Will you Overcome?
Posted by appolus on March 30, 2014
If I were to simply ask the question ” what does it mean to overcome?” or to be an overcomer, I am sure I would get many different answers. The word ” overcomer,” in the Greek means to “Conquer, to subdue, to prevail and to get the victory.” Now if one is earthly minded and walked with the notion that we have been called to live our best life now, one might believe that to overcome is to have victory over the circumstances of our lives. This may include health issues or wealth issues. So to those who believe in that way, overcoming would mean getting a healing when one is sick. Or, if one is dying then being delivered from death. It could also mean that if one is poor, then by becoming rich one has overcome their poverty.
Now, does God heal? Yes He does. Can He raise a man from his death-bed, or indeed raise the dead? Yes of course. Can he take a poor man, a pauper and raise him up to walk with kings? Yes He can and has often done so. Are any of these formulas whereby God must act? No. God alone chooses who he raises up, whether it is from poverty or from a bed of sickness or a bed of death or even death itself and He does it for His own will and His own good pleasure.
So one can definitely say that all these things can be overcome according to the will of God. Yet that is an entirely different subject, I am interested in the overcomers of the first three chapters of Revelation. Who are they? There are three classic interpretations of who the overcomers are, let me just list them and I want you to think as you read these three versions what you believe. Maybe you have never thought about it before? Overcomers are those who persevere by obedience and are victorious in the face of trials and to whom all the promises of Jesus pertain to, so who are they and will you be one of them? …………
1. The promises are experienced by all believers who are genuinely saved and therefore overcome, and those who do not overcome were never genuinely saved in the first place.
2. The promises are experienced by all genuine believers who overcome and if you do not overcome then you lose your salvation.
3. Promises are experienced by faithful and obedient believers who overcome, and those who fail to overcome, while still genuine believers, lose their rewards while maintaining their salvation.
The third option is the one most commonly held to in this day of Christianity. Yet, if we actually look at what Jesus says would we really come to that conclusion. Let us look at what some of what Jesus says to the churches.
PROMISES TO THOSE WHO OVERCOME THOSE WHO DO NOT OVERCOME
- New name No new name
- Fed by hidden manna Not fed, suffer famine
- Rise up and reign with Christ Not reign with Christ,blind
- Walk with Jesus, clothed with white. Walk alone, naked.
- Name written in Book of life Name blotted out, wretched
- Jesus will confess their names He will be ashamed of
before His Heavenly Father them before His Father
- A living vital part, a pillar No part in the Temple, miserable
in the Temple of God
- Sit down with Jesus in His throne. Spue you out of His mouth
When you read the promises side by side with the warnings and the results of failure to overcome it becomes quite stark. This overcoming that Jesus speaks of is the difference between life and death, eternal life and death. Now while all of the issues that Jesus spoke of to the Churches have always had personal and corporate application, it also has an end time application. Overcoming in this context has nothing to do with the issues we spoke of at the start of this article. For example, to the Church of Smyrna,an impoverished church already facing many trials, Jesus warns that they are about to have more tribulations and they will be thrown into prison. Jesus commends them to be faithful unto death. You see, overcoming in this situation had nothing to do with alleviating their immediate circumstances, in fact quite the opposite.
Overcomers can say with Job in 13:15 Even though He kills me yet will I trust in Him and I will maintain my ways before Him. Job was an overcomer. The three Hebrew children were overcomers because no matter their circumstances they would not bow down to any golden image and were more concerned about honoring their God than any king of this world .
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
These Hebrew children were overcomers and in this spirit the Word of God speaks of the overcomers that shall prevail.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
These are the signs of the overcomer. They are covered by the Blood of the Lamb, their very lives testify to the power of God and they would rather die than to dishonor their God. Rom 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. Php 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
To be an overcomer we must love God more than we love anything else. There must be nothing in this world that means more to us than God, even life itself. Therein lies the key to oevrcoming. And so my opinion as to the three categories of what it means to be an overcomer? I reject the commonly held view of #3. I believe it to be an amalgam of 1&2. Jesus is calling those who are living in manner not pleasing to Him. He is reaching out His hand to those who are living in a manner that will lead them to ultimately reject Him. He is calling on all those of Christendom who now dwell in the valley of decision. They must not comfort themselves with the false notion that they will simply ” lose rewards.” Look again at the right hand column and read it through, then read the left hand column, see if you believe that these people are merely losing rewards. Right now Jesus counsels all those who straddle the world and His Kingdom, before it is too late, to buy from Him “ gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”
Jesus is forever reaching out His hand. He would have that none would be lost. It is His heart that all would be saved, that all would be overcomers and partake in the promises that He has made to those who are faithful until the end, to those who overcome, to the overcomers. He would have that all would be overcomers. This is how great His love is and even at this late hour He is calling out, He is crying out, with a loud voice and with the same Spirit that said “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Can you hear Him saints? Can you sense the urgency of the hour? Stand fast and do not be moved. Compel those who are wavering to stand fast for our God is coming and He is coming soon. Let us not be overcome by the world but let us overcome the world because we stand upon Him who has already overcame. Stay vigilant and diligently seek Him for He is a rewarder of those that do, the only reward that has any eternal value, His presence. Those who overcome will indeed be rewarded with the only reward worth having, to dwell in His presence for evermore, to lose that would be to lose eternity.