Promises to the Overcomer

It may serve us to dwell briefly on the various promises to the overcomer in Rev. 2 and 3, as indicating the circumstances and the responsibilities of the Church in view of "that coming day".

1. Ephesus: "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7). This is a precious promise wherever there is overcoming in a day of coldness and apathy - may we not say in these very days in which we live. Christ is the Tree of Life, and there can be no higher reward than to partake of His fullness in the Home of God. And this is the prize awaiting all who have the fire of first love—a present heartfelt appreciation of His preciousness in this life.

2. Smyrna: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). Here are words of cheer for any who endure hardness for His sake; who bear reproach, scorn, suffering, in the path of obedience. Here still in closing days is there opportunity to suffer for the truth and for Him who is the Truth. "Our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. 4:17).

3. Pergamos: "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it" (Rev. 2:17). What a promise to those who resist settling down at home where our Lord was rejected. Are we feeding now and here on the manna, God’s perfect provision for a wilderness path? For those who turn away from the dainties of earthly pleasure and worldly conformity there is a feast and a white stone in the Home prepared.

4. Thyatira: "He that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations…and I will give him the morning star" (Rev. 2:26-28). In Thyatira we see the church established as a world power, and its place here instead of where the Lord is. As we look about us today, we can see the same spirit working. Corruption follows in spite of varied activities and faithfulness on the part of some. For the overcomer the Morning Star of hope sheds its holy light in the heart, and the coming of the Lord is nigh.

5. Sardis: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels" (Rev. 3:5). Sardis, with its boasted light has but a name to live. Cold, lifeless formality, and even doctrinal accuracy, cannot take the place of a living heart of affection and devotedness to Christ. How cheering to the overcomers is this promise. "With Thee in garments white, Lord Jesus, we shall walk; and spotless in that heavenly light, of all Thy sufferings talk".

6. Philadelphia: "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out.....I will write upon him my new name" (Rev. 3:12). A true Philadelphian will not think lightly of any part of that Word, much less of that which has to do with the nature of the church, its government, ministry, and testimony. Are we sharers in His patience, not looking for great things here, but holding fast what He has given? What will it be to be a pillar in the temple of God!

7. Laodicea: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21). May the Lord make us true Philadelphians, and keep us from approaching the pride and self-satisfaction of poor, wretched, blind Laodicea. Difficulties may increase; nothing can stand the test but what is of God. Our whole resource must be Christ alone. May there be a true revival ere He come; not necessarily in numbers, but in soul, in true-hearted devotion to Him who gave us His all.

These blessed promises give the hints of the holy joys that await the overcomer in these evil days. May we ponder them, and live in the expectation of soon entering that bright home. Let us individually and unitedly pray for the Church which He has purchased with His own blood.