Apologetics, Biblical Doctrines, Christian Living, Church, Culture & Society

Promises to Keep

In the opening verse of the Revelation, John was told he was to see things which must shortly come to pass. John was writing to seven churches of that desperately needed a message from the Lord.

The apostle begins to address the church in Revelation 1:1 and in 1:11 and concludes his address to the churches in chapter 22:6 and chapter 22:16 thereby indicating an essential unity. The unity of the Revelation to the seven churches is further demonstrated by observing the promises to those who overcome in each of the seven churches in chapters 2:3 and the rewards of chapters 20-22.

 The Promise to Ephesus. To the church of Ephesus the promise is given that the saints will be allowed to eat of the tree of life. (Rev. 2:7)

The Reward. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14)

The Promise to Smyrna. To the church of Smyrna the promise is given the saints will not be hurt by the Second Death. (Rev. 2:11)

The Reward. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6)

The Promise to Pergamos. To the church of Pergamos the promise is given that the saints will be given hidden manna to eat, a white stone, and a new name. (Rev. 2:17)

The Reward. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; 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)

The Promise to Thyatira. To the church of Thyatira the promise is given that the saints will be given the Morning Star. (Rev. 2:28)

The Reward. “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Rev. 22:16)

The Promise to Sardis. To the church of Sardis the promise is given that the saints will be clothed in white raiment and will not have their name blotted out of the Book of Life. (Rev. 3:5)

The Reward. “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:8) “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev. 21:27)

The Promise to Philadelphia. To the church of Philadelphia the promise is given that the saints will become a pillar in the temple of God and will have the name of God and the name of the city of God. (Rev. 3:12)

The Reward. “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” (Rev. 21:10)

The Promise to Laodicea. To the church of Laodicea the promise is given that the saints will be allowed to sit on Christ’s throne. (Rev. 3:21)

The Reward. “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:” (Rev. 22:1-3)

                                                                 A Message for All Seasons

It may be that God had a special message for His people in the first century, and may be that the Revelation was written to encourage the hearts of God’s people, and to illustrate for all the saints, of all the ages, the rewards of being faithful to Christ. The validity of this observation may be demonstrated by asking for a Christian’s response to the following questions.

                                                            Eight Questions for Christians

Question. “Christian, do you believe that if you overcome, and die in the sphere of the faith, Christ will give you to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God?” (2:7)

Question. “Christian, do you believe that if you overcome, and die in the sphere of the faith, that Christ will not allow you to be harmed by the Second Death?” (2:11)

Question. “Christian, do you believe that if you overcome, and die in the sphere of the faith, that Christ will give you to eat of the hidden manna and will give you a white stone, and on the stone there will be written for you a new name, which no man knoweth except he who receives it?” (2:17)

Question. “Christian, do you believe that if you overcome, and die in the sphere of the faith, that Christ will give you power over the nations (2:26) as well as the Morning Star?” (2:28)

Question. “Christian, do you believe that if you overcome, and die in the sphere of the faith, that Christ will clothe you in white raiment, and He will not blot out your name from the Book of Life?”

Question. “Christian, do you believe that if you overcome, and die in the sphere of faith, that Christ will confess you before God the Father and before the angels?” (3:5) “Do you believe this?”

Question. “Christian, do you believe that if you overcome, and die in the sphere of the faith, that Christ will make you a pillar in the holy Temple of God, and the Lord shall write upon you the name of God, and the name of the city of God, which is the New Jerusalem?” (3:12)

Question. “Christian, do you believe that if you overcome, and die in the sphere of the faith, that Christ will grant you permission to sit with Him in His throne?” (3:21)

To answer “yes” to each of these questions is to find an ancient identity with the church of all the ages, and to anticipate the wonderful message that God has for His people.

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