The book of Revelation is known for it’s descriptions of end-time judgments against our world and the people who live on it for their rejection of God. Many of the judgments are severe, and some of them are very difficult to understand. Before the description of the Tribulation on the world begins, the Apostle John, who wrote the book, writes a message to seven different churches. We are living in an increasingly chaotic time, which very well could be the time not far from the events written about in the book of Revelation so the messages to the seven churches should probably be especially appropriate for us today who are followers of Jesus. There a several phrases repeated to all seven churches which obviously should be of special importance. One of those repeated phrases is ”to him who overcomes” or ”he who overcomes”. In each of the seven instances it is followed by a very special reward from God which are in stark contrast to the judgments poured out on most of the inhabitants of the world.
An ”overcomer” is one who wins a wresting match, who conquors an enemy, and who finishes a race. An overcomer is faithful, committed, strong, and devoted. John, writing in the Epistles of John says that we can overcome the world, it’s temptations, and it’s values. He also says we can overcome the devil and live above his attempt to control our life. They are very real forces that are trying to destroy our life and pull us away from devotion to God.
The message to the seven churches in chapters two and three is obviously right before the remaining nineteen chapters describing famine, war, disasters, and tribulations, and it is clear that some will overcome and some will not. An overcomer is someone who enters a war mentally prepared to fight, to resist, and to be a warrior. An overcomer isn’t one who in the middle of the battle wonders why his life isn’t comfortable or easy. An overcomer is always aware of his enemy, and is always aware that his enemy is striving hard to devour him. An overcomer is not a wimp.
I have memorized Revelation chapters two and three and review them mentally at least once each week. These two chapters are packed full of information, encouragement, principles, and commands on how to be an overcomer.