One of the apocalyptic narratives from Revelation holds a dire warning for those not be named in the book of life.
Here’s the text in full:
Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.
The earth and the sky fled from his presence
and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,
and scrolls were opened.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.
The dead were judged according to their deeds,
by what was written in the scrolls.
The sea gave up its dead;
then Death and Hades gave up their dead.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.
(This pool of fire is the second death.)
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
was thrown into the pool of fire.
Flippancy aside, I think the sensible Christian must confront these more difficult passages, and weigh them in context of the entire Gospel. There can be no denial that there are consequences for those who are not found in the book of life.
Obviously, Christ, not any mortal human being, is in charge of this. But gaining the displeasure of God is not something to be trifled with. And perhaps there are times when a person needs motivation from potential consequences. For use with a single penitent, this is in the confessor’s hands. For use with a larger assembly, I’m not sure a reading like this can be used any more than rarely. But you may feel differently. If so, please comment.