How does Faithfulness relate to Overcoming?
There are so many temptations in life, but the biggest temptation I feel is the temptation to grow cold. One is the temptation to give up when overcoming is so important. Faithfulness, therefore, is going against these temptations and not for the fainthearted. Faithfulness is gutsy, triumphant, diligent and courageous. It is the ability to prioritise and stick to your priorities, placing Christ first in every situation in life. And it is demonstrated to us by God continuously.
22The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23
The word of God says that “in the last days the love of many would grow cold” (Matthew 24:12. I often ponder about that scripture. Who? When? How? Why? And also about the concept of overcoming. Who are the overcomers? Why do you want to overcome and be faithful?
Let’s see who Jesus was talking about.
Matthew tells us that Jesus was on the Mount of Olives and he was privately speaking to his disciples about the ‘end of the age’. (Matthew 24:3)
3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus responded by saying:
“See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
What is God saying to us through this scripture?
- Do not fear.
In verse 6, Jesus tells of the difficult situations that are about to come on the earth and he says, ‘do not be alarmed’. This is our permission to be peaceful in tribulation.
- Do not be deceived.
A warning to not chase after men, but to stay close to the truth and the real God.
- Death and hatred will come to some believers.
We cannot hold back the hands of death. It will find some of us as we walk this pathway. And in and of itself, this warning causes an acceptance of our fate to settle in my heart because if death is a possibility or even a probability, we must accept the risk. Death is the destiny of true believers. Therefore, we need not fear death.
- Lawlessness will cause the love of many to grow cold.
Originally I thought this was talking about us as believers, but I think this is actually referring to the wider community as well. I can see this already in our communities, where people have become less and less concerned about the well-being of others and are more openly vulgar, rude and violent.
- If you endure until the end you will receive salvation.
Hallelujuah! There is a goal for all believers…to be faithful until the very end.
- As a testimony to the nations the gospel will be preached in all the world.
All nations hearing the gospel is a pre-requisite to the end coming, so there is a mandate for us to preach the gospel.
What do the faithful who ‘endure until the end’ have to look forward to?
The benefits of faithfulness and overcoming are:
- Eternal life
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7.
- No second death
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” Revelation 2:11.
Your guilt results in the second death which is the ultimate outcome of God’s judgment.
- Hidden manna, a white stone, and a new name
“To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except him who receives it.” Revelation 2:17.
‘Hidden manna’ being the internal sustenance of God; ‘white stone’ being your acquittal of guilt from all the wrong you have done; and ‘the name’ will represent your ultimate freedom and victory.
- Power over the nations, a rod of iron and the Morning Star
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelations 20:6
Ruling and reigning with Christ in the earth as a priest of God for a thousand years.
- White garments and the book of life
“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.
Imagine what it will feel like to be pure again, without sin, to have your name written in the Book of Life. To have that peace and assurance in life.
- A pillar in the temple of God
“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” Revelation 3:12.
This is the image of strength, indomitable courage, solidarity, reliance, and completeness. Able to bear all things.
- Sit with Him on His throne
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21.
Overcoming is the powerful step that separates us from our blessings. Faithfulness is the key to overcoming. We must overcome if we want to endure to the end and experience salvation. We must overcome to be faithful. To inherit all of the promises of God, we must overcome. It is not enough to just tick the boxes – I attended church, I was a good person. To deal with sin in your heart, choose God, even in the face of death. So, love not your own life until death. You must choose the pathway of obedience, continuously! You must be willing to do WHATEVER God asks you to do. This may include leaving your family, your home, your possessions in order to go and preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Christ gave His all…now it is your turn. Will you be faithful? Is your name going to that of an overcomer? Will you inherit?
You may also like to watch Hayley Solich’s sermon on The Faithfulness of God.