February 1, 2021

Your Names Are Written In Heaven

If we have the spirit of Christ, we have salvation.

Andy Nash

If Jesus came back today, would you be saved?

Deep in your heart, how do you answer this question? If you struggled to say yes, it might be helpful to remember something: Jesus already came to earth once. Let’s see what Jesus had to say about our salvation when He came the first time.

On His way to Jerusalem about six months before He died on the cross, Jesus said this to His followers: “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).

Among Jesus’ followers were the brothers James and John. Let’s go back to Luke 9, and peek into the lives of James and John and see how impressive these guys were—that their names were already written in heaven.

If we have the spirit of Christ, we have salvation.

“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’ But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village” (Luke 9:51-56).

Wow! Did you catch how loving these brothers were?

What does it say about Jesus that just after James and John melt down, Jesus says, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven”? Does it say that James and John were perfect people? Does it say that they were Jesus’ people anyway? Yes, they were still His people because they still desired to be with Him.

We cannot desire Christ without the spirit of Christ. And if we have the spirit of Christ, we have salvation. That’s how uncomplicated it is. My daughters have a good day—they go to bed my daughters. My daughters have a bad day—they go to bed my daughters. Is it any different in the family of Jesus?

We’ve seen what James and John were like before Jesus told them their names were written in heaven. What were they like afterward? Let’s zoom over to Mark 10 (which comes after Luke 10 chronologically) and see:

“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to [Jesus]. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we want you to do for us whatever we ask.’

“‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked.

“They replied, ‘Let one of us sit at Your right and the other at your left in your glory.’ . . .

“When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John” (Mark 10:35-41).

Again, an impressive group, aren’t they? After being three full years with Jesus, the Son of God, His closest followers are still vying among themselves about who’s the greatest.

How patient and gentle is Christ our Savior! Even when we struggle, He still covers us. Because the real question when Jesus returns isn’t “Am I worthy to be saved?” It’s “Is He worthy to save me?”


Andy Nash ([email protected]) is a pastor and author in Denver, Colorado. He leads a study tour to Israel each summer.

Andy Nash
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