DNA, Predestination and The Book of Life
Vol: 22 Issue: 9 Friday, March 9, 2018
According to Scripture, the names of everybody that ever lived are recorded in the Book of Life. The Book of Life is but one of the record books kept in heaven that records our time on this earth. The Bible also identifies the Books of Tears, Remembrance, and the Book of Births.
God foreordained my birth and my name was therefore recorded in the Book of Births before the foundation of the world. The Book of Tears contains the record of my trials and tribulations and disappointments.
My name was recorded in the Book of Life as well, even before I came to Christ. And my plea for salvation was recorded in the Book of Remembrance. Revelation 3:5 says that he that overcomes will be clothed in white rainment and that Jesus will not blot his name out of the Book of Life.
How’s that again? Does that mean that a saved person’s name can be blotted out if they fail to ‘overcome’? How does a saved person “overcome” the world?
Answer: He can’t. He couldn’t if he wanted to. If a person could overcome the world, then why would we need a Savior? We are overcomers through faith in He that overcame the world on our behalf.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Babies who die as babies go to heaven, so their names must already be recorded in the Book of Life. Paul writes to the Romans:
“I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” (Romans 7:9)
So your name remains in the Book of Life as long as you are alive. If your sin isn’t covered by the Blood of Christ by the time you leave this earth, then your name is blotted out of the Book of Life.
But it is still recorded in the Book of Births, the Book of Tears and especially in the Book of Remembrances.
So the records of your birth, your trials and tribulations and those things God remembers but you forgot will all be opened — and you will give an account for what is recorded against you.
But if your name is blotted out of the Book of Life, it means you were convicted in absentia — the Great White Throne Judgment is, in reality a sentencing hearing.
Nobody that appears before the Great White Throne will have their names recorded in the Book of Life.
The Bible calls the Great White Throne judgment the ‘second death’.
So in summary, the Bible outlines four different books in which our names are recorded and against which we are judged, either at the Bema Seat or the Great White Throne.
The books record our births and our trials in this life. We are judged according to what is written in those books, and we are saved according to what is written in the other two.
Science also has a “Book of Life.” DNA is nicknamed ‘the Book of Life’ by geneticists because encoded in our DNA is all the necessary information that makes life possible.
DNA encodes our red blood cells, and the heart that pumps them. DNA encodes our hair follicles, and the color of the hair in them. DNA encodes our bones, and the muscles attached to them.
And DNA thoroughly destroys any argument of random creation, since it proves all the details of your life were encoded in advance, right down to one’s individual disposition.
It is the DNA structure that ‘creates’ life in the same sense that inputting certain information into a computer ‘creates’ the results intended by its programmer.
Comparing the Scriptures to DNA research, one can make a powerful argument for predestination, without impugning our free will.
Although they haven’t completely unlocked that part of the human genome, geneticists believe that when you will die and what you will die of is already encoded in your DNA.
Barring some accident, you are already predestined, by your genetic code, to live a finite period of time before your DNA activates the disease already encoded in your DNA that will ultimately kill you. That doesn’t mean you don’t have free will.
You could still kill yourself. Or battle the disease medically. But depending on your DNA code, the treatment will either work or it will not.
You have nothing to say about how you were programmed, yet your free will remains unfettered.
It is no accident that scientists have dubbed DNA ‘the Book of Life.” They took their imagery directly from Scripture, because Scripture has already outlined how it works.
“O Lord, Thou has searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassed my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether.” (Psalms 139:1-4)
Scripture teaches that we are individuals by sovereign Design, rather than by a combination of random chance and our own choices. Scripture says,
“For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalms 139:13)
Science also now says that our genetic code is imprinted on each of us from the womb. The Scriptures say,
“I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
Science agrees that we are unique individuals whose differences are predetermined. While the Scriptures assign that marvel to our creation by a sovereign God, science assigns the same marvel to the uniqueness of our DNA encoding, while denying the existence of an Encoder.
“Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in THY BOOK ALL MY MEMBERS WERE WRITTEN, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalms 139:16)
According to the Bible, God knew who and what I would be while I was ‘under construction’ in the womb, according to the genetic Book of Life that contained all my relevant information.
Geneticists say they can determine these same details, one’s sex, hair color, physical strengths and weaknesses, susceptibility to disease, and even one’s susceptibility for sin, based on the information encoded in the DNA before one is born.
Geneticists have discovered genetic markers that predispose some people to criminal behavior, violence, drug abuse or alcoholism, for example. These discoveries have resulted in the development of a scientific sub-discipline called ‘behavioral genetics’.
DNA can determine the probability of mental illnesses, physical deformities, things like Down’s Syndrome, and a host of other genetic factors that will determine everything from how I process information to predicting the way I will react to that information.
In light of advances in DNA research, arguing against the existence of a Creator God to initially program our DNA is like arguing that once a computer builds itself, it writes its own programming, turns itself on and decides for itself what it wants to work on and for how long before automatically self-destructing.
Which makes no sense at all.
What DOES make sense is a Creator God Who built me a certain way, left me with free will choices to make the most of it, and, since I am predisposed to make the wrong choices in certain areas of my life, also made a way for me to live in His sight for eternity, despite my built-in shortcomings.
And a way for my name to remain in the Lamb’s Book of Life long after my DNA has turned to dust.
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)
Featured Commentary: Christians and Courage ~Alf Cengia