2008-06-12 - He Who Overcomes
Rev 3:5 'He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. (NASB)
From the first few chapters of the Revelation to John the Apostle there are letters that are written to the seven churches seen at the beginning of the book. Many say they represent the seven ages or the church, or seven types of churches, or seven types of believers. The point seems to be that the letters are all directed to Christians in various situations. There are notes of warning and encouragement to those of us who name the name of Christ as our Savior. A warning meant for one can be a reminder to another.
From Paul's letter to the church at Sardis, there is a note of encouragement at the closing of the brief letter after a word of sober warning. But what an encouragement! He who over comes will be clothed in white garments - clothed in righteousness. We will certainly not be clothed in our own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Jesus Who gave us His perfect sinless life in exchange for the tattered stained rags of our life. He provided the perfect sacrifice of His sinless blood in order to pay for the sins of all mankind. Heed the warning and see prize at the finish line.
Our names will will not be erased from the book of life. At least one of the judgments specifically mentions books being opened , and those who were not found in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15). There are books called Who's Who in <Insert Profession/Activity/Etc Here> that are kept by various groups. The people in these books are the top of their profession or sport, etc. They are reaching for perfection in their field. We reach for it, but will be perfected by the work of God. We will reach with our efforts as well, but lean on the Lord for strength and guidance if we are wise. In the end Jesus will have paid for everything that leaves us in the book of life. We will reap the benefits of His matchless mercy and grace. The One Who keeps the book in order is faultless and unimpeachable.
What a moment it will be to stand before the Father and confess His perfect name. There are few words to describe it now when I consider this future moment. When each of us actually stands there, what will we say? I can hardly imagine being able to speak at all. We are told here that we will indeed speak. Angels can not be saved. There is no way back for the angels that fell with the enemy. The angels that will be present will be listening intently to try to grasp what we have been given by grace.
The book of Revelation is indeed filled with symbolism and things that take some patience and time to unwind. I'm sure there are many things written in the book that will not be clear until they come to pass. But there are things that are also crystal clear. A note of warning followed by encouragement is not really different from one we would receive from a parent or teacher out of concern for us. These words come from a loving God reaching out to us. If you have shied away from the book, I encourage you to try reading it - perhaps in small bites, but try it.
A final thought - he who overcomes will be us, but only through the overcoming power of our Savior. The enemy was defeated at Calvary. The battle is no longer in question but is being played out to the singular unalterable conclusion. It is not by our will or strength that any of this happens. It is only in our surrender to Him that we share this victory - a sweet irony.
Grace & Peace,