Book of Life

Can Names Be Blotted out of the Book of Life?

By Carl Johnson

Revelation 3:5 records this promise: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” One portion of the verse bothers some people; it is “I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.” Some infer from this statement that names can be blotted out of the Book of Life. The verse does not say that names will be blotted out of the Book of Life. In fact, it says just the opposite: “I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.”

Of course, this statement implies the possibility of having one’s name blotted out. J. A. Seiss in his book Letters to the Seven Churches stated,

There is a Celestial roll-book of all those who name the name of Jesus. But it depends on the persevering fidelity of the individual whether his name is to continue on that roll or to be blotted out.1

Dr. John F. Walvoord answered Seiss’s conclusion by writing,

To make the continuance of our salvation depend upon works, however, is gross failure to comprehend that salvation is by grace alone. IF it depended upon the believer’s perseverance, the name would not have been written there in the first place.2

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