Occasionally I take a walk in a cemetery located near our church building. Some of the tombstones date back to the Civil War and the Spanish American War. Some are so weathered and worn you can’t even make out the names. I’ve thought, That’s all that remains of that person’s life – a stone with the name wiped away. I’m glad God has written believers’ names where they can’t be wiped away.
In Luke 10:17, seventy-two disciples return pumped from a short-term mission trip, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
Imagine one disciple interviewed by a sports reporter:
Reporter: “How did it feel today to be casting out those demons?”
Disciple: “It felt great man! You know those demons they were really tough, they didn’t want to come out of those people, but we came into their house to make a statement. We came in there real physical – we came to play. Every one of us gave a hundred and ten percent. Yeah, we’re lookin’ forward to the next time.”
Jesus responds: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you…” Jesus says, “Yes, I’ve given you power over the enemy, but don’t rejoice in this.” Don’t be glad if you can cast out demons or heal the sick. Don’t rejoice if God has gifted you or blessed your ministry. Even unbelievers can do works of power: On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Mt. 7:22-23
Here’s what Jesus says we should be glad about: Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” If you have trusted in Christ, rejoice that your name is written in heaven. Not on some tombstone that will wear away. Not in some club’s membership book. Your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, never to be erased, never to be forgotten. Rejoice that God has saved you from your sins and adopted you into his family. Now THAT is something to be glad about. Why don’t you take a couple minutes right now and thank your heavenly Father for writing your name in heaven and sending his Son to save you.