When or why would someone be blotted out of the book of life? Are there 2 books: the book of life and the Lamb’s book of life? I’ve had 2 people ask me these questions and I can’t answer them. Thank for your help.


Thank you for your question. The Old Testament does not use the phrase the book of life. However, it is implied. Moses prayed, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written” (Ex. 32:32).

In the New Testament, there are seven references to the book of life with six of these appearing in the book of Revelation (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 22:19). Two of the references speak of names being blotted out or taken out of the book of life (Rev. 3:5; 22:19). This seems to imply all names start out in the book of life in keeping with God’s desire for all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9).

Believing in Jesus as Savior seals one’s name in the book of life because when you believe in Jesus you have eternal life. You’re forever in the book of life. On this basis, Paul refers to the brethren as being in the book of life. “And I intreat 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” (Phil. 4:3). Conversely, not believing in Jesus is the basis for one’s name being taken out of the book of life.

As to when one’s name is blotted out of the book of life, the Scripture does not explicitly say. Perhaps it is at the time of death if one dies without Christ after the age of accountability.

At the final judgment (known as the Great White Throne Judgment), the book of life determines conclusively who will be cast into the lake of fire based on one’s name not being found in this book. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).

Regarding the Lamb’s book of life, the precise phrase occurs only once: “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” (Rev. 21:27). This context points to the same book of life referred to throughout the book of Revelation. In fact, another reference clearly indicates both expressions refer to the same book. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

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