James tells us that those who are steadfast in the faith amid trials will receive the crown of life.“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test hewill receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
Letters to the Seven Churches
Church at Sardis: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5). What did this church have to overcome? Though they have a semblance of life, in God’s eyes, they are spiritually dead. They would have to awaken from their spiritual slumber and strengthen what remains.
In this respect, Paul’s warning becomes relevant: “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). The implication from this verse is that failure to hold on to sound doctrine might cause believers to lose their salvation. This prospect of eternal damnation is a most horrifying scenario to contemplate.
If it is not important for believers to be OVERCOMERS, why is this theme on overcoming repeatedly mentioned in each and every letter to the churches in Revelation?
Now what does the preceding passage in Revelation 21:7-8 tell us about the fate of those who fail to overcome? These are the ones who are lumped together with the worst of sinners. Did they merely lose their reward or, much worse, did they lose their salvation? I think it is not difficult to figure that out.
It isn’t surprising that Jesus sounded the warning in Matthew 24 about standing firm in the faith—that believers have to be overcomers to be saved—reflecting the same overcoming theme in the Letters to the Seven Churches.
Before embarking on His ministry, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After having overcome various temptations, He set out to preach, heal the sick and set the captives free (Matthew 4:1-11). http://goo.gl/xHlQbV
The fact that believers will have to experience tribulation is totally consistent with the teachings of the New Testament:
- Paul exhorts the disciples to continue in the faith, saying that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
- Paul writes that we “glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance” (Romans 5:3).
- “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Luke 21: 12, 17).
- Adherents of hyper-grace because they believe that it all depends on God's grace. Once believers are saved their eternal destiny in heaven is forever assured based on the imputed righteousness of Christ. * *
- Adherents of pre-tribulation rapture who expect to be airlifted to safety before the Great Tribulation.
- He has promised to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
- And when we stand before our persecutors, we need not meditate beforehand how to answer them for the Spirit will give us the wisdom (Luke 21: 12-15).
- “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Now what is the opposite of overcoming? It is giving up our faith or apostasy.
Coupled with tribulation, persecution and deception, the result is a perfect recipe for the great end time apostasy (Matthew 24: 9-13, 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4, 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-11, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 2 Timothy 4:3-4).
* * The camp that overemphasises grace—hyper-grace—states (in blue) that:
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