[To] the one who conquers . . . as I also conquered. (v. 21)
Seven times over in his letters to the churches the Lord makes promises to “the one who conquers.” These concluding promises are variations on a single theme: eternal life. But they are only for those who stay the course. “The one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:22). Not the one who drops out somewhere along the way. Heaven is for winners.
We want to be among the conquerors. The question is, conquer what? Sin in our lives? No one does that completely, not even in the Holy Spirit’s strength. Conquer death, and the power of evil? Christ has already done that for us. I think the battle the Lord calls us to win is the battle against opposition and worldliness and doubt and suffering and all the other discouraging things that can undermine our faith and tempt us to quit.
Here’s a second question: conquer how? John tells us. “The accuser . . . has been thrown down . . . And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Rev. 12:10-11). We win the same way Jesus did, not by human willpower or worldly weapons, but by patiently enduring suffering with faith. We win by “looking to Jesus . . . who . . . endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2).
Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. —David Bast
As you pray, ask for the faith that endures.