We have received so many wonderful comments about our new series, The Kingdom, Power and Glory. As William Welty mentioned in the Foreword of the book, we pray it might be “the road map through the times of trouble that are about to refine God’s children and judge all of God’s enemies.” And, that the Lord will use the series, “to help all of us become firmly entrenched overcomers.”
There is such an urgent need in the Christian body right now for a renewed recognition of our own personal accountability before the Lord. It’s absolutely essential that we develop a “kingdom perspective,” where we see our lives in the context of eternity and acknowledge the importance of becoming over-comers here on earth.
We noted last month that an overcomer is simply one who recognizes his moment- by-moment choices, confesses his sin and then, chooses to turn around and go God’s way.
He is not someone who is perfect, religious or good. David in the Old Testament, if you recall, was an overcomer. In the New Testament, he was even called a “man after God’s own heart.” He certainly wasn’t perfect or good or religious! He simply knew how to confess his own sin and turn around from following it. This is the kind of overcomer we are talking about and that God desires.
Why is becoming an overcomer so important? Scripture tells us that overcomers are the only ones who will inherit the Millennial Kingdom and possibly rule and reign there with Christ. Again, don’t misunderstand us, we believe all Christians will be “with Christ” (John 14:3) in the Millennium and in heaven, but only the overcomers––only those faithful and obedient ones who recognize their choices and allow Christ to live His Life out through them––will inherit positions of authority there.1 Therefore, it’s imperative that we learn what makes us an overcomer; how we become an overcomer and what the future holds for overcomers?
It’s grievous that the church today seems to be relying upon the illusion that being born again and bringing others to Christ is the ultimate goal of preaching the Gospel. It’s not! This is just the beginning. Working alongside of Christ in the coming kingdom is the final and ultimate goal! Philippians 3:14 tells us that it’s the prize of the “high calling” of God.
Fear and Condemnation
Before we go any further, we want you to be aware of some-thing very important. This is something we didn’t stress enough in the first edition of The Kingdom, Power and Glory. The enemy hates this message of “overcoming.” He hates it more than any other subject because it reveals his total inability to defeat Christ. Therefore, he is going to try everything he can to put fear and condemnation upon you, in order to keep you from reading and learning this material. His goal is the destruction of all doctrine surrounding the future Kingdom of Heaven.If this occurs, we want you to recognize where these feelings are coming from and realize they are not from God. Scripture tells us that “Love casts out all fear.” (1 John 4:18) Therefore, knowing that “God loves us” needs to be the foundation upon which any new Biblical truth is built. (Jeremiah 31:3)
As far as God is concerned, it doesn’t matter how badly we’ve blown it in the past; it doesn’t matter what horrible things we’ve done; and, it doesn’t matter how many times we’ve failed. That’s what 1 John 1:9 is all about. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is the basis of how we are able to overcome and the means by which we can be-come faithful. So, don’t let the enemy get to you and feed you lies. This material is too important!
Remember, there’s a big difference between conviction, which is from the Lord’s Love (John 16:8) and will ultimately draw us closer to Him; and condemnation (guilt, reproach, accusations), which comes from the enemy and pushes us further away from the Lord. Romans 8:1 assures us that “there is therefore, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”
The Challenge of This Study
So, this study is in no way meant to be frightening, condemning or intimidating. In fact, we pray it will prove to be just the opposite. We pray the material will challenge each of us to become “faithful overcomers” in our personal lives, our professional lives and our spiritual lives. And, we pray that if we are not overcomers now, these principles will challenge us to turn around and become so; if we are not obedient now, they will show us how to be in the future; and if we are not faithful now, they will convince us that it’s not too late to learn stead-fastness.
Proof of this is: We received a letter from a friend who has been in prison for many, many years. He shares in his letter that any of us can learn to become overcomers, no matter where we are in life. No matter what we’ve done, who we’ve hurt, or how far we have fallen, there’s still time.
Listen to what he says in his letter: “I feel like an overcomer when I choose the difficult over the easy. It might be loving someone unlovely (and there are many here that qualify) or it might be accomplishing the goals I’ve penned in my daily planner. My accomplishments here have been miniscule. I’ve written no books, have no substantial savings, etc. But some-how I think God sees me as an overcomer. And how He perceives me is all that truly matters anyway...I’m very thankful for prison and for my hardships, because they have clothed me with humility.”
We believe this man is one of God’s special “saints” and he’s going to have a special place in the future kingdom, because he is a faithful overcomer right where he is now. After hearing his testimony, none of us can say “I can’t do this!” “It’s too difficult! If a guy in prison (without much temporal hope) can become an overcomer, then any of us can!
So, from now on, when we talk about “overcomers” through-out this study, think of this prisoner as an example. Again, he’s not “perfect,” he’s just someone who recognizes his choices.
Encouragement and Hope for the Future
Our purpose with this study is to integrate “the sanctification process” (actually learning how to live Christ’s Life and become overcomers) here on earth with “the reward of inheritance” (co-reigning with Christ) there in the kingdom.
We will explore each of the passages that seem to hint of a Millennial disinheritance, along with the Greek and Hebrew words in each Scripture. We will also share some of the verses that absolutely revolutionized our theology when we first began to understand the full ramifications of what they really meant. We want to put all this information at your fingertips and then let you decide what you believe and how it will affect your own personal walk with the Lord. We want you to be “like the Bereans” and study these verses and see what the Holy Spirit shows you.2
Our purpose is to provoke one another “unto love and to good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)
As older Christians, who have at times blown it just like everyone else, we have learned through the grace of God how to turn around (1 John 1:9), how to give things to God (Romans 12:1-2) and how to overcome. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors [overcomers] through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
“He that overcomes shall inherit all things and I will be his God and he shall be My Son.” (Revelation 21:7)
To be continued next month: Are We All Overcomers? This article has been excerpted in part from Chuck and Nan’s new-est book, The Kingdom, Power and Glory: The Overcomer’s Handbook.