… Gonna find out who's ... in the Book of Life?
There's a Christmas song I used to sing as a child about Santa “making a list and checking it twice” … you know the next part. It taught that only the nice got presents but if one was naughty then they'd get only a lump of coal for Christmas. Well the Lord is making a list too [“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” - Proverbs 15:3] … those who are His children by the new birth and those who aren't.
I'm not trying to treat this matter with lightness, but to indicate that the account we must give to God is far more serious than Santa checking to see if we are naughty or nice. It would seem that we are ALL on God’s “naughty” list. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” – Romans 3:10. If we don’t get put on the “nice” list there is a far worse fate awaiting us than a simple lump of coal – “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
Sound a bit dreary for a Christmas note? The good news is that the very season we’re celebrating is intended to point us to a wonderful gift God provided for each one of us who are on the “naughty list” and wish to be on God’s “nice list” known as the Book of Life. A gift cannot be earned by us no matter how hard we may try to be “nice” or then it would be a wage and not a gift. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8, 9
The question then isn’t whether you are “naughty” or “nice” but rather have you accepted this gift? Not sure? Let me explain more about it. I mentioned there is a difference between a wage and a gift. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 6:23. Taking that into account wouldn’t the gift seem the better of the two?
Christ took upon himself the wage we are due. Interestingly enough the tree we use to celebrate points to the cost of this gift I spoke of. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” – I Peter 2:24.
If you believe that He has purchased this gift for you then do two things; (1) give up your efforts to win His approval by your actions (Hebrews 6:1 "...repentance from dead works...") as Christ's action on the cross is the only one which bridges that gap between where you are and where He is. And (2) talk to Him about it in prayer. Make this Christmas the one where you received the greatest gift of all. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” – John 6:47
So, are you "naughty" or "nice"? Is your name written in the Book of Life? Of the presents you receive this year, there is none greater than the gift Christ offers to you if you will but accept His gift of salvation.