A few weeks ago, in a biography of the former Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh Shelton revealed that during President Clinton’s administration, the “biscuit” was lost. And apparently it was lost for months! (To be honest, I understand that President Carter also lost his for a short time to the drycleaners!) The “biscuit” is a card that contains the nuclear launch codes necessary to respond appropriately to a major international incident. I can’t imagine what would have happened if such an emergency had occurred with us missing that document.
Along those same lines, apparently on the tiny Pacific Island of Fiji, there is a missing document as well. It appears that a legal paper outlining their independence from Great Britain can not be found. “Officials have rifled through the cabinets and secure government offices, but the order is no where to be found.” (Time, 11/1/10) The good news is the United Kingdom has agreed to send over a photocopy!
Although both stories evoke a bit of a chuckle, the loss of important documents can be serious. As I began to muse a bit about such miss placed legal paperwork, I thought about an important document in the scriptures, the Lamb’s Book of Life.
According to the Bible, there is a heavenly book that contains the names of the redeemed. It is first mentioned by Moses in Exodus 32:33. In that passage, the Lord told Moses that whoever sinned against Him would have his name blotted out of “my book.” Back then, tribal people kept records of their genealogies by keeping such books. God was just revealing that He too is keeping an important record of His children.
The prophet Daniel reiterated this same concept in Daniel 12 by reminding God’s children that everyone who has their name in the book will be delivered. Fast forward all the way to the last book of the Bible. In Revelation 20:11-15, the last judgment is described. God is seated on a great white throne, the book of life is opened and the dead are judged from it. “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
On such a terrible day of eternal judgment when God’s righteous standard for moral perfection is enacted and His sacrifice is applied to the record of every believer whose faith and trust is rooted solely in Him, aren’t you grateful that God keeps very careful records and that He does not lose important documents?
If you haven’t taken a moment recently to thank God for the incredible gift of grace that our salvation is dependent upon…today would be a great day to do that. And if by chance, you are reading this and are not absolutely certain that the book of life holds your name; please take some time to read of the glorious good news, the gospel. Read and think about the story of Nicodemus in John 3 or the encounter Jesus has with the woman at the well in John 4 or consider the great shepherd discussed in John 10.
The good news of the gospel assures us that Christ has paid the price for sin- in full. Because of His sacrifice on the cross, our salvation is secure. Your name can indeed be inscribed in that great book of life too! And I promise you that He does not lose any important documents.
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel