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For God to record our names in the Book of Life, we must repent of our sins, be baptized and become spiritually converted. Water baptism symbolizes one’s lifelong commitment to follow God’s way of life (Acts 2:38). Jesus told His followers, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:27). Why is it so important for us to do this? Jesus Christ declares, “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” (Revelation 3:5). “The book of life,” also called “the scroll of life” or “book of remembrance,” contains the names of people in line to receive the gift of everlasting life. (Revelation 3:5; 20:12; Malachi 3:16). God determines those names based on a person’s faithful obedience to him.—John 3:16; 1 John 5:3. God has kept each of his loyal servants in his memory, as if writing their names down in a book, since “the founding of the world” of mankind. (Revelation 17:8) The faithful man Abel was apparently the first one whose name was recorded in the book of life. (Hebrews 11:4). It is not just a cold list of names, though, for the book of life shows us that Jehovah is a loving God who “knows those who belong to him.”—2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 4:8. Can names be erased from “the book of life”? Yes. God said regarding disobedient people in ancient Israel: “Whoever has sinned against me, I shall wipe him out of my book.” (Exodus 32:33) But if we prove faithful, we will remain in “the scroll of life.”—Revelation 20:12 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter—no one who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27) 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” (Revelation 3:5). Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him” (Malachi 3:16, NLT). Those who practice sin won’t be in the Book of Life, but forgiven overcomers will be written there. As Malachi points out, those who fear God and think and talk about Him will be recorded. Those whose names are written in the Book of Life are those who receive salvation. And the Bible shows that our loving God has a plan that involves giving everyone a full chance to repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4).
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