In the 1980s, the Cheers television show dominated the comedic airwaves. It was hilarious and maintained its high-ratings almost throughout its historically long run, 11 years, from 1982 to 1993. Thus, its weekly entry into American living rooms meant that the theme song was destined to become entrenched into the psyche of the viewer for decades afterwards. “Where everybody knows your name” was the theme song and it goes a little something like this –
Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
As the song played, I used to admire each attractive painting of each tinted character, and I’d yearn for the bonhomie the show promoted. Yes, I want to be where everybody knows my name. Yes, I want to be in a place where I am recognized, and loved for who I am. Yes, I want to be where they’re always glad I came. Is there such a place? Yes, and it’s not in a bar.
The place where everybody knows your name is heaven. And for each person either the homecoming is either joyful or fearful. There are books kept, and your name is in those books. Your deeds are kept in the books. And He knows your name – and He knows your deeds.
“And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” Revelation 20:12
“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
On the one hand, your homecoming may be brief. They will know your name but if your name is not found written, you will be thrown into torment, receiving your wish to be forever separated from Jesus. On this earth, when the person in authority opens your file, and stares at you, it is a heart-stopping moment. Have you ever been to the principal’s office? And he opens your file? It makes your toes curl. Have you ever been to the doctor’s office? And he opens your file? It makes your stomach drop. Have you ever been to court? And he opens your file? It makes your heart beat. This will be like that but infinitely worse.
On the other hand, if you believe, confess, and repent, when they open the book and find your name in it, Jesus will confess your name to the Father and to the angels. You will be admitted permanent entry into the most glorious place possible…the place where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.