The fifth blessing in Revelation is found in chapter 20, verse 6. “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.” Good hearted Christians, Bible scholars and whole denominations have differing interpretations on what it means to reign with Christ 1000 years. I’m not going to join that discussion here. I’ll leave that for people far smarter than I. What all believers can agree on is that it is essential to participate in the first resurrection and not be caught up in the second death.
I’ve been watching the Olympics and have decided to incorporate an idea from figure skating to my blog: short program and long program. If you’re interested in a quick read, the short program will give you the central idea of the blog. If you want more in depth teaching, continue reading through the long program. So here is this post’s central idea: Jesus said in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” Believe in Jesus, and you will be entered into “The Book of Life.” Even when your physical body dies, your spirit will live on forever with Jesus. Survival tip # 5 is: Be sure to be found as a character in “The Book of Life.”
That’s the end of the short program. If you want a short read, you can stop reading here. If you’re interested in finding out what the second death is, who and how are names written in “The Book of Life,” and what it means to be included in the first resurrection, read on for the long program.
Book of Life: You want to be listed as a character in “The Lamb’s Book of Life.” What is this book and how does your name get written in it? Jesus gave us the answer in Revelation 3: 4 & 5. “Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.” Maintaining victory over evil in our personal lives is the way to remain in the Book of Life. Then we are worthy to walk with Jesus dressed in the pure white robes of His righteousness.
Second Death: Revelation 20: 14 & 15 explain about the second death. “Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” This is why it’s essential to be found as a character in the Book of Life. Those who buy into the lies and purposes of Satan are thrown into the lake of fire with him for all eternity after the judgment. Revelation 20:10 is very sobering. “Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
First Resurrection: This is what Jesus provides for His followers. In John 5:24 Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” Paul gives more detail in Romans 6:5-11. “Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” Jesus has defeated the power of the Second Death. Our physical bodies die, but we no longer need to worry about being cast into the lake of fire at the judgment when we follow Jesus. Our spirits are already alive to God by being set free from the power of sin. We died to our sin when we accepted Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sin. Our name is written in The Book of Life and we pass from physical death to being alive with Christ forever. As He said in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”
The Book of Life: the best book ever!
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