“…run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” (I Timothy 6:11-12 NLT)
So often we find ourselves fighting multiple battles at once — spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, financial and more. Sometimes we’re valiant warriors, prayed up, wearing the armor of God and boldly claiming territory for the Kingdom of God. And sometimes we’re vulnerable, seemingly distant from God, unsure of whether we can keep fighting and tired of praying over the same territory.
The world and all its darkness can beat us up, stripping away our resolve, our fire, our purpose. But we can’t forget that victory comes to those who keep fighting and to those who know what they fight for.
Amid all the uncertainty we find in the book of Revelation, Jesus reveals in chapters 2 and 3 certain promises to those who are victorious — or, as translated in KJV, to those who overcome. While the rewards were written specifically for the seven churches, Jesus made it evident that these promises are for any child of God who is victorious, to those who overcome the trials of this world and live for Him.
The promises to those who are victorious:
1. You will receive the fruit from the tree of life in the Paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7 ESV)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”
How beautiful it is that in this first promise, Jesus says he will restore those who are victorious to their intended state of being with God forever. When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God banished them from Paradise because He didn’t want them to eat of the tree of life and thus live forever in an unredeemed, sinful state (Gen. 3:22). Instead, He set in motion a plan of redemption, fulfilled through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Because of that redemption, we have the opportunity to live with God forever, cleansed and named a child of God. Each of the following promises expands upon this concept, revealing just how much Jesus gave us when He took our place on the cross.
2. You will not be harmed by the second death. (Revelation 2:11 ESV)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”
Those who are victorious won’t be destined to eternal separation from God. Instead, they will forever be in His presence.
3. You will receive the hidden manna from Heaven and a white stone with a new name. (Revelation 2:17 ESV)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
Not only will they partake of the Bread of Life, but they will be reborn and receive their true name from God, just as Abram and Jacob received new names as God transformed their lives.
4. You will receive authority over all nations and receive the morning star. (Revelation 2:27-28 ESV)
“and he will rule[a] them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star.”
Those who overcome will receive power to rule with Jesus. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus reveals that He is the morning star, the One who was promised, the star rising from Jacob (Numbers 24:17).
5. You will be clothed in white and have your name in the Book of Life. (Revelation 3:5 ESV)
“The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”
Those who are victorious will be found worthy before God, spotless and pure, as their names are announced in His presence.
6. You will become pillars in the Temple of God, receive the name of God upon you and become citizens of New Jerusalem. (Revelation 3:12 ESV)
“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”
Those who overcome will become an integral part of where God resides, and they will never need to leave. They will be marked with the name of Jesus, claimed as His own, given eternal citizenship to the City of God.
7. You will sit with Jesus on His throne. (Revelation 3:21 ESV)
“The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
Jesus also had to overcome the trials of this world. He understands what it takes to be victorious, and He will share that reward with us.
These are incredible, breath-taking promises that prove how important it is to keep fighting. So, what do we need to do to be victorious?
Each of the seven churches faced certain challenges and obstacles, which still permeate the world today.
- The church of Ephesus had forgotten its first love. Yes, they worked hard and didn’t give up on the Truth, but they had allowed their love for Jesus and for others to diminish. They needed to repent and strengthen their love. (Rev. 2:2-7)
- The church of Smyrna faced persecution and death, but they opposed evil even when it meant physical suffering. In a beautiful display of grace, Jesus gave this church the specific promise that those who overcame wouldn’t be harmed by the eternal death. They needed to remain faithful even when they faced physical harm. (Rev. 2:9-11)
- The church of Pergamum remained loyal to Jesus, but they had started to compromise truth and values. They needed to stop tolerating lies and immorality and heed the truth. (Rev. 2:13-17)
- The church of Thyatira continued to improve in love, faith, service, and patience, but they also were beginning to tolerate false teachings. They needed to resist temptation and idolatry. (Rev. 2:19-28)
- The church of Sardis had died spiritually, even though they looked alive from the outside. They were doing what it took to maintain appearances, but they weren’t living and producing fruit. They needed to wake up, repent and turn back to Jesus. ( 3:1-6)
- The church of Philadelphia had obeyed the word of God, persevering even when they were weak. They needed to hold on to what they had and continue to persevere. (Rev. 3:1-13)
- The church of Laodicea had stopped nourishing their faith and had grown lukewarm, distasteful to God because of their apathy. They needed to turn away from indifference and choose to wholeheartedly serve God. (Rev. 3:15-21)
No matter where you are in your spiritual journey – whether you’re strong in the faith or barely holding on – know that Jesus wants you to succeed. He understands the battle can be difficult, but He offers you redemption and victory, along with seven beautiful promises.
Like Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:11-12: “Run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.”
Bible Study by Jen English