The Bible’s answer
“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.