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The Book of Life ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: October 26th, 2016 | Category: belief, Eternity, Hope, Love, Promises, Spirituality | Comments

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The (Lambs) Book of Life (original edition) is the only book that I am aware of which has never been published or for that matter read by any of us. Yet this book is one which everyone with any spiritual bent has or should have heard of. It’s God’s book and it is referenced in many places throughout the Holy Bible. Biblical scholars have often presented God’s Book of Life as His muster-roll which lists for God’s eyes and use, all of those people who are considered righteous before the eyes of God. I think that is a nearly correct but a notably incomplete assessment. Have you ever wondered if your name is written down in The Book of Life? If you’ve read the Holy Bible, the chances are pretty good that you have thought about it. The correct question is not now and never has been “is my name written in The Book of Life,” but rather “will my name still be written in The Book of Life when I face the Lord?” Here’s the path of discovery which I followed to reach this conclusion. Revelation 20:15 NIV supports that “muster-roll” theory or understanding with “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” This is where the confusion begins. That said, there is very little scripture which suggests that this monumentally important “Book” is being freshly authored today. The writing (as such) was done eons ago. Even often referenced scripture like Malachi 3:16 NIV, which says “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name” is at best open to interpretation. It seems to me that those present in that meeting made their own judgements and wrote their own scroll while God watched over them. Reliers on Malachi 3:16 alone seem to neglect or minimize all of the other Biblical references to The Book of Life which is not the same text referenced as the “scroll of remembrance“. I believe that The Book of Life is our story, complete and unabridged and that the scroll of remembrance may, to a few hopefuls, be more like marginal footnote in it. I believe that The Book of Life was first written with every name included and will end with just those names which were not erased or blotted out of the book. These corrective modifications to the book are the scripturally certified actions to be taken by God and are specifically referenced in Revelation 3:5, Exodus 32:33, and Psalm 69:27,28.

There are several other biblical references which support this ALL INCLUSIVE original edition conclusion. Pay particular attention to the time frames mentioned and underlined in the following verses; Revelation 13:8 NIVAll inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.Psalm 139:16 NIVYour eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book BEFORE one of them came to be.” and Revelation 17:8 NIV, “The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.” The Book of Life, written during or before the creation of the world is the complete story behind that which has and will continue to unfold over our allowed lifetimes. Our choices or lack thereof will ultimately result in God appending His book as He sees fit.

Why is any of this even relevant or important? It is because God wants and planned ahead for ALL of His prospective children (that’s us) to be with Him in His Kingdom one day, but He left the ultimate decision on that ending up to us. Sometimes we get confused by other words or phrases like; those who believe, are called or have been chosen. The involves something else entirely. The original Life story included everybody who decides to be a part of God’s plan and follows His instructions. It’s that gift of free will thing that results in the modification of God’s story. Most good people take for granted that their names will be there when their time (of judgement) comes, regardless of what they do or do not do.  That’s flawed reasoning. Inclusion in this story is not based on  good behavior with a passive entry, it’s an active entry process. Yet it’s not what we do or don’t do, it’s who we choose or don’t choose which matters. Who we choose (our way or God’s way) activates what we do and ultimately what God does. God is the perfect author. Every character is accounted for. He wrote the whole book long before the play opened. The names of those who never choose or choose incorrectly are blotted out or erased from the book at a point which is known only to God. Those who choose correctly will NEVER be erased or blotted out of the book. Erased names have no desirable future beyond this life, while the remaining names have the brightest future ever. The Book of Life is our complete story, but the screenplay continues to unfold. Every character is carefully created, colorful and filled with life. Every scene and detail has been considered, every nuance weighed for both merit and contribution to the greatest story ever told. We each have a big part to play, the role of a lifetime. We can’t earn, plead or forge our names into The Book of Life, but we can choose to remain between it’s invisible covers by way of our right choices and God’s grace. Don’t miss the only opportunity of this lifetime. This is not a story of destiny, it’s a (true) story of love and choices. Nothing is automatic, everything is planned by God but we make the choices. God knows the ending even if we do not (yet). Choose the Lord and do as He instructs.

