The Guinness Book of Records, known for inspiring tens of thousands of people to attempt record-breaking feats, originated from an idea conceived by Sir Hugh Beaver, a British engineer and industrialist who was the managing director of Guineas Brewery. The book initially aimed to settle trivia disputes among bar patrons. In 1950, Sir Beaver was involved in a debate about the fastest game bird in Europe during a shooting party, but the answer could not be found in any bird reference book. To resolve the issue, he sought the assistance of sports journalists Norris and Ross McWhirter, leading to the establishment of Guinness Superlative Limited in November 1954, which handled the publication of the book.
The Guinness Book of Records keeps records of individuals who accomplish spectacular and extraordinary feats that others cannot replicate. By 2022, over 60,000 people had been catalogued in the publication’s database. One recent example that has captured global attention is Nigeria’s Hilda Baci, who set a record by cooking for 93 hours and 11 minutes.
Being included in the Guinness Book of World Records brings international recognition and fame. People receive high praise and applause from all over the world. It is indeed prestigious to be listed in one of the world’s most popular record books. However, all these accolades and adulations will eventually fade away.
The most significant and crucial question that every individual must answer for themselves is, “Is your name in God’s Book of Life?” It is an undeniable fact that most people, including Christians, are often interested in receiving human praise. These individuals may do things solely to gain recognition from the congregation. For example, they may give substantial offerings to have their names mentioned, not because they genuinely want to support God’s work but to receive applause from others. Moreover, many are driven by titles and earthly recognition rather than having a heavenly mindset.
I recall a story about an elder who became furious when a member refused to address him with the title “Elder.” In 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, it is stated that we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the things done in the body (ESV). Judgment will be based on our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and our actions on earth.
While it is commendable to work hard and earn titles such as Apostle Doctor, Apostle Professor, Most Reverend Father, or Archbishop, among others, it is important to note that these respected titles and others like them will not guarantee entry into heaven. Instead, our actions and deeds will be the determining factor. It must be understood that heaven will be a level playing ground for all believers, where their actions, not positions or titles, will be evaluated.
Our Lord Jesus admonished the Apostles not to rejoice because demons and spirits submitted to them but rather because their names were written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Many will say to Him on the day of judgment, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” To them, Jesus will reply, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.” These will be the most painful and devastating words spoken by our Lord Jesus, indicating that our lives on earth were filled with deception and ultimately wasted. How disappointing that will be!
According to Revelation 20:11-15 (NIV), anyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire. Therefore, do not always be swayed by the praises you receive from people whenever you preach, sing, lead prayers, or engage in activities in the house of God. Take a moment to reflect personally and evaluate whether your lifestyle can secure you a place in the Book of Life. He who has ears, let him listen.
Written by Elder Richard Mbelembote (President, PENSA-Pentecost University)