Is My Name Written There?


"Is my name written there?" became an important question to my wife and me. The telephone has made it simple to book accommodations at a distant place when we travel. But given that we are dealing with imperfect human beings, such services are not always reliable. Mistakes can be made. I recall that happening on a trip my wife and I made, several years ago. When we arrived, there were no reservations recorded in our name, in spite of the fact that I had been assured on the phone that there would be. It was only after driving wearily from one place to another, and still another, that we finally found a bed for the night.

Praise the Lord, He does not keep records in a careless and uncertain fashion! Heaven's record books about our lives are both accurate and scrupulously thorough. In particular, there is one book whose contents should concern us above all others. It is called "The Book of Life." That book is mentioned eight times in the New Testament. Once, it is called "the Lamb's Book of Life"--the book belonging to the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 21:27).

Jesus speaks of the importance of having our names being "written in heaven" (Lk. 10:20). That addresses the vital function of the Book. It is a listing of those, from the beginning to the end of time, who have been granted eternal salvation. We must be certain that, when we are called to stand before the Lord, our names will be found in the Lamb's Book of Life.

The issue concerned Mary Kidder years ago. Born Mary Ann Pepper (1820-1905), it is said she was blinded in her teens, but slowly recovered her sight. And she lived most of her life in New York City. We know little more about her, except that she had a gift for writing poetry. Mrs. Kidder penned about a thousand hymns, but only one remains in common use. In a song published in 1878, she asks, "Is My Name Written There?" meaning in the Book of Life. Good question! No other query should take priority over that one. As the author puts it, "Lord, I care not for riches, neither silver nor gold; I would make sure of heaven, I would enter the fold."

So how does one do that? To be found in the Lamb's Book of Life requires being rightly related to the Lamb! It will mean we have personally claimed His sacrifice on the cross as the one and only payment for our sins. As a verse of our hymn says, "Lord, my sins they are many, like the sands of the sea, / But Thy blood, O my Saviour, is sufficient for me; / For Thy promise is written, in bright letters that glow, / 'Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them like snow.'"

God's Word promises "as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God--to those who believe in His name" (Jn. 1:12). His name represents His authority and His ability to save, as expressed in the name "Jesus," meaning Jehovah is Salvation (or simply Saviour). The Apostle Paul states it succinctly: "I declare to you the gospel....That Christ died for our sins" (I Cor. 15:1, 3). That is how to be saved.

But can we know, for certain, now, that we are saved? Yes! "This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life....These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [says John], that you may know that you have eternal life" (I Jn. 5:11-13). On the basis of God's promise, those who have trusted in Christ as Saviour can say, as Mary Ann Kidder does in the last verse of her hymn, "Yes, my name's written there, on the page bright and fair!"