• Joseph Durso

The Value of Overcoming

The Lion Overcame by the Blood of the Lamb

Revelation chapters two and three tell the tale of Jesus' evaluation of seven Churches. These churches encompass the Church age and are a warning and a promise for good and evil to everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus Christ.

To each person who reads is a call to overcome, which in Greek Nikaó means to conquer or prevail, and where we get the word Nicki or victory. The verb implies a battle. Every Christian bought by the blood of Christ is responsible to live their life for the one they call Lord. For this reason, we all should take the warnings and the promises to the Churches seriously.

The Battle Cry to Ephesus: 'To the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.' The victor is promised the spoil, and the spoil is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; His character, love, and presence - who could ask for more?

Where this Church lived: This Church put those to the test who said they were apostles, but they weren't. Yet, this Church lost its first love. The battle to be won is loving Jesus, not the world and ourselves but Jesus. The first great commandment for us all is to love Lord our God. If we don't love God, what does anything that we do or say matter? God views our good works done without a love for Him as dead and damning.

Conclusion: To the victor in Ephesus, one must overcome by loving Jesus.

The Battle Cry to Smyrna: "The one who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death." The spoken promise is in the negative or what will not take place. Hurt is pending upon what we do; if we do nothing, trouble is on its way. Hence, "Faith without works is dead." (James 2:26)

Where Smyrna lived: This Church lived Amid persecution. "'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the slander by those who say they are Jews, and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." To them, Jesus said, 'Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.' Jesus was rejected for His speech to be crowned king by the very people who later cried for His crucifixion because He lived by this death principle. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24) Jesus living by a death principle; how can that be? Some will say. How Jesus lived can be summed up by His words, "Not my will but yours be dones." (Luke 22:42) My dear readers, I pray that you understand.

Conclusion: To the Victor in Smyrna is death to self; therefore, one must overcome the fear of death. Christians are those who place God first and not themselves. Hence, the need for Spirit-filled faith.

The Battle Cry to Pergamum: "To the one who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna..." 1 Corinthians 2:14 explains, "But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." Hence, the hidden manna.

Where Pergamum lived: Satan's throne or under his authority by compromising with the world. To avoid compromising with the world, living on the hidden manna is absolutely necessary. The Church is called out of the world, as was Israel.

Conclusion: To the victor in Smyrna, one must flee any union with the world, and that includes any forms of false "Christianity."

The Battle Cry to Thyatira: "The one who overcomes, and the one who keeps My deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations..." Such a statement does not correctly fit an interpretation that does not include a literal thousand-year reign of Christ upon the Old earth? There are no nations in eternity. Unless, of course, God is planning on bringing the curse upon Babel into eternity. I wouldn't count on it. All nations are represented but there will be no division of any kind in eternity.

Where Thyatira lived: In slavery to sexual immorality and idolatry; they did not want to repent of her evil deeds; their words are cheap. This Church was facing a severe warning. "I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation." Coming out of this Church is coming out of the world.

Conclusion: To the Victor in Thyatira, "He shall rule them (the nations) with a rod of iron ...as I also have received authority from My Father..." Those who live for God's honor also honor His authority. There can be no compromise. "I will give him the morning star," means the light of Christ. Where there is compromise there is no light.

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Gospel Light I agree with the Westminister Shorter Catechism, which begins by asking the question. What is the chief end of man? And the answer given is simply this: Man's chief end is to glorify God