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Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Lamb's Book of Life

20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you,
but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Revelation 21:27Nothing impure will ever
enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those
whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

I believe that as we walk through this life, our vision is limited. We are blessed in the heavenly places, and we fight not against men, but we don't see. We see as in a glass darkly.

So, we read in the Bible that God Chose us, wrote our names in His book before the creation of the world:

4For he chose us in him before the creation of the
world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[
c] predestined us to
be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and
will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the
One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of
sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with
all wisdom and understanding. 9And he[
d] made known to us
the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in
Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their
fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head,
even Christ. Ephesians 1:4-10

So, I'm going along feeling good about knowing this....but sometimes I forget it, going along like I do, blind and focussed on the day to day. Then, twice in one week, the subject comes up again, forcing my mind to wrap around it again.

My Bible study partner brought it up. She asked if I thought that ...I can't remember her exact words, but it was something like this: Do you think that children born in Christian homes are always saved?

I have been in churches where it is a cute little saying that God does not have grandchildren. This is a cute little expression, but it has the taste of truth. The churches that commonly use this cliche are usually arminean. The idea is that you can't get to heaven on your parents' faith. I think that this is true, but we mustn't take God out of the equation...

There are also people who, although they might not say it, behave as if because I'm a Christian and am raising my kids right, they are Christian too. These people usually quote Proverbs 22:6

6 Train [a] a child in the way he should
go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

There is truth in this as well, but also danger. We mustn't take God out of the equation.

I once asked a woman to tell me when she became a Christian. She told me it was within her mother's womb. That has thrown me off for about a year and a half!

Certainly scripture tells us that God will bless the children to several generations of the ones who love Him. It also says that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. He is not obligated to a Christian couple, loving and serving Him to save their child. He is also not powerless to save a child whose family for the traceable past has not known Him.

I indicated that this concept was broached twice in one week. The next time was the following Sunday when our Paster announced a couple of new pregnancies in our church. He said many things about parenthood, and one of them was that although God is sovereign in salvation (I think he remembered that) He chooses to bless the marriage bed with godly seed.

I think often, we see the children of faithful Christians come to the Lord. I think that we also very often see some of them drift away from the church and renounce the Lord. This is why in many arminean churches you hear people say that parents should get a decision for the Lord early. That way, when they drift away, they are kept secure in the arms of Jesus (once saved, always saved...if you can remember a time when you walked the aisle...)

Obviously, we see unchurched people accept Christ. This is not, afterall, a genetically based faith. We do not have a faith gene, I don't think.

So what is the answer? I think we need to remember that their names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life from before the foundation of the world. We cannot take God out of the picture! Well, who blesses the Marriage Bed? God does; He formed us in our mothers' wombs. Who wrote our names in the books before the foundation of the world? God did. Therefore, wouldn't it make sense that it is God who decides in which family to place His sheep?

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