The book of life
v.11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.
The division between chapters 19 and 20 is unhelpful, because, when we come to this chapter about judgement, our hearts and minds should still be ringing with praise and thankfulness for Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords. The content of this chapter has over centuries been vigorously debated, as to its significance and the extent to which it describes an actual, specific period of time.
The key truth to absorb is that the time will come when all people will be judged by God. The descriptive language of John’s vision (as in verse 10) creates images of horror which are intended to convey powerfully the awfulness of an eternity spent without God.
The predominant symbolism, drawn from a court of law, is a reminder that God will judge all people. His judgement will be fair, based on the lives we have led and our response to Jesus. It is not for us to judge anyone’s spiritual standing before God. That said, we can be assured that, through our trust in Christ, our names will be written in ‘the book of life’ (verse 15).This should be a spur to all Christians to share the good news of Jesus in whatever way we can with as many people as we can.
Lord, be your word my rule; in it may I rejoice; Your glory be my aim; your holy will my choice. Your promises my hope; your providence my guard.
Your arm my strong support. Yourself my great reward.