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ZoŽ's Bible

by Tim O'Hearn

In times past it was not uncommon for a family to write the names of newborn children or of people newly married into the family in the family Bible. These family Bibles are of importance to genealogists because they are often more accurate or complete records of a family than the government records. Often there was a special ceremony when someone's name was entered in the family Bible. It was a significant event, because once you were written in, you knew you were truly part of the family. That practice has gone away for the most part. But there is one Bible I want my name written in. I want my name in ZoŽ's Bible.

Now, I don't personally know anyone named ZoŽ. Although it has again become a reasonably common name, I doubt that I will ever know anybody named ZoŽ. If I did, I doubt that I would be welcomed into her family. Nevertheless, I want my name written in ZoŽ's Bible.

What is so important about that Bible? Why do I want my name in it? Because without my name in that Bible I can't get into heaven! How can that be? Why would my name not being in ZoŽ's Bible keep me out of heaven? Because that is what my Bible says.

"And whosoever was not found written in ZoŽ's Bible was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev 20:15) Maybe I had better translate the Greek words in that sentence. Here is how it is most commonly rendered in English: "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." You see, ZoŽ's Bible translates into "the book of life."

Why is that book so important? Besides the fact that if your name is not in it you get cast into the lake of fire, that is. In a way it appears in scripture to be somewhat like the old family Bible. If you aren't found there, you aren't in God's family.

In the only New Testament use of that phrase outside of the book of Revelation, Paul said that those with whom he worked toward the spread of the gospel had their names there. "And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life." (Php 4:3) He thought it important to mention that his name and others in his spiritual family were in ZoŽ's Bible.

Revelation 21:27 mentions certain things which could keep one out of the Holy City. "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." So those who practice such things as defile a man will not be written in ZoŽ's Bible, but those that are will enter that city.

Perhaps it is the same as the book of remembrance mentioned in Malachi 3:16, where God records the names of people "that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name." Maybe it is the same book that Moses referred to in Exodus 32:32-33.

Moses, in that latter passage, mentioned one of the important aspects of ZoŽ's Bible. It is erasable. Jesus told John the same thing. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." (Rev 3:5) How horrible the thought, to be blotted out of that book! That would be equivalent to being disinherited, to being cast out of the family who had recorded your name in their Bible.

I don't want my name erased from ZoŽ's Bible. Let us all work to keep our names recorded there.