At the end of each letter in the Book of Revelation, Christ urges all Christians to hear and to obey. These are messages that come from the Holy Spirit; Christ has spoken them in the power of the Holy Spirit. Christians must change what they are doing, to receive a better and stronger relationship with Christ now. Although each letter was for one particular church, its message is important for all Christians.
Then there is a promise. The promises are all alike, whatever the state of the church was. They are promises of heaven and of the New Jerusalem, where Godís people will always live with him. The troubles in this life are short; the good things that God promises to his people will never end.
These promises are not just for church leaders. They are not just for Christians who are important or successful. They are not even only for the most holy Christians, or for the strongest believers. Christ promises heaven to all Christians who overcome. That is, they overcome their troubles in this world. They remain loyal to Christ through their troubles and then they enter heaven.
It is very important for us to understand how these Christians overcome. They do not overcome by their own effort or strength of character. Revelation 12:11 says that they overcome by the blood of Christ and by their words of witness. The blood of Christ means his death; Christ suffered the punishment for their evil deeds so that they could have a right relationship with God. Their words of witness prove that they are trusting God; they are witnesses of what God did to save them.
Christís promise refers back to Genesis 3:24. The first people lived with God in the beautiful garden of Eden. When they chose not to obey God, they had to leave there. They could no longer eat the fruit from the tree of life. Death entered the world. However, by his death, Christ frees people from the power of death. Godís people will live with him in the future world, the New Jerusalem. There will be no death in that place. There, the tree of life will yield its fruit constantly (22:2). Godís people have a new kind of life now that lasts always.
Next part: Christís letter to Smyrna (Revelation 2:8)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.