is the Overcomer?
John 5:4-5 For whatever
(whosoever) is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory
that has overcome the world--our faith.
Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus
is the Son of God?
Apostle John and the Overcomer
writes a lot about the overcomer. Many
people think the overcomers in John's epistles and in the book of the
Revelation are a special class of Christian.
I am convinced that all people who are Biblical Christians are
overcomers in John's writings. The
overcomer is mentioned in each letter to the seven churches of Asia
Minor (Turkey) in Chapters 2 and 3 and their blessings are blessings
that all Christians enjoy.
2:7 "He who has an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes
I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the
Paradise of God." '
2:11 "He who has an
ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes
shall not be hurt by the second death."
2:17 "He who has an
ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who
overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give
him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one
knows except him who receives it."
2:26-28 “And he who
overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power
over the nations-- 'HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON; THEY SHALL BE
DASHED TO PIECES LIKE THE POTTER'S VESSELS'-- as I also have received
from My Father; and I will
give him the morning star.”
3:5 “He who overcomes
shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name
from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and
before His angels.”
3:12 “He who overcomes, I
will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no
more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of
My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God.
And I will write on him My new name.”
3:21 “To him who overcomes
I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat
down with My Father on His throne.”
congregations all existed when John wrote but each congregation had its
own problems and personality. I
believe our current congregations likely are much like at least one of
these congregations although current congregations may have more than
one personality type. But
John is definitely giving us a panoramic view of the state of local
churches at the time that he wrote.
Within each church there were overcomers.
When you see that the overcomer has faith in Who the Lord Jesus
really is in John's first epistle; and when you see that the blessings
to the overcomers in the seven churches are blessings that true
believers would claim as their own, then I conclude that the overcomer
is not a special class of believer; but the overcomer is the true
believer in each of these churches.
The particular blessing mentioned for the overcomer in each
church is the blessing that would most encourage the believers living in
those conditions. If you
take all seven blessings together, one gets a fairly good description of
what the future looks like for a Christian.
about those who are not Overcomers?
here is the rub, if the overcomer is not a special class of Christian,
then these churches consist of both the saved and the lost—the
believer and the unbeliever. There
are believers in Christ and Christ rejecters in every church.
That becomes obvious as the Lord mentions the faithful who have
been true to Him in some of these churches.
This concerns me because our churches today are willing to accept
people who have not been baptized Biblically, and who do not remember be
awakened to the fact that they were lost (and we are lost before we are
saved). Many reject the
Biblical doctrines of headship that the Lord gives to the local church.
Moral doctrines are considered to be old-fashioned by many.
Some are more concerned with changing the world politically than
with changing the world one by one through the regenerating power of the
don't believe that we are showing love to those who believe that
becoming a Christian involves a mental assent to the Truth rather than
it being an experience where the lost are saved, where the understanding
is opened, where the believer actually repents and has his thinking
changed to agree with God even when that mean taking sides with God and
against himself. In many
cases people also have to take sides against their families.
use of the term overcomer is searching.
We need to be overcomers ourselves and we need to be concerned
about those who are not. And
while evangelism is a “go into all the world” command these messages
make it clear that the world has come into the church; therefore,
evangelism needs to start at “home.”
for the week of December 13, 2015