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Page 568

 

And I entreat thee also, true yoke fellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.

-Philippians 4:3


 



Why does an increase in blessings from God produce increased responsibility towards Him?

All whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life shall be saved; all whose names are not found there shall be lost.

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.

-Revelation 3:5

The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall

ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

-Revelation 17:8

While the eternal state of each person depends solely upon Jesus' gracious merits and application, the eternal degree of punishment in hell or glory in heaven reflects each person's gracious use or sinful misuse of the privileges (the blessings and opportunities) God gave him during his life on earth. Increased privileges produce increased responsibility. "But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:48).

By grace, those who wisely and faithfully use God's privileges and grow significantly in the true knowledge, faith, obedience, and testimony to others shall be graciously rewarded. There will be degrees of gracious reward and glory in heaven. Jesus compares His second coming and judgment of His servants to that of a king's return and judgment after a long absence in the following Parable of the Talents.

    For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
    And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
    Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
    And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
    But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.


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