THE ETERNITY OF UNBELIEVERS
God and His Books
Before the days of laptops and tablets; before videotapes, cassette recordings, and the typewriter; and even before the advent of the pencil or wood-pulp paper, governing officials employed dozens of scribes to record their exploits. Archaeologists have discovered thousands of clay tablets from ancient kingdoms detailing the people and events in their realms. The biblical book of Esther illustrates how important these written records could be.
On a night when the Persian king Xerxes could not sleep, “he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king” (Est. 6:1). The king learned for the first time that Mordecai, a Hebrew, had saved his life by exposing a plot to kill the king. Because Xerxes’s scribes had recorded Mordecai’s good deed, the king honored Mordecai and set into motion a God-directed chain of events that the Jewish people still celebrate today (see Est. 6:1—9:32 for this wonderful account of justice served).
Another King, the Bible says, will open His books one day and read out of them. That King is God Himself, or “the Ancient of Days,” as the prophet Daniel called him (Dan. 7:9). Daniel saw a vision of “thousands upon thousands” of people standing before God, “and the books were opened” (v. 10). This is similar to the vision the apostle John recounted in Revelation, a vision of the final judgment of the human race. In “the books” that John saw are recorded names and deeds, and in “the book of life” are recorded names only. “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).
God is a King who will know the hearts and acts of all people at the end of time. His books will be opened, and deeds and names will—or will not—appear. Eternity in the presence of the King will belong only to those “whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27).
His books are complete and accurate, ready to be opened.