“The book of life,” also called “the scroll of life” or “book of remembrance,” contains the names of people in line to receive the gift of everlasting life. (Revelation 3:5; 20:12; Malachi 3:16) God determines those names based on a person’s faithful obedience to him.—John 3:16; 1 John 5:3.
God has kept each of his loyal servants in his memory, as if writing their names down in a book, since “the founding of the world” of mankind. (Revelation 17:8) The faithful man Abel was apparently the first one whose name was recorded in the book of life. (Hebrews 11:4) It is not just a cold list of names, though, for the book of life shows us that Jehovah is a loving God who “knows those who belong to him.”—2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 4:8.
Can names be erased from “the book of life”?
Yes. God said regarding disobedient people in ancient Israel: “Whoever has sinned against me, I shall wipe him out of my book.” (Exodus 32:33) But if we prove faithful, we will remain in “the scroll of life.”—Revelation 20:12.