Progress Toward Salvation: Be Faithful Unto Death!
Revelation 2:10. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” The book of Revelation is very interesting as it uses symbols to teach during a time of heavy persecution. This text actually refers to this persecution. It was specifically written to seven churches of Asia, literal congregations of the Lord’s people, the church, concerning things that would shortly come to past, Chapter 1:1, thus these 7 represented the various issues within their congregations, of which some were so apostate, they were about to lose their identity/candlestick as the Lord’s church. Of the seven only two were spoken of favorably, showing the others had digressed from the truth. Those were told to repent and come back to the truth or basically be lost. These were their warnings from God, through the angels sent to John, and John to these churches.
Understand that God knew what each congregation were going through and their hardships, but He doesn’t allow that as excuse for their failure to be faithful. I hear people all the time make excuse for their disobedience to God, and like these, God isn’t interested in excuse, but obedience. God expects us to overcome our temptations and overcome sin in our life. This word overcome is common in the book of Revelation. Please note these texts: 2: 7, 11, 17, 26; 3:12, 21; 21:7. Each of these texts speak of the benefit of overcoming sin in our life. We want to have a home/mansion in Heaven with God for an eternity, but we must overcome to achieve it. How bad do you want it?
God has not left us without hope or without help. He gave us the tools to accomplish our task. #1. We have His Word and know what we are to be as His man/woman. The roles He set for us are different, but obedience within the roles are expected by God, 2 Timothy 2:15. #2. He teaches us of the character we must become to be successful, so He lists what character traits we must build, 2 Peter 1:1-15. #3. We are expected to stop sinning, 1 John 2:1-2. This one seems to be a problem for most because we’ve all been taught that we are inherently evil, totally corrupt, and cannot change. But according to this text we are to change. All three of these texts are being written to true Christians, not “wanna be” Christians. A true Christian wants to be like Christ by living like He lived, Romans 6. They are forgiven of their past sinful life, and rise to walk according to the pattern of Christ’s life. 1 John 3:9 said that if the seed (God’s Word) remains in me, I cannot sin. While my mind is focused on God’s Word, with the intent to know and follow it, I cannot commit sin. Every sin we commit it because God is not on my mind, which is the mind of Christ while He was here. The four gospels spoke of the mind of Christ always being about God, His Father, and doing what He wanted, saying what He wanted stated.