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Freedom ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: September 28th, 2016 | Category: belief, Eternity, Hope, Inspirational, Love, Spirituality, Truth | Comments

We have developed some strange ideas about what presents and then actually constitutes  our personal freedoms. Some think age? Others believe, financial independence? Business or home ownership? Zero commitments? Laws? Unlimited choices, resources, opportunities? In reality, each of those only tend to more securely tie us up with different kinds of knots, responsibilities and challenges. I’m going to make this next point without any exception. Until we have a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ we can never hope to be totally free. We… read more

Am I Significant? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 19th, 2016 | Category: Christ Follower, Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Love | Comments

Everybody wants to feel significant. In some way, by some measure. Without God, we will simply press ourselves into a chosen or defaulted life. A life of our choices. If, given our choices, we think we are failing in one arena, we’ll usually step up our game in some other arena(s). Work, play, learning, competitions, relationships, they all offer us the opportunity to achieve some desired level of earthly significance. We want our lives to somehow matter, to others. Here’s… read more

Relationship With God? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: July 28th, 2016 | Category: belief, Church, Faith, Inspirational, Love | Comments

Why would it be important for us to have or to be in relationship with God? If just believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He came (here) and died in our place, for our sins, then what would be the further point of any relationship? It was a done deal 2,000 years ago. Wasn’t it? That may be the most misunderstood concept of faith and belief today and such misunderstandings carry the worst of long term… read more

Being Open To God ~ John C Calkins

Posted: June 21st, 2016 | Category: Christ Follower, Common Sense, Inspirational, Love, Truth | Comments

For the most part, this is a well intentioned world but this upbeat description pretty much ends there. IF our positive intentions were to be regularly carried over into similar actions, I believe that this world would be very different. Delightfully different. God agrees and inspired the Apostle Paul to write this. “It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but… read more

Judgments and Opinions ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: March 7th, 2016 | Category: Common Sense, Inspirational, Love, Truth | Comments

Judgments and opinions are in some ways quite different while in other ways they are very much alike. Judgments are considered decisions leading to sensible conclusions. Opinions are judgements which are not necessarily based upon facts or knowledge. The outcome of judgements can carry legal penalties of various sorts and some opinions might well have social consequences of similar severity. Some people are paid or ordered to judge others in criminal or civil disputes and it’s safe to presume that… read more

Love Without Faith? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: March 2nd, 2016 | Category: Common Sense, Faith, Love | Comments

How can love and faith not be brothers or sisters of the same blood? Can we have faith without love? Of course not, that’s part of the package. Can we offer (Agape) love without faith? If we understand the meaning we can’t. Isn’t saying I love you the same proffer as saying I have faith in you? That is after all, how love begins. For those who have not invested in the Greek language, Agape love is usually defined as:… read more

The Harvest Of Perfection ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: February 2nd, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Faith, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love, Understanding | Comments

Why does God want or need so many people in heaven? The answer seems clear if every person around us brings us joy. More joy with each person. More joy is better. Yet that somehow seems too simplistic. A bit below the genius and work of God. It is also unrealistic? Would joy even be special if we’d never known sorrow? We shouldn’t be looking at this from our point of view, we should just be looking at it from… read more

Together With God ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: January 6th, 2016 | Category: Christ Follower, Church, Love, Prophecy, Spirituality, Understanding | Comments

There exists a general, perhaps even lethal misunderstanding about the church or more specifically about the church which was referenced by Jesus. His church is not merely one or even many buildings. Neither the church as a structure nor any constructed temple by itself houses God. Believers no longer go to a church building to find God. In fact, quite the opposite should be true. We bring God with us into our church buildings. If relationship with God is our prime objective,… read more

Matchbox Soul ~ John C Calkins

Posted: December 16th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Christmas, Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Love, miracles, Promises, Truth | Comments

What is the value of the soul? This elusive, invisible, romantic unknown is perceived by many as a sort of eternal chamber of secrets, longing for it’s mate, yet which opens up fully, only for God. I was listening to the classic holiday song, “Oh Holy Night” this morning, when two lines of it’s lyrics suddenly lit up for me. “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.” What enables… read more