Posted by: rcottrill | October 14, 2013

A New Name in Glory

Words: Charles Austin Miles (b. Jan. 7, 1868; d. Mar. 10, 1946)
Music: Charles Austin Miles

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This gospel song was published in 1910. Over the years, Miles, a former druggist, became an editor of sacred music, as well as a prolific song writer. The Cyber Hymnal lists here the names of nearly four hundred songs that he gave to the Christian community.

The book of Revelation speaks of “books” (or scrolls) a number of times. Usually, the Greek word biblos or biblion is used, with bibliaridion found exclusively in chapter 10, indicating an especially small scroll.

¤ Sometimes, the book of Revelation itself, the book John is writing, is referred to by the term (Rev. 1:11; 22:7-10). And this is the only book of the Bible in which we’re specifically told the Lord will bless the one who reads it and heeds its message (1:3).

¤ Many times reference is made to the Book of Life, or the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19). This book will list all the saints down the ages, all who saved (cf. Lk. 10:19-20). There is some disagreement among Bible scholars as to whether each new name is added the moment a person is converted. Or, whether all the names are there to begin with, with the names of those being erased, in the end, who have rejected God’s salvation. Either way, the result is the same. Only the names of those who will spend eternity in the heavenly kingdom are found there.

¤ A scroll with seven seals is spoke of in Revelation 5:1-10. It seems to be the title deed to the earth, a scroll that only the Son of God has the right to open, because He alone has a legitimate claim to sovereignty over the earth. It’s the breaking of the seals that initiates the earthly judgments of the Tribulation on the unbelieving.

¤ In chapter 10, we read of “a little book” in the hand of an angel (Rev. 10:1-2, 8-10). Some believe this is the same book (or scroll) found in chapter 5:1-10. However, that book is never spoken of as “little.” It seems to me the tiny book may simply list the final terrible judgments that are to unfold, with the breaking of the seventh seal on the earlier scroll (cf. 8:1; 10:11). John eats the second scroll–which he would surely not do to the title deed to the earth. And he finds the consumption of it upsets his stomach–just as awareness of the coming judgments themselves would be terribly upsetting to his soul.

¤ On one occasion “books” (plural) are spoken of (Rev. 20:12). Out of these books, the unsaved will be judged at God’s “great white throne” Their names are not found in the Book of Life. So instead of being credited with Christ’s righteousness, they are judged according to their own works–which fall far short of what is required (Rom. 3:23). As is depicted in Dante’s Inferno, the Bible seems to teach there will be degrees of punishment in hell (Lk. 12:47-48; cf. Matt. 10:15; Heb. 10:29), as well as degrees of reward in the eternal kingdom (Lk. 19:16-19; Rev. 22:12).

Skeptics, wanting to ridicule the Bible, picture an old man with a flowing white beard consulting enormous volumes which list all the billions of individuals who have ever lived, and all they have done. The seeming impossibility of this is supposed to show that it is all a myth. But there seems to me no valid reason to simply dismiss a literal interpretation of the words–and, on the other hand, there’s an important reason why these “books” are needed.

Why are they important? Because God wants to display of the facts, in a way that is external to His own mind. The books become a witness to all humanity, and to the angels–both good and bad spirit beings–of the wisdom and righteousness of God. That is what Job desired, a record that demonstrated his integrity, when he stood before his Redeemer after the resurrection (Job 19:23-27). The record will fully confirm and testify to all the righteous judgments of God.

The exact nature of the books need not be restricted to bound pages. I have a Kindle e-reader. It’s not much bigger than the palm of my hand, yet I currently have hundreds of books on it. And when I pick it up to read, I say I’m reading a book. Whatever the nature of the books of heaven, they are more than adequate for their purpose.

CH-1) I was once a sinner, but I came
Pardon to receive from my Lord:
This was freely given, and I found
That He always kept His word.

There’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
And the white robed angels sing the story,
“A sinner has come home.”
For there’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
With my sins forgiven I am bound for heaven,
Nevermore to roam.

CH-3) In the Book ’tis written, “Saved by Grace,”
O the joy that came to my soul!
Now I am forgiven, and I know
By the blood I am made whole.

Questions:
1) On what basis will a name be found in the Book of Life?

2) What other songs express well the joy of salvation?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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