There are two verses which some people usually use to suggest that one may indeed have his/her name removed from the book of life. Before we examine those verses, I will say that if this were possible, it would contradict the whole New Testament teaching on the believer’s ETERNAL SECURITY. What do I mean by the words “eternal security?” Eternal security means that “Once a person has been born again by the Word of God and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, he/she is safe and secure for all time and eternity, without any possibility of losing eternal life.” Scripture is crystal-clear that the believer in Jesus Christ HAS ETERNAL LIFE AND SHALL NEVER PERISH (see John 3:16; 5:24; 6:27; 10:28-30 and 1st John 5:11-13). They will NEVER COME INTO JUDGMENT (John 5:24 and Romans 8:1) and are KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD (John 10:29 and 1st Peter 1:3-5).

In Revelation 3:5 we read, “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.” Those who deny eternal security espouse the view that this verse IMPLIES that one’s name COULD BE BLOTTED OUT. I believe the opposite is true. I believe it is, as another has said, “A positive affirmation that their names will not be erased.” In other words, it is another emphatic statement assuring them of their eternal security. The apostle John refers to the “book of life” six times in Revelation (3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; and 21:27) and in each case there is no hint that a believer’s name could be removed.

The other verse people use is Revelation 22:19, “If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things written in this book.” It should be noted the words “Book of Life” in the KJV and NKJV are translated “tree of life” in all other translations. Even the NKJV inserts the words “tree of life” in the margin. This rendering is supported by the fact that we find the words “tree of life” three times in this chapter (verses 2, 14, 19). This verse is a solemn warning to all UNBELIEVERS who would tamper with the Word of God by either ADDING to it or SUBTRACTING from it. We know that modern-day cults (like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons) are notorious for this very thing. They have adopted their OWN TRANSLATIONS which radically CHANGE THE WORDS in many passages of scriptures and by doing so CHANGE THE MEANING to fit their particular interpretations of the Bible. The apostle John warns them that by doing so they will have no part in the tree of life nor will they have access to the holy city in heaven. Only true believers will have the privilege to partake of the tree of life and to enter the holy city, as we see in verse 14, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city” (NASB). The phrase “wash their robes” speaks of all who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. This is confirmed in Revelation 7:13-14, “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘These who are clothed in white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have WASHED THEIR ROBES and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (299.7) (DO)