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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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A List You Don't Want To Miss!

When was the last time you looked at a list? Lists are everywhere in life. Many people keep a list of things to do each day. Telephone books, the Census Bureau, college deans, and the FBI all maintain a list. It is reported that even Santa has a list and checks it twice! Grocery shoppers usually have a list.  The bank keeps a list of the checks you write. The telephone company keeps a list of every phone call you make. In many states, you have the legal right to tell a telemarketer to put you on their "no-call" list. The truth of the matter is we would love to be off many of the lists our names are on!

But God is compiling a list you don't want to miss! To a few faithful Christians in the otherwise dead church at first century Sardis, Jesus sent this encouraging message in Revelation 3:5, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life: but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." Revelation 20:15 mentions this list again and says that " anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." On one occasion in Luke 10:20 Jesus instructed His disciples to ". . rejoice because your names are written in Heaven." Hebrews 12:23 speaks of "the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered (or written) in Heaven. . ." The apostle Paul referred to this list in Philippians 4:3 where he expressed certainty that the names of those who had labored with him in the gospel were in the Book of Life.

Is your name written in Heaven? Are you on God's guest list? God's list is unlike a funeral home where you sign your own name on a guest list when you walk in. Heaven is for those who have preregistered, and God Himself is in charge of the list! So how do I get my name on God's list? Not by simply hoping or wishing or being religious. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord,  Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Those on Heaven's guest list all have one thing in common-they have obeyed the will of God. There is a threat in Jesus' promise to not blot out the names of the faithful from the Book of Life. The threat, of course, is that He will blot out the names of those who are negligent, careless, and unfaithful. Our names can be erased from an eternity with God. Don't let that happen. God's Book of Life is one list you can't afford to miss.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