Christian Anxiety & Depression Forum

Discuss your anxiety panic attacks or depression with other Christians. Find support from other Christians who are experiencing the same thing. Find answers. Pray and encourage one another through Jesus Christ.
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 Revelation Chapter 2 (Part 15) (The Overcomers Part 1)

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Statesman63
Admin
avatar

Posts : 247
Points : 501
Join date : 2010-09-30
Location : Cleveland, OH

PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 2 (Part 15) (The Overcomers Part 1)   Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:57 pm

Revelation Chapter 2 (Part 15) (The Overcomers Part 1)

We are at the first mention of the overcomer. I would like to group these and talk about them all at once. There is an immediate application for each of the overcomer statements. Overcome what? Overcome the sins just mentioned for that particular church. For the Ephesus church we are studying, the reference is: to he or she who overcomes the things that compete in your heart for Jesus to remain your first love; and to the one who overcomes by obeying Jesus’ commands, which reveals you love him. And since each church represents a particular age in time, then the overcomer statement to each church also means: to he or she who overcomes whatever the prevalent sin that the church of the day is struggling with and guilty of. The churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia do not get any rebuke from Jesus. The church of Smyrna, as we will see, was a persecuted church. The church at large, during this period (AD 100 – AD 300) was severely persecuted. Their overcoming statement is simply: “He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” The overcomer rewards are for all Christians in every church age.

All of the overcomer statements pertain to the afterlife. The most important point is that these are not promises to all Christians. These are promises to all Christian overcomers! These are the rewards for the overcoming Christian. Many Christian readers believe they are entitled to these promises just because they are saved. That is not what the text says. But such Christian readers reason that Jesus made them overcomers by default. They say Jesus overcame for them. But “To him who overcomes” is not a label, rather a verbal phrase as a command or imperative. We must do something to be an overcomer. To be saved, one needs only to believe that Jesus is Lord and died to pay for your sin and resurrected from the dead to raise you to life in righteousness. There is nothing to do to be saved except to believe that Jesus paid it all. But to be an overcomer, you have to actually do something. To have access to each of these promises requires arduous effort on behalf of the Christian. A Christian who just lives life unto him or herself is not an overcomer and will not be rewarded these promises.

Revelation 2:7 gives us our first overcomer statement from Jesus, which says, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” This is the same Tree of Life Adam and Eve had access to in the Garden of Eden. God moves it to this place in the future Kingdom of Heaven. God never commanded Adam and Eve to not eat from the Tree of Life. His command was for them to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Had they left the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil alone, and eaten from the Tree of Life, they would have been locked into a righteous obedient state like the good angels are in and there would have been no need for the cross. The whole spiritual battle would have been over before it began. But once they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God did them a big favor by kicking them out of the Garden of Eden. Because had they eaten from the Tree of Life after having eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve would have been locked into their rebellious, sinful state like the bad angels, and with no hope for spiritual renewal, shucks to eternal darkness. So God kicks Adam and Eve out the garden and then posts an angel with a flaming sword at the gate of the garden to keep them out until he removes the garden from planet Earth.

We see this same tree show up again in the Kingdom of Heaven on the New Earth. Revelation 22:2 says, “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Most Christian readers believe that they are entitled to this tree simply because they are a Christian, and because this tree is located in the Kingdom of Heaven. But its location is exactly why not all Christians will be able to eat from this tree. Not all Christians will have access to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is a reward for those who live out godly lives without flagrant rebellion. It is for overcomers. It is for those who take up their crosses (refers to death and suffering for Jesus) and follow Jesus. It is for those who do not hold to idols (anything that comes before Jesus Christ (money, self, etc.)). Revelation 22:14-15 follows:

“Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

Notice that the gates of the Kingdom city will always be open (with an angel posted at each gate). Anyone can step outside the city and come back in, but not anyone can step into the city from the outside. Concerning the Kingdom city itself, Revelation 21:27 reads, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” If your name is not in the book of life, you will not be able to enter the Kingdom city because you will be in hell. If your name is in the book of life, but you continued to do what is shameful or deceitful, you will not be able to enter the Kingdom city, but you will still be saved. Outside the Kingdom city gates is not hell. It is where the saved disobedient are, and where those who converted to Christianity during the Tribulation and Millennium periods. It is for those who were born during the Tribulation and Millennium periods (note that all babies are saved, we must opt out of salvation through consciously rejecting it). And there will be an angel guard posted at each of the 12 gates of the city to make sure that no one who is disqualified enters it.

