Revelations 17:8 states:
The beast that thou sawest was , and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder , whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was , and is not, and yet is .
By context, this Scripture is speaking about the arrival of “the beast” of Revelation. Let us take a look at the implications of the following statements : “and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder , whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was , and is not, and yet is .”
(1)The people who wonder after the beast will wonder only because (2) their names were not written in the book of life (3) from the foundation of the world. The implication is that God’s elect are protected from the deception of the personality called “the beast” in this Scripture, and this protection was given FROM the foundation of the world, when their names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Now, besides these, what other implications do we glean from these expressed truths ?
I venture to say, that one is that “hell”, the place of torment spoken of by the Lord Jesus in Luke 16, so often preached with much vigor by hellfire and brimstone, pulpit-pounding, Bible-waving, well-meaning preachers as the place everyone must avoid at all costs, and also preached as the place from which our Savior saved us, is not, was never, and will never be the lot of God’s people.
None of those whose names have been written down in the Book of Life were ever meant for hell. Yes, they will be born of a fallen nature, being descendants of Adam, alienated from God by their inherited Adamic nature, but, hell is NOT their lot, never was, never will be, because they were created by God for Himself, for His glory, and He called them out by name from the foundation of the world.
Even foreseeing Adam’s fall and the birth of a rebellious race, even foreseeing that He must judge sin and punish the sinners with eternal damnation, He had singled out those who will NEVER be bound for hell, claimed them as His own, and covered them with the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
They have always been HIS SHEEP. On earth, in the Person of His Only begotten Son, His firstborn among many brethren, He always referred to them as MY SHEEP.
He never taught that He came to make sheep of certain goats.
The Lord Jesus Christ paid the wages of sin for the elect which is death, gifting them with eternal life (Romans 6:23) guaranteed by His resurrection from “sheol”, death, the grave (Romans 1:1-5), ransoming His people with His blood as demanded by an offended Holy God, and He saved them from the wages of sin – death, and corruption, guaranteeing their resurrection in their new nature (1 Cor. 15:47-57).
In God’s mind, they were never bound there. How could they be, when they were chosen FROM the foundation of the world. Hell was created for the devil, and his angels and for the unregenerate, unelect portion of fallen mankind, just as heaven was created for God’s redeemed, regenerated people among fallen mankind. The Lord Himself said : and none of them is lost , but the son of perdition……….john 17:12