Some have publicly despised what they call a "checklist religion" as though such a religion savored of legalism, but that is not how the Bible regards checklists. The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy are full of checklists and we are admonished to check these lists often and to meditate therein day and night. (Psalm 1.)
God gave us a list of ten commands so important that this law will determine whether our characters can be allowed in heaven. The gospel makes provision both that our past disobedience of this law can be forgiven, and also that in the present and the future we may keep it from the heart. (John 8:31–36; 1 John 3:3–10; Romans 8:27–30.) Both Peter and Paul give several checklists—checklists which list for us those who will be lost and checklists of those who will be saved. (See for instance Romans 1:28–32; Romans 2:7–11; Romans 12:6–21; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 13:4–7; Galatians 5:19–21; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 3:1–13; 2 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 2:1–10; 1 Peter 2:1; 1 Peter 2:17; 2 Peter 1:4–7.)
The entire book of James has appeared to me to be a comprehensive checklist for the Christian preparing for the final judgement. However, within this larger checklist, there are smaller ones which are highly instructive for the Christian, such as James 1:26, 27; 3:14–16; 3:17; 4:7, 8.
Since the Bible is full of checklists in both the Old and New Testament we would expect to find checklists in that book of the Bible in which all the prophecies and instruction of the Bible finds its final fulfillment. We do indeed find these checklists in the book of Revelation and, if we are serious about salvation, the checklists of Revelation contain summarized instruction that we should diligently study. A few checklists in Revelation, which describe the saved in contrast with the lost, are Revelation 14:9–12; 21:6–8; 21:27; 22:14, 15.
When writing about the coming of the Lord and our preparation for it, in the Signs of the Times,November 10, 1887, Ellen White gave much instruction about how to be ready for the coming of the Lord. I have summarized this article in the form of a checklist. If you are reading this on Sabbath afternoon, you might want to get a concordance and find the Biblical reference supporting each statement concerning the necessary preparation.
1. Do right because it is right.
2. Be faithful in the discharge of every duty.
3. Show by our dress, conversation, and actions, that our minds are fixed on something better
than the business and pleasures of this short life.
4. Bring our appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God.
5. Show in our lives the fruits of holiness.
6. Deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God.
7. Let Christ into our hearts and homes.
8. Cultivate love, sympathy, and true courtesy one to another.
9. Cultivate the simple, unaffected affections of childhood.
10. Consecrate our lives to the good and happiness of others.
11. "The spirit of Christ’s self–sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades Heaven, and is the source of its blessedness. And it must be our spirit, if we would be fitted to join the society of the angelic host."
12. Overcome selfishness and love of ease so it is our pleasure to minister to others and to do the will of our Lord.
13. Give to God your whole life, with your heart’s best and holiest affections.
14. Be an overcomer: live a life of obedience.
15. Be a constant seeker and a warrior: seek for the enduring joys of immortality—looking for
the coming of Christ the second time, without sin unto salvation; seek for forgiveness of sins
and for the Spirit of God; war against the lusts of the flesh, the spirit of the world, and Satan.
"As a people we are not ready for the Lord’s appearing. If we would close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward, every institution established would be a bright and shining light in the world. Each member of the church, if he lived the great, elevated, ennobling truths for this time, would be a bright shining light. God’s people cannot please Him unless they are surcharged with the Holy Spirit’s efficiency. So pure and true is to be their relationship to one another that by their words, their affections, their attributes, they will show that they are one with Christ. They are to be as signs and wonders in our world, carrying forward intelligently every line of the work. And the different parts of the work are to be so harmoniously related to one another that all will move like well–regulated machinery. Then will the joy of Christ’s salvation be understood. There will then be none of the representation now made by those who have been given the light of truth to communicate, but who have not revealed the principles of truth in their association with one another, who have not done the Lord’s work in a way that glorifies Him." Selected Messages, vol. 1, 113.