Question – Is God Keeping a Record? Rev. 20:12 / Heb 8:12

Lately I’ve been thinking about the idea that there is a record book with names in it that the Bible says Jesus will refer to when considering us for Heaven or Hell. I’m a little confused because there is a message preached in churches and in worship songs that says, “God keeps no record of our shame/sins.”

Here are some scriptures that say God keeps a record:

(Rev 20:12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

(2 Cor 5:10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Now here are some scriptures that say God keeps no record:

Heb 8:12
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Heb 10:17
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

So, I know that many will say God doesn’t forget our sins (like “remember no more” doesn’t mean forget) but has forgiven them through the sacrifice He made on the cross. OK, so why the threat of damnation for some according to their works?


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13 Responses to “Question – Is God Keeping a Record? Rev. 20:12 / Heb 8:12”

  1. gladwellmusau Says:

    A good question right there. Revelation 20:12 talks about books and ANOTHER BOOK…that is the book of life. I believe the dead here refers to the unbelieving being judged without mercy…that is without Jesus as their advocate. Another book…refers to the recorded works of the believers. The bible says that each man’s work will be tested…and some will be gold, silver and others like wood or hay and only their souls will be saved. So here, I see two kind of judgements. For the unbeliever and for the believer and his works done while in the Lord.

    Blessings to you.


  2. glasseyedave Says:

    I guess we need to understand if you believe in once saved always saved? Your possition on salvation will impact your perspective of the question.

    • insightswithbillyvee Says:

      But it shouldn’t have any impact on the answer.

      • glasseyedave Says:

        I find that it does have an impact on the answer. Once saved’ers think that once they say the incantation prayer they are as good to go no matter what. I find scripture doesn’t teach that. The gospel makes it abundantly clear that even though we have turned to God with our mouths we will be judged by weather our hearts have turned to God or not.

        So the whole idea of God forgetting or not has yet to be played out in our lives. For the once saved’ers, they only think God has forgotten already. Scripture on the other hand teaches whether we attain heaven or not depends on whether we live in the Spirit or not. So for scripture, the tally on our lives is still running and records are still being kept.


    • insightswithbillyvee Says:

      I think I posted in the wrong place…Copy: Well, you’re wrong Dave. The heart of man is only evil all the time. All our good works are as a filthy rag to God. The gospel says Jesus died as substitutionary atonement for us because we are incapable of loving God with all our hearts…and He did it while we were still sinners. There are no conditions upon which we receive grace. Grace is unmerited favour. Peace bro…

  3. insightswithbillyvee Says:

    Well, you’re wrong Dave. The heart of man is only evil all the time. All our good works are as a filthy rag to God. The gospel says Jesus died as substitutionary atonement for us because we are incapable of loving God with all our hearts…and He did it while we were still sinners. There are no conditions upon which we receive grace. Grace is unmerited favour. Peace bro…

  4. credendainfo Says:

    I’ve been pursuing this idea online today since someone in a sermon mentioned 1st Corinthians 13:5 in the NIV saying that love keeps no record of wrongs,

    “It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

    And thereby since God is love He doesnt keep a record of wrongs. That isnt what I had previously thought, and my Bible is in another version that doesnt have anything close to that statement for the same verse. This is what mine says,

    1st Corinthians 13:5, “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;”

    So then I got to thinking, well I know God is a God of love and it is in His very nature to forgive and restore. But like Noah’s flood, the world as we know it will end and the wicked will be lost and the righteous will be saved so there has to be a reason, and an answer. It hit me when I was reading this post so I thought I’d share.

    God is on trial here. Before the whole universe and all the rest of the unfallen angels, God is being attacked by the lies of satan. Planet Earth is where this battle is now being fought since Lucifer was cast from heaven drawing a third of the “stars” angels with him.

    But God is omniscient, all knowing, so why would He need a book of records at all since He knows everything, and so does Jesus,

    John 2:24-25, “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.”

