According to Scripture, the names of God's children were written in the Lamb's Book of Life since before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). All over Scripture, we're given the doctrine that we're predestined and chosen to become believers (Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 1:5, 1:11, 1 Peter 2:4, 2:9). Some people believe God knew who would choose Him and thus wrote down their names before they ever came to be. Others believe God made a choice in eternity past of who would believe. One view is passive while the other is active.
Regardless of which belief is actually what happened in the Throne Room of God, the fact remains that God knew who would believe, and thus He wrote down their names in His Book. This post is not to argue Arminianism over Calvinism or vice versa, rather, I wanted to bring a pondering of mine to the fore.
I've heard it said time and again from many theologians that God chose us independently of who we are. In other words, there was nothing inherent within a believer that compelled God to choose one person over another, other than it was His own good will to do so. Other theologians claim there are a certain "number" of Gentile believers that must come to believe and when that number is reached, Christ will return (Luke 21:24). The first view is consistent with those who believe God chooses us, and the second view is consistent with those who believe God simply knew who we were and penned us in His Book.
I have an issue with both of these views.
Both views don't take into account God's eternal omniscience - not merely in eternity past, but also eternity future. In thinking about this issue during prayer time, I realized that I can only be written in the Lamb's Book because I have been redeemed. God fore-wrote my name in the Book because He knew (chose) that I would be redeemed. Therefore, it is the culmination of Romans 8:30, the Golden Chain, if you will, that those He foreknew ...He glorified. Am I glorified now? No. But it is a done-deal - one day, I WILL be glorified, as surely as there's a God who wrote my name in Heaven.
So what does that mean? It means that when God wrote my name in His Book, it was likely not my sinful frame He penned, rather my glorious countenance. I believe this because I know God is sovereign. He does nothing "just because He can." Everything works according to the pleasure of His will. He didn't merely choose to write my name down because of some grand, ethereal, unknown reason, or that He simply knew I would choose Him. No, He determined Christ should have me according to who I would become.
To say this another way, we know that we are the Body of Christ. What makes us think we are no longer the Body of Christ in Heaven? Down here, we are a hand, a foot, an eye, an ear. We have an earthly purpose and we are given works which He has prepared for us beforehand (Ephesians 2:10). So not only were we ourselves predestined, so too were our works in His name. The same Scripture quoted above also mentions that we are God's workmanship/handiwork/masterpiece, depending on which translation you read.
That is not "mankind" as a whole, as many mistakenly believe, but those who believe on Christ. Those who believe are His masterpiece - created in Christ Jesus. We are His workmanship - we are GOD'S work, so that no man can boast. This is the main reason why salvation is on the finished work of Christ and not our own doing because we are God's work - His masterpiece.
Now, let's keep the end goal of God in sight here. God can see everything before Him. There's nothing He does not know. His mind is not like ours, He knows all. When He wrote my name down in the Lamb's Book of Life, He wasn't randomly picking and choosing. Nor was He merely jotting down those who would believe. He had a design in mind - God is the Grand Designer, after all - and He is working toward a very specific end.
Because the Bride, the Church, is the Body of Christ, we do not cease to be His Body once we're in Glory. The works He has prepared for us to do on earth prepare us for the works that are to come on that Golden Shore. While it's true we won't need to preach to the lost in Heaven, I do believe we shall continue to glorify God in the vein in which we glorified Him on earth. Do you sing to Him? You shall sing in His choirs. Do you preach sermons? You shall continue to expound on His greatness to the brethren. As for me, I love to write to the glory of God. One of my hopes is that I shall one day inherit a vast library lined with shelves of empty books so that I may pen great sonnets and praises to be read in His Heavenly Court.
The point being, we are still His Body in Heaven. Perhaps with a different focus toward His magnificence rather than bringing in the lost, but it will be our delight to glorify Him before our brethren. We will not cease being "ourselves". God glorifies and perfects us in Christ, but it is still you and it is still me on the other side of the Veil.
This is why I say God has not merely "jotted believers down" in that most Important Tome, nor has He simply plucked our names randomly from the ether because it "pleased Him to do so." The Father has an end in mind - to give a people to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Not just any people, but a specific people for which He has a specific plan. Therefore, God has predestined craftsmen, artisans, evangelists, singers, prayer warriors, pastors, and yes, even writers for Christ's own glory.
In His wisdom, He knew Heaven should be filled with books of His praise to be read before the Throne of Grace, and therefore He determined that I should be created, that I should find Him most magnificent, and He gave me to Christ to ensure His plan would come to pass. He gave me to Jesus so that Christ would ever praise the Father; He gave Christ to me so that I would do the same (John 17:22-26).
If I'm right, God has given us work to do on earth AND in Heaven, which would be consistent with God's will according to the Lord's Prayer. Every trial, every joy, every situation in our lives is preparing us for a greater weight of glory that is yet to come (2 Corinthians 4:17). I don't know about you, but that excites me. Our eternal life in Heaven is going to be glorious!
For now, I have work to do which God has created beforehand, for me to walk in them. This earthly work is not yet finished, and thus I remain in this flesh. Until I fly away, I will fill empty books with His praise here as a foretaste of the books I have yet to write in the Library of Heaven.
God is not finished molding me into the person He wrote into His Book of Life. But one day I shall become what He always foreknew. I shall one day be glorified into the image of His Son and my salvation shall be complete. I am not yet His perfected Bride who dwells in light amid the halls of Heaven, but even now, in this body of dust, Yeshua has given me the breathtaking privilege through the power of prayer to approach my King and read aloud for His Courts a new song of praise from the pen of this ready writer.
"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." ~~1 Corinthians 10:31
Praise the Lord.