoming, making them “more than conquerors” through Christ! Their testimony is not what they have done for Christ as much as it is resting in what He has done for them! Their testimonies will be full of examples of how Christ has brought them through many dangers, toils, and snares, and how Christ will lead them home!