    God does have books, and judgment is given from those books, but God is essentially hands off of the books. He doesnt write them nor need them. The angels are the ones recording the books not God! They are like the jury of this trial of the cosmos.

    Malachi 3:16 says, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”

    The wicked will be shown their errors and rejection of Christ and from their own lips they will acknowledge their judgment is just.

    Romans 14:11-12, “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

    The unfallen beings and humanity, who are not omniscient need the record and thus God has provided one that the Angels record, so that when sin is finally eradicated never more to resurface all will know that God is a God of love.

    Ezekiel 9:3-4 also talks about God telling an angel in mans form to mark those ready for destruction with an ink horn. So it seems they are privy to that information and they are used in writing/recording.

    But God is love and He’s not the one keeping record. Like when God and two angels came down to check out Sodom (Genesis 18) and then God stays and negotiates with Abraham. Only the two angels were said to actually go there in Genesis 19 to assess the situation, the Lord went His way at the end of 18 talking with Abraham.

    Hope that may be of use to anyone else searching for answers. 🙂

  5. Danawhi Says:

    Are you going to be judged at the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, or at the GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT of God?

    We KNOW that WORKS of righteousness which WE have done CANNOT EARN our salvation. God clearly states that salvation is a FREE GIFT of God and NOT OF WORKS! Therefore, anyone who believes that they are “working their way into heaven” is deceived, SELF righteous, believes in VAIN and therefore is LOST!

    Ephesians 2:8-9
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Titus 3:4-7
    4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
    5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
    6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
    7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    We who have come to the knowledge of the TRUTH and are saved, we do not believe in vain. When we believed the gospel of Christ (that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures), and called upon the name of the Lord to save us, then at that moment is when we were SAVED. We are saved by grace through FAITH, NOT OF WORKS, and ALL of OUR SINS were already judged on the cross of Christ, and forgiven through the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. Henceforth. as born again christians we became labourers for God, and our WORKS will be judged and rewarded accordingly at the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. This judgment does NOT determine whether or not we are saved, because we are ALREADY saved and have eternal life. The JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST is to determine the REWARDS which we will receive going into the kingdom of God, for all of the WORKS, which we have done since the moment we got saved. This judgment shall try our WORKS with fire to reveal what sort they are, whether they be good or bad. We will be rewarded for our good works and honored accordingly in the kingdom of God. However, all of our bad works will be burned up and we will suffer the LOSS of rewards for them. It is necessary that all of our BAD works will be burned, in order to finally purify us to go into the kingdom of God. That is why it says that we are saved; yet so as by fire!
    Therefore, in the kingdom of God there will be those who served the Lord more honourable than others, and will be rewarded for it. There will also be those who are vessels of dishonour, in that after they got saved, they did not depart from iniquity, but were mostly SELF serving. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, even they have eternal life in Christ in the kingdom of God!

    2 Timothy 2:19-21
    19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
    20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
    21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

    Many will be surprised and ashamed to see that alot of the works which we do and think are good works, will be manifest by the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, to be in fact bad works, because they were not done in faith according to the word of God. If we want our works to be approved of God we need to study the word of God to know how to serve him righteously! THAT is why it says a WORKMAN needs to STUDY the word of God, in order to be instructed BY THE WORD OF GOD, how to serve God in TRUTH, and needeth not to be ashamed at the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST! We who worship God, must worship him in Spirit and in TRUTH. If we serve him according to our own understanding or in our own ways, it will NOT be approved unto God. It does not matter how “good” we think we are doing, or how sincerely “religious” we think we are about it, if it is not done in faith, according to following the word of God, then it is done in vain, and will be manifest as a bad work!

    2 Timothy 2:15
    15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    John 4:24
    24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    The JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST will take place for all and ONLY those who are IN CHRIST, after we are gathered together (in resurrection, commonly called, the “rapture” when our vile bodies will be changed) at the coming of the Lord (includes all the dead in Christ and we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord), and will be BEFORE the THOUSAND YEAR REIGN OF CHRIST ON THIS EARTH.

