Q. In referring to the security of our salvation, you have said, “There’s not a single verse anywhere in Scripture that even hints of Him removing His mark, unsealing the Holy Spirit, or rescinding His guarantee.” Could you please explain Rev 3:5 “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.” How can the Lord blot out someone’s name from the book of life if the name was never written in the book of life or if the person will not be removed by the Lord?
And in Rev 2:5 “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” From where did these people fall and what do you understand that the Lord will remove their candlestick means?
A. Everyone is listed in the Book of Life from the time of their conception (Psalm 139:16). People get blotted out for failing to do what’s required to be saved from their sins. If you take Rev. 3:4-5 together you’ll see the Lord was saying that a few people in Sardis were saved, and if the others would do what they had done (obeyed what they had received and heard, which was the gospel) they too would be dressed in white (saved) and the Lord would never blot their names out of the book of life. He wasn’t threatening to blot their names out of the book, He was promising that if they accepted the Gospel he would not blot them out.
And in Rev. 2:5 the Lord was criticizing the church at Ephesus of falling from a pure devotion to their first love (the Lord) into a works based community that was in effect so busy in the service of the Lord that they no longer had any time for Him. According to Rev. 1:20 each candlestick represented one of the seven churches, so by threatening to remove it He was threatening to disband the congregation at Ephesus. It had nothing to do with the salvation of individual members, but with the church’s focus on works instead of worship.