Summary: In Christ we have been given all the tools we need to remain steadfast until the end.
WHAT IS AN OVERCOMER?
Rev. 2:1 – 3:22
Sermon Objective: In Christ we have been given all the tools we need to remain steadfast until the end.
I have read it to you before but it bears repeating and is certainly germane. Listen closely and allow it to stir within you.
"I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His and I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I'm done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.
My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.
I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He'll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!"
Nikao; which means to overcome, conquer, prevail, or gain the victory, is used fourteen times in the Revelation. Ten of those are related to the Church. The others have different uses; for example, in 13:7 the beast has a temporary victory, and in 17:14 Jesus Himself conquers the beast.
It is, at its core a very positive word.
It is a wonderful word.
In fact, many lives, nations, book, and movies have center on being the “overcomer.” It’s the stuff of good drama and great songs!
Although you know it is meant to be positive, it has an obvious dark side doesn’t it? There must be a real threat of danger and defeat for there to be the victory which is inherent in the word … “Overcome.”
It is one of those bittersweet words.
It is a powerful word in this book – and in our lives. It deserves some attention.
If we are not careful we will miss its importance. That would be unfortunate because it is rich with meaning and application. Not just for the first and second century church but for the people of God in every generation.
The idea of overcoming is an undercurrent throughout the book; it is always present … in every battle and in every scene. One could easily make a case for interpreting the entire book with this rubric … maybe by asking the questions,
• WHEN THE DUST SETTLES, WHO WILL PROVE TO BE THE CONQUEROR (OVERCOMER)?
• AND WHO WILL BE IDENTIFIED WITH THAT OVERCOMER?
Being classified as an “overcomer” is certainly ambitious and noble … even holy. But knowing what it means, and how it is used, and the cost involved, is important if we are to correctly apply it. And, as I said, make no mistake about it … the Spirit did not only expect the church of the first and second century to identify with the word … he means for those of us in every generation who follow Jesus to do so as well.
Let’s read the ten places in the book where it applies to the Church.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.
To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.
He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.