    For eveyone else (who are not IN CHRIST) throughout all ages, (including all who are in HELL), at the end of time, (AFTER the THOUSAND YEAR REIGN OF CHRIST ON THIS EARTH), they will stand before the GREAT WHITE THRONE of God, and be judged according to their works to determine whether they go into the kingdom of God, or be cast into the LAKE OF FIRE to burn forever! Do you really think that according to YOUR works you will be found written in the book of life?! Very FEW from this judgment are going to enter into the kingom of God! Do you really believe that your own righteousness would be good enough for you to to enter into the kingdom of God? Do you think your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees who were extremely devout religious zealouts?! Their righteousness was not good enough!

    Matthew 5:20
    20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 19:23-27
    23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
    26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    Indeed, with men this is impossible. But even at the GREAT WHITE THRONE judgment of God, by the grace of God there will be FEW that are judged and enter into the kingdom of God. Most will be cast into the lake of fire to burn forever! I am thankful that I am saved in Christ and will not have to stand before the GREAT WHITE THRONE judgment of God!

    Revelation 20:11-15
    11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
    12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
    13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
    14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    Finally, it is impossible to be righteous enough on our own to enter into the kingdom of God. Therefore, like Paul, I counted mine own righteousness to be DUNG, that I may win Christ, and be found in him and in HIS righteousness!

    Philippians 3:7-9
    7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
    8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
    9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

    Romans 3:19-24
    19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
    23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

  6. Pastor Brian Says:

    I did not read all the responses but I am a Pastor and can easily answer your question.

    Those who repent of their sins and ask Jesus to save them have their sins blotted out or forgotten.

    For those who DO NOT repent and true in Jesus to save them they will be judged by their works as to how hot Hell is or degree of punishment might be a better way of putting it.

    The the text recorded both. God remembers sins and forgets sins according to where you are regarding forgiveness of sins.

    Those who repented and ask Jesus to save them also have the deeds recorded for rewards to be given or not given. That is what is going on in 1 Cor 3. Some things a Christian doesHe does for those on Earth to see or selfish motives and so those burn up. Others are done in service to God and to please Him these endure as a purified reward.

    I hope this makes more sense to you know. Context is everything. The rule of thumb is never read a Bible verse……read the context that verse is in and that prevents you from miss applying it.

    Pastor Brian

  7. Matthew Cotten Says:

    Yes. He keeps a record.

    However, that record is not permissable in court if we choose Jesus as our advocate.

    This is an oversimplification. However, this is a question worthy of long deep study. Read Titus or Romans 5 where it says that we will not be judged based (taking into account) on our merit, even though He knows we were, are, and will be prone to future soon, He still died for us!

    What matters is not what you did (record of sin), but it’s who you know (relationship with Christ)!

    Hope, Pastor Matt

  8. Brian Drummond Says:

    Hello Billy,

    It is true, God does not keep track of our sin. Once we have been forgiven God will never hold us down by our past sins. In the day of judgment as believers we can stand confident knowing that Christ died for our sins. If we as Christians were condemned according to our works we all would be destined for Hell. (Sheol) He is faithful when we are not and He loves us even when we are messed up, or mess up. Remember Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 3:23, also 6:23

  9. Ludie Scott Says:

    I do have a question about those verses. I Am very confused. And ia m asking God that everyday so I try to do right by people and try my hardest not to sin against God. And left people up when they are down. And when do things I say to myself what would Jesus do.

  10. Jerry Burroughs Says:

    Hebrews 8:1 “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”. If one believes, by faith, they are truly saved ;we must trust that God is faithful and honor His word. For many, if not careful, will do more harm to themselves by walking in condemnation. I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and by faith I know if I die today, I’ll be with my Lord for eternity. His judgement will be true and fair. One final thought, ” many are afraid of losing their salvation. In my opinion they are asking the wrong question. The bible says, the real issue is whether or not you were truly saved in beginning. Just my thoughts as I struggled with the same questions for long time. By the Grace of God “NO MORE”.

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