In the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation, Jesus gave messages through John to the seven churches. In these messages, the churches were given warnings, admonitions, and commendations. The church in Ephesus was admonished over the fact that it had abandoned the love that they once had. The church of Smyrna was warned that it would be tested and would face tribulation. The church in Pergamum was chastised because of false teachings. The church in Thyatira was admonished over the practice of idolatry and sexual immorality. The church in Sardis was warned that it had become a dead church. The church in Philadelphia was commended for keeping God’s Word and not denying the name of Jesus even through trials. And the church in Laodicea was warned that it had become a lukewarm church.
These warnings, admonitions, and commendations are words that we, as the body of Christ, must heed. The consequences of some of the things that Jesus found wrong with these churches are grave consequences. Jesus gave these messages to these churches so that they would turn from the things that they were doing wrong. But, Jesus also gave words of encouragement at the end of each of these messages. And those words were not meant just for those seven first-century churches. They were meant for all believers. Each of these words of encouragement is addressed to “he who has an ear.” That would mean all of us! And each message makes a promise to those who conquer, those who endure through following Christ and achieve victory over sin and tribulation.
As a result of the endurance and victory in Christ, those who conquer are promised two blessings. The first blessing is that of eternal life with Jesus as part of God’s family. We see this promise in the messages to the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Sardis, and Philadelphia. Those who conquer will eat of the tree of life (Revelation 2:7) the fruit of which gives eternal life. They will not face the second spiritual death (Revelation 2:11), which is eternal separation from God. Those who conquer will be given the hidden manna, which is heavenly nourishment, and will receive a white stone, an “invitation” to the Lamb’s feast (Revelation 2:17). The names of those who conquer will be written in the book of life and never removed (Revelation 3:5). And those who conquer will become pillars in the temple of God, they will enjoy permanent residence with God (Revelation 3:12).
The second blessing for those who conquer is that they will rule with Jesus in the new kingdom, which He will establish on earth. They will rule, not as members of a worldly administration, but as members of the administration of Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords. This promise is seen in the messages to the churches of Thyatira and Laodicea. To those who conquer and continue His works until the end, Jesus will give authority over the nations of the world (Revelation 2:26). And, as members of the administration of Jesus, those who conquer will be given the right to sit with Jesus on His throne, just as He was victorious and sat with the Father on His throne.
These are wonderful promises for all who conquer. To receive these promises we need to listen to the Spirit, to seek the understanding of what He says (Revelation 3:22), and to respond by following His Word.