The Books of Works and the Book of Life
Outline: Dialogue. A man pays a debt he owes to the store. Funeral procession goes by. God will call every person to account. God won't accept us for the good things we have done. We will have our name written in the Book of Salvation if we believe that Jesus' blood paid the debt we owe.
|Theme:||Death; Works versus Faith; Forgiveness; Debt / payment for sin; Power of God / Jesus; Authority|
|Audience:||Orthodox; Catholic; General|
|Genre:||Messages and Fiction|
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
Message #1 (dialogue)
1 Greetings, brother.
2 Greetings, brother.
1 How are you doing?
2 I would say, good. And you, how are you doing?
1 I'm fine, too, thanks to God. I have come to pay what I owe. It's going on three months you've waited for me.
2 Yes, I'll go and look in my notebook so I'll see how much is written down. Now I've found it. Here it is.
1 Here's some money to pay you what I owe you. I have a relative who owed me money, but now he's paid me what he owed.
(Store owner scratches out the record of the debt.)
2 Thank you very much. Now I have scratched out the amount that was written down. Now you don't owe me anything.
(A brief pause, with the sound of a funeral procession going by.) What's going on? Whose relative has died? There are a lot of people passing in the road.
1 I'm going to look and see. That's true, they are bringing a dead person. His relatives are carrying him. They're going to the funeral. There are a lot of people following!
2 I haven't even heard who's died. Do you know who?
1 I don't know, but his children and his wife are coming along (i.e. in the procession). Come and look. Do you perhaps recognize them?
2 Yes, I know them. It's their father who has died. That man had been ill for a long, long time. Now he has left off suffering. Now he's resting.
1 Well it's true that his body is resting, but God is (now) going to call his soul to account.
2 Do you believe that God is going to call us to account when we have died?
1 Yes, I believe that, because it says in the Bible that all of us must die, and after that God will call us to account. It also says in the Bible that it will be the Lord Jesus Christ who will be the Judge. Since He became a person, that's why He will be given authority to call us to account, we who are people.
2 Who knows? How would He remember? There are a whole lot of people in the world. How do you think God will remember all that we have done?
1 We are just people. We are not like God. Whatever He wants to do, He has the power to do it. It also says in the Bible that there are some books kept in Heaven, and in those books it has been written down all that we've done. When we are called to account, those books will be looked at. No one will be able to deny what he's done, because it will be found in those books (books of works).
2 Are you saying that God will remind us of all that we've done, from the time that we were small children until when we died?
1 Yes, all that we have done will be known, the bad things and also the good things, including the things that we did in secret. God knows what we think in our hearts, even though we have not told anyone.
2 As for me, probably I have done some things that weren't good. I've also done some good things. I think that God will accept me on account of the good things that I've done.
1 But God will not accept those who have done bad things, even if they have done good things (too), because He is entirely good and entirely holy (lit. "clean"). If He would allow people who owe sin to enter Heaven, then what would exist in Heaven would be the same as what exists here in the world. There would also be drunks, liars, bullies, and the others who do evil, in Heaven. But those people will not be allowed to enter Heaven.
2 And you, who do you think will enter Heaven? Would there be any people who never did any evil?
1 None. We all do evil /owe sin. But it says in the Bible, there is a certain book that is called the "Book of Salvation (book of life)." Only the people whose names are written in that book will have their sins forgiven. The rest will be given the punishment for the evil things they have done. They will be cast into a burning fire that never goes out, and they will stay there forever.
2 What is the book that you say is the "Book of Salvation"? What shall we do in order to have our names written in that book?
1 Stop thinking that. Don't think that you will be saved by means of / because of / what you yourself do! Approach Jesus Christ in prayer and ask Him to stand in your place before the Heavenly Father. Believe with all your heart that it is the blood that the Lord Jesus shed, that paid what you owed God. Then your name will be written in the "Book of Salvation, " and also the Heavenly Father will say that you owe Him nothing. Now I'm going. Thank you for waiting for me to pay what I owed you.
2 Thank you very much for paying what you owed. Also, I appreciate this word that you have told me, how God is going to call us to account. I had not heard that before.
1 I hope that you will remember it. I hope that you will believe it, so that the Heavenly Father will say, you owe Him nothing. I'm going now.
2 Yes, go along. Go with God.