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4.3.5. What about Election

In our discussion, we saw passages which recognized the potential for persons to be blotted out of the Book of Life (Ex. Ex. 32:32-33; Ps. Ps. 69:28; Rev. Rev. 3:5+). Some have difficulty reconciling this with the security of the believer.1 But this is only a difficulty if it is possible for one of the elect to be blotted out of the book. If the names of all the living are written and those who never attain salvation are blotted out, then being blotted out does not correspond to losing salvation:

To assume that remaining in the book of life rests upon continuing loyalty to Christ ignores the fact that before all human faith or striving lie the divine choice and the divine initiative. The worthiness of the faithful . . . is based on divine grace (cf. Rev. Rev. 7:14+). It is incomprehensible that it could be lost through human unfaithfulness. Couple with these considerations the fact that Ps. Ps. 69:28 has the names of the wicked in the book of life, and the basis for an assumption that [being blotted out] refers to a loss of one’s salvation is eliminated.2

Thus, the warning Jesus gives to the church at Sardis (Rev. Rev. 3:5+) is an admonition to those who are not yet overcomers to become overcomers or else their names will be blotted out. The double negative found there, οὐ μὴ [ou mē] , indicates that those who overcome will never be blotted out—which is the substance of the promise Jesus makes.

Notes

1 Concerning the security of the believer, see: Luke Luke 10:20; Luke 15:21; John John 3:36; John 5:24; John 6:39, John 6:47; John 10:28-29; John 17:12; Rom. Rom. 8:29-30; 1Cor. 1Cor. 1:7-8; 1Cor. 10:13; 2Cor. 2Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. Eph. 1:13-14; Eph. 4:30; Php. Php. 1:6; 1Th. 1Th. 5:23; 1Ti. 1Ti. 1:12; Heb. Heb. 7:25; Heb. 10:14; 1Pe. 1Pe. 1:3-5; 1Jn. 1Jn. 2:19; 1Jn. 5:13; Jude Jude 1:1; Jude 1:24; Rev. Rev. 7:4+; Rev. Rev. 14:1+.

2 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1-7 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1992), 261.