Earl Devine Funeral (Revelation 20)
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
Way back in the day, in the centuries before the Internet, books were the prominent means of recording information. If something important happened, it was recorded in a book. Books are used for many different things. Some are used to educate. Some are used to influence. Some are used to entertain. Earl kept a journal that did these different tasks. This journal is a testimony of his life and his love for it.
This morning, as we look at the Great White Throne Judgment, we see two sets of books being used. One set has every thought, word and deed of every person who has ever lived. The other set is the Lamb's Book of Life, the names of every faithful Christian who ever lived. The two sets will be laid beside each other before the Great White Throne. All the dead will come before the Throne and will be judged by what is written in the books.
In the one set, every thought, word and deed--whether good or bad--are written. How you live, what you say and what you think are how you will be judged on the Last Day. If there are only pure, good works listed in the book, you will enter into Heaven because "nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false" (Revelation 21:27). If there are works that aren't pure listed, you will be thrown into the lake of fire.
But what if your works aren't always so pure? What if they aren't always so good and righteous? That's where the second book comes into play. This book has names scribbled all over the pages. Not thoughts, words and deeds. Just names. One of the names in this book is Earl Thomas DeVine. That name was written in this book on February 18, 1945, when Earl put on his Savior in the waters of Baptism. His name was written in this second book not in pencil, not in ink, but in blood. The blood of Jesus Christ. The blood that was shed on a cross outside Jerusalem to forgive all of Earl's sins. The same blood Jesus shed to forgive you all your sins.
How do you have get your name written in this second book, the Lamb's Book of Life? Believe in the Lamb who was slain to forgive you all your sins. Be baptized into His death so that you might receive the resurrection of the body. Be washed in the blood of the Lamb. As you are added into God's family, He takes the blood that redeems you and writes your name into the Book of Life.
Earl's name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life because he believed. He believed Jesus died for his sins. He believed Jesus rose from the dead. Even as we place his body into the earth today, he believed Jesus will raise it from the grave when the Great White Throne appears on the Last Day. It's a day he looked forward to. It's a day we should look forward to. The Great White Throne is coming. Is your name written in the right book? Amen.