In October 2022, the pastor of Lausanne Free Church, Switzerland, began a series of articles for Evangelical Times news-magazine entitled "Scripture's hidden gems: Revelation". I was so impressed, I wrote an enthusiastic letter to the E.T. editor (published spring 2023), saying how similar this 'Calvinistic' pastor's views were to the author of a 600+ page book I'd read previously, on the book of the Revelation. Now, the author of that book would not call himself a Calvinist, yet is part of the Reformed faith and unquestionably Protestant. I pulled out the Calvinist pastor's articles and re-read them, with a view to answering this question.
At the outset, Alan Hill made clear that John's writing
"...was not written to divide Christians, but to comfort and unite
Christians around a fundamental truth: our Lord is on the throne and
he is coming back. ...The diversity of interpretations is legendary.
For this reason, many shy away from studying it or preaching on it.
This is a great shame. Revelation is the only book in the Bible which
comes with a specific promise of blessing to those who read it [and
who 'keep the sayings of this book' Rev.1:3 & 22:9]. Revelation was written
to comfort God's people." Evangelical Times, October 2022, Alan
I have inserted mention of the warning to John not to fall down before an angel, and that those keeping the sayings of the visions would be blessed. It's important to add another warning a few verses on. This has specifically to do with which names will be in the Book of Life.
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy
of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add
unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man
shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall
take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city,
and from the things which are written in this book." Revelation
The text says that if any one takes away from the words of the book of the prophecy, then shall be taken from them - το μερος αυτου απο βιβλου της ζωης
'their part from the book of life', literally - the part of them from the book of the life (not their name.) That is to say they shall not partake of that which is contained in the book. Their 'part' shall not be
in that book. The text never states that their name was ever in the book.
This happens on the awesome Day of Judgment, after everyone has been given resurrection bodies in which to stand before that Throne. The judgments pronounced will prove God to be just, righteous, and vindicated in all decisions as to the final, eternal, state of all before him. The Book of Life would appear to play a role in this.
Back to pastor Hill's article now. He comes to chapters 20 to 22 (headed, The Devil's doom and the believer's joy). What does he say about the point of opening the Book of Life before the Great White Throne of judgment? Not a word. This, however, is what he does say about verses 7 - 15 (wherein the judgment of the living and the dead - of everyone, vs. 12 - takes place, and the Book of Life is opened.)
"...it is reasonable to conclude that the '1,000 years' of Revelation
20 are symbolic. What does it symbolise? The 1,000 years represent the
gospel age in which we are still living and in which the good news
goes out to all nations. It began with the fall of Satan (Matthew 12)
and will end when Satan is released from being bound and the world
experiences the great tribulation and falling away (2 Thessalonians
Revelation 20:7-15 then tells us that after Satan's 'little season',
the Lord Jesus will return, defeat Satan and usher in the Day of
Judgment and separation of the lost and saved." Ibid. November 2022
That last sentence indicates the role of the Book of Life - in separating the lost from the saved. We do not need to know what Calvinists (or any other Christians) consider "the point" of the opening of the Book of Life to be on that great Day. We need to be sure of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, having saved us and loved us with an everlasting love, so that we do not doubt him for a second, no matter how many "points" we do not yet understand. To show the importance of how the purpose of Revelation should impact us, that we cry out with longing, "Come, Lord Jesus Christ, come" (not having any fear of that spectacular event), compare it with what the apostle Paul had written earlier:
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at
hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have
kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at
that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his
appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8 A.V. Bold emphasis mine
Whatever we presently understand - or don't understand - about the book of the Revelation, bear in mind what this Calvinistic pastor, Alan Hill, said at the outset of his series of articles: It "...was not written to divide Christians, but to comfort and unite Christians around a fundamental truth: our Lord is on the throne and he is coming back". Hallelujah!