The comfort of being registered

On my way home from the Polling Station last week, I found myself wondering on how many registers my name has appeared over the years.  My birth was registered to start with, then there were school registers, registers for different courses, Government registers of various sorts, doctors, dentists… and of course the register of electors.  If you are not on the register, you are excluded from the blessings, privileges and responsibilities which would otherwise be yours.

There is another register, though, which is the most important of all.  I haven’t seen it, though I know my name is on it, and it’s really the only one that matters.  King David calls it ‘the book of the living’ (Psalm 69:28); the Lord Jesus tells His disciples to ‘rejoice because your names are written in heaven’ (Luke 10:20); the Apostle John reminds us that ‘only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life’ will be found in heaven (Revelation 21:27).  My name isn’t on this register because I have earned the right to have it written there, nor because of background, or education, or any quality of mine.  No, indeed.  It is only through the grace of God.  The spotless life of the Lord Jesus has earned the right on my behalf, as His perfect righteousness is credited to my account.  His atoning death on Calvary has paid the price – in full – for my sins, and for all who will turn to Him in repentance and faith.  Isn’t that wonderful? His death saves me from hell; His life opens heaven for me!

Of course, being on that register brings blessings, privileges and responsibilities.  But it also brings comfort.  Here are some words of the Puritan Thomas Goodwin:

When He was on earth, He forgot none of the business for which He came into the world; ‘Shall I not do my Father’s business?’ said He, when He was a child; yes, and He did it to the utmost, by fulfilling all righteousness.  Surely therefore He will not forget any of that business which He is to do in heaven, it being the more pleasant work by far.  And, ‘He is entered as a forerunner’ to take up places there for us; and if He could forget us, yet our names are written in heaven round about Him, and are continually afore His eyes written there, not only by God’s election, but Christ Himself scores them up anew by His blood, over every mansion there, which He takes up for any.  Yea, He carrieth their names written in His heart, as the high priest did the names of the tribes on his breast, when he entered into the holy of holies.  He sits in heaven to see to it, that none other should take their rooms over their heads, as we say.  And therefore, salvation is said to be ‘reserved in heaven for them’ (1 Peter 1:4), that is, kept on purpose for them by Jesus Christ.

You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

                                                                                                                                                              Hebrews 12:22-24


A debtor to mercy alone,

Of covenant mercy I sing;

Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on.

My person and offering to bring;

The terrors of law and of God

With me can have nothing to do;

My Saviour’s obedience and blood

Hide all my transgressions from view.


The work which His goodness began,

The arm of His strength will complete;

His promise is Yea and Amen,

And never was forfeited yet.

Things future, not things that are now,

Not all things below or above,

Can make Him His purpose forgo,

Or sever my soul from His love.


My name from the palms of His hands

Eternity will not erase;

Impressed on His heart it remains,

In marks of indelible grace;

Yes, I to the end shall endure,

As sure as the earnest is given;

More happy, but not more secure,

The glorified spirits in heaven. 

A M Toplady