It has been said many times that the four key elements of carnal human nature are vanity, jealousy, lust and greed. And oh, how true that is!
Some may reach great heights of recognition or fame as they excel in various fields. And, some even in the Church of God. Notice the following verse: III John 9 “...Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.” In his mind, he had elevated himself to some fame or recognition, so much so, he would not even receive the apostle John! What vanity!
A Competitive World
It seems, no matter where you look, you find competition in this world. You see it in business practices, manufacturing, trading, advertising, various products and technologies. Everyone is out to develop and protect his ideas and commodities, it seems. Theirs are always “the best”, “nothing else like it”, “superior to anything else“ that is available, to hear them boast. Now there is nothing overtly wrong in having a good, well designed, well made and long lasting product or service, if the purpose is to be beneficial or helpful to others. This is a Biblical principle. Notice Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do it with your might...” i.e., “do it”, “make it”, “produce it” the very best you can, but don’t “put down”, crush or denigrate someone else, who might have a similar product. Some like “Fords“, some like “Chevys“. Some like “Maytags“, some like “Kenmores”. And, I believe, there is no more fierce competition, than in the sports arena or perhaps the music industry, as they call it. A lot of attorneys make good livings protecting these things. Don’t get me wrong! I believe in personal ownership, inventors rights or credit given for individual artistic accomplishments. God indicates private ownership, in His Kingdom. Read Micah 4:4 “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree...”
Many Organizations Have Their “Hall of Fame”
On the internet, I made a “search” for “Hall of Fame”. There were thousands! For instance:“Baseball Hall of Fame“, “National Football Hall of Fame“, “Youth Hall of Fame“, “National Aviation Hall of Fame“, “Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame“, “Inventors Hall of Fame“, “Country Music Hall of Fame“, “NASCAR Museum and Hall of fame“, ad infinitum. As I mused on these things, I thought: With all their fleeting glory, their vain egotistical moments, their feeble accomplishments or their moment in the spotlight, does it have any merit? All of the above are of the flesh; they have their reward, but they are temporary.
Compared to What God Offers to Christians, There Really is No Comparison!
Now, am I saying we should never enjoy some of the extremely talented singers, writers, musicians, actors, comedians, acrobats and such? Of course not! Some are truly gifted and if those talents are used in a right and wholesome way, we can partake of and enjoy those things, occasionally.
A Look At Vanity
One of the most gifted, wealthy, powerful and wisest persons that ever lived, King Solomon of Israel, was allowed to have ruler ship over one of the greatest kingdoms on this earth. He was to have one thousand wives and concubines at his disposal, gold in such abundance as to be unimaginable, able to have the most exotic of foods, wines, gardens, talented musicians and an awesome palace. He was even allowed to build the magnificent Temple of God and dedicate it to that Great God. HE HAD IT ALL! BUT FOR NAUGHT!
For brevity's sake, I won't quote it all but, I encouragae you to read, in it’s entirety, the Book of Ecclesiastes. It’s 12 chapters, and about 12 pages long. I’ll quote to you, a couple of verses: Chapter 1:2 “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, (Solomon) vanity of vanities ; all is vanity.”; Chapter 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
What is God’s Hall of Fame?
Now, I have a question for you. Have you ever wished you could be inducted into some kind of “Hall of Fame“, such as the ones I listed above? If you are like me, you may be rather limited in what you might be able to accomplish, looking at it from a purely physical viewpoint. I was never the academically gifted in my class. I never excelled in sports activities-I only weighed 147 pounds at my high school graduation and was only 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches tall. Actually, I looked about 15, instead of the normal 18 years old. No, I was rather non-descript, not a standout. I certainly never expected to be inducted into any kind of Hall of Fame. In fact, I fit the description of those God has called into His service in, I Corinthians 1:26 “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27. But God hath chosen the foolish things (ones) to confound the wise; and God hath the weak things (ones) of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”
So what a surprise it has been to me to realize that I, along with others in God’s Church, have been called, and can eventually, be inducted into, what I call, “God’s Hall of Fame”. Some are already listed that have the chief qualifying factor, FAITH. God gives examples of some: Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance (evidence) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2. for by it the elders obtained a good report. 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, (We believe in the Creation account) so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Physical things are made of Spirit, by a command from God.) Then follows a listing of those who have already had their names written on the roster of that “Hall of Fame”: Hebrews 11: 4 thru 11, we read of Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah. 13. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Others listed: 32. ----Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, Samuel, the prophets 33. “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,” 35. “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. 39. “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40. God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
Their faith accounted them worthy to be listed in this Hall of Fame! Now, just where will you find a COMPLETE LISTING of all those to be included in this?
It’s Called “The Book of Life”
This “Book” was in existence, even in the Old Testament! Exodus 32:32” Yet now, if you wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me I pray thee, out of THY BOOK which thou hast written. 33. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Yes, God has a book, with names in it! And note, too, He has the right to remove those names! (Even in the sports field of this world, one famous baseball player had his name taken from the Hall of Fame roster, because he was judged guilty of gambling on games; others are suspected of being on steroids or other drugs.). David wrote in Psalms 69:28 “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” Similarly, Daniel wrote in 12:1 “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered every one that shall be found written in the book.” This is a prophecy for our day, a time of trouble that Jesus Christ foretold in Matthew 24:21.
Do you see how important it is to have your name listed in that book? (obviously the book of life).Those in that book, are promised supernatural protection, as one of many of God’s blessings! The New Testament has much to say about this book of life. Read Philippians 4:3, "And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow (co-worker), help those women who laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.” What an incredible blessing to know we have our names included with those of Hebrews 11! Notice how important this is! Even more important than being able to control demon spirits! Luke 10:20 “Not withstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Do you grasp that? Our names are recorded in God’s Heavenly Book of Life!
We Are Responsible for Keeping Those Names There
God has given us the Spiritual help we all need to remain on His List, His Book, of what I’ve referred to as “God’s Hall of Fame”. As the apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”, speaking of assistance from the Holy Spirit. We will have no excuse, if Our loving God should be forced to remove our name from His record Book, the Book of Life. We are responsible for our choice and He gives us fair warnings. Revelation 3:3 “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 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 (speak) his name (the one written in that book) before my Father, and before His angels.” Revelation 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (European beast power), whose names are not written in book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Again, God will protect His people, who have their names recorded in that book, from the beast power of Europe. (It is rising at this time, and will foster the great tribulation or WWIII, a time of trouble, unequaled in human history, that we read about in the Book of Daniel earlier, and in Matthew 24:21.)
John was inspired to write in Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” ( Gr. “Gehenna” or Hell Fire!) Revelation 22:19 “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”
I’ve tried to convey the absolute importance, of having our names recorded in God’s Book of Life. It’s also imperative that we remain faithful, as those listed in the 11th Chapter of Hebrews did, (as well as others whose names are given elsewhere in the Bible) that we are overcoming, and are therefore qualifying for the great honor of being in God’s Kingdom. For if we aren’t doing those things, we may lose everything God has promised to His people.
So, I hope you can now connect what I’ve called, “GOD’S HALL OF FAME”, with what the Bible calls GOD’S BOOK OF LIFE.