So to eat from the Tree of Life is a reward for the disciplined Christian. Access to even enter the Kingdom in which the Tree of Life sits is a reward for the disciplined Christian. Heaven goes beyond the gates of the Kingdom. All who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are saved forever and will live forever at least in Heaven. They are saved from the lake of fire. But it takes more than just faith to be able to enter the Kingdom City: that is, the New Jerusalem. Jesus said in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” And in Matthew 5:10 he says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In the bible, whenever works is tied to having or not having access to heaven, it never says just “heaven.” It always, consistently, says “Kingdom of Heaven” whenever it speaks of works as being the condition for access or lack of. Whenever the bible speaks of just having access to “Heaven” and leaving off the word “Kingdom” it always, consistently, speaks of salvation without works, just faith alone.

To refrain from sin is a work. To walk righteously is a work. Works are not required for Heaven, but are required for access to the Kingdom. Galatians 5:19-21 reads as follows:

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

It is always consistent. Note it does not say you will not inherit “Heaven.” If you live like this verse says, you can go to Heaven and escape Hell if you believe in Christ. But you will not inherit or have access to the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s look at this list. A similar list can also be found in Ephesians 5:5 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. In fact, to have a more complete list, I’ll quote the latter here:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

So by examining these verses we see that gays will not have access to the kingdom city. I believe that gays can be saved, because the requirement is only to believe in Jesus. By faith we are saved not works; not by becoming better; not by putting off sin. But they won’t have access to the Kingdom. They will just be able to roam the New Earth. But Reader, don’t think that you are exempt from being barred from the Kingdom. Examining this list even closer we see things that all of us are guilty of in some form or another. The key is that this is not your bend. This is not your norm. This does not describe who you are. It is just a rare occurrence for you. Note that “fits of rage” is on the list. Are you an irascible person? Are you selfish? All about yourself and your career and paycheck? Not about helping others? No care or concern for those less blessed than you are? Are you prone to drunkenness? Are you often jealous of the material things that others have? Your mind should be building up spiritual rewards in Heaven that will last forever by doing good works here on Earth, not striving with your heart on material things here. Are you a thief? Do you have the company’s pens and pencils at your house? Do you cheat on your taxes? Do you have idols? Idols include loving self and money above the Lord. Which comes first in your life? Do you hate anyone? Have you murdered? Jesus said wishing someone were dead is the same as murdering them. Do you have Ouija boards or check the horoscopes? Are you greedy? Do you push others aside so that you can fill your plate first? Do you talk about people and put them down (“slanders”)? Are you sexually impure? Do you live with your boyfriend or girlfriend as if you are married? Do you look at porn magazines and the like? If any of these is your bend, then you and I need to repent, tell God that you cannot overcome this in your own strength and ask Him to provide you with Jesus’ strength so that you can put away that sin forever. And pray that we be granted access to enter His Kingdom, the Holy City of Jerusalem because that is an eternal pass that you will regret not having if you don’t.

We will talk more about this Tree of Life later when we come to it again in Revelation 22.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://christian-anxiety.forums-free.info
 
Revelation Chapter 2 (Part 15) (The Overcomers Part 1)
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Xartis Psyxis - Chapter 3, The Last Confession (part 2)
» The untapped part of the brain
» The Gates of Hell. Part 1
» Mental Health : Trying to heal the mental part to eating too much
» Rob Skiba - Did Israel Really Become a Nation in 1948 (part 2 mp3 is up)

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Christian Anxiety & Depression Forum :: Bible Study-
Jump to: