California evangelist and megachurch pastor Greg Laurie said during his sermon on Sunday that God uses the "books in Heaven" to keep records and tallies of every action — good and bad — committed by all human beings throughout history.
Laurie, the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, continued with his sermon series focusing on the "end of days." After focusing last week on "Angels in the Life of the Believer," the title of this past weekend's sermon was "God, the Future and You."
As the sermon touched on the prophetic similarities between the Old Testament book of Daniel and the New Testament book of Revelation, Laurie assured the audience that Bible prophecy should not be treated by Christians as an "academic exercise" or a "hobby horse" because biblical prophecy has real consequence.
"As we realize these things are true, it should concern us because we know people that are not Christians, right?" the 65-year-old pastor asked. "We don't want them to face a certain judgment. We want them to join us in Heaven. So it alarms us but it shall also cause us to be concerned about own life and how we are living our life. This all reminds us that life is short and we will have to give an account one day to God and we too will be judged."
Laurie cited the prophecy of Daniel 7:10 to show that when people are faced with the impending judgment of the Lord, there is mention of books that are opened in Heaven.
"This is also mentioned in the book of Revelation — Revelation 20:12, where we read: 'I saw the dead small and great standing before the throne. The books were open and another book is open, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to the things written in the books,'" Laurie quoted.
He continued by explaining the books that the Bible speaks of.
"Well, they appear to contain documentation of everything ever done by anyone on Earth," Laurie said. "Now, you know that all of your data is stored, right? Here is the good news about heavenly data: It can't be hacked. It is safe but it is there. God keeps track of everything."
Although the Bible speaks of "books in Heaven," Laurie said he didn't know if they are literally physical books.
"Maybe there are. But there is records in Heaven for sure," he stated.
He listed three types of records that the Bible says exists in Heaven.
According to Laurie, the first type of book keeps records of "every faithful deed" done by God's people.
"Malachi 3:16 says that 'those who feared the Lord talked with each other and the Lord listened and heard and a scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name,'" the pastor explained. "Those of us who speak of the name of the Lord, God is paying attention. God notices when we say His name, even in profanity. ... He also notices when you serve Him. So for every act of service, it is duly noted in Heaven."
The second type of record kept in the books of Heaven, Laurie said, is of people's deepest sorrows and pains.
"Another book in Heaven is a record of all your sorrows. Psalm 56:8 says, 'You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all of my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book,'" Laurie said. "A lot of people suffer in silence. They go through life in pain. It might be an illness, it might be a disability, It might be something else. It might be a loved one."
Laurie assured that while many people might not know how to adequately console people who are facing tough situations in their life like losing a loved one or being diagnosed with cancer, God is keeping tabs so that He can "right every wrong" and restore in the next life what was lost in this life.
According to Laurie, the third book is the most important book of them all — the "book of life."
"If your name is not found written in the book of life, you will not enter into the kingdom of God. Is your name written in the book? I know mine is," he stressed. "You might say, 'That is awfully arrogant of you.' No, it isn't. Because I have put my faith in Christ. [My name is] written in this book."
Laurie said he wasn't sure if his name was written before he accepted Christ (because God knew that he would eventually be saved) or the moment he actually accepted Christ into his life.
"But I know [my name] is written and I know this: it will not be blotted out," Laurie assured. "Once it is written in the book, it is there to stay. It is secure. If your name is not written in the book, Revelation 20 says you are cast into the lake of fire."
"Who knows what's in the books. Maybe it's a record of everything you have said and done. Maybe it's a record of every sin you have committed. Maybe it's a record of every time you heard the Gospel and rejected it. I don't know. But those books are telling and those books are revealing. Those books make the case for why your name is not written in the book of life. But if you believe in Jesus, your name is there."
Laurie closed the sermon by telling attendees how they can go to Heaven.
"How do I get it in there? You get your name in the book of life — giving you entrance into Heaven — by believing in Jesus Christ," he explained. "You have to admit you are sinner. You have to be willing to turn from your sin and put your faith in Christ and Christ alone and then you can be sure your name is in the book."