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Revelation 3:5





5 He that overcometh, [nikao] the same [houtos] shall be clothed [periballo] in [en] white [leukos] raiment; [himation] and [kai] I will [exaleipho] not [ou me] blot out [exaleipho] his [autos] name [onoma] out of [ek] the book [biblos] of life, [zoe] but [kai] I will confess [exomologeo] his [autos] name [onoma] before [enopion] my [mou] Father, [pater] and [kai] before [enopion] his [autos] angels. [aggelos]    KJV-Interlinear



5 'He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.    NASB



To overcome, ‘nikao,’ means to conquer, prevail, to accomplish a long hard fought victory.  This is a sequential or chronological accomplishment and not a momentary single event, but a series.  In the previous letters to the churches, this referred to the believer who was successful in attaining spiritual maturity, and staying there.


However, we have a difference in the letter to this Church of Sardis.Those folks were on the verge of losing all of this rewards and blessings for eternity, because they had compromised their way back into the world, losing track of their Christian values.


Therefore, this ‘overcome’ does not refer to advancing to spiritual maturity, because clearly they had lost that, however, it does refer to the only thing that they had remaining in their spiritual life, and that is their salvation.


Once saved always saved, and once the person has believed in Christ, he has in effect overcome the stigma of being unsaved.  Being saved is an ongoing state, chronologically and in series and continuously throughout ones life.So being saved means to overcome being unsaved.


Far too many folks read this verse and interpret it as a threat, but clearly it is not.It is an assurance of continued salvation and a place in heaven, even though the believer has failed miserably in their spiritual life.


To this church, Christ gives no additional list of rewards.They had lost them through their disobedience.But most folks when they come into a dying state, either through old age or from some sort of accident, they can at least have one promise to hold on to, and that is their guarantee of being in heaven with Christ forever, and not ever lost to eternal damnation.


Now, whether they remember this promise or not, is a good question, however, most folks, when they come face to face with certain death, generally begin worrying and praying and could very well remember Christ.


Wearing white is symbolic of a state of purity and holiness.And when a believer leaves this world, then their state of sinfulness will no longer exist, as they will be in heaven.


The Book of Life is where the name of every person born is written, however, when a person dies without having believed in Christ, and therefore is not saved, then their name is erased from the Book of Life.


When they (unbelievers) return to stand before the Great White Throne, then the Book of Works is opened and that is all they have to their credit, but it will not be enough to get them into heaven.  Mans works do not match Christ’s work, and therefore works do not save.They will go into the Lake of Fire, Rev. 20:12-15.


As for all believers, their name will remain in the Book of Life forever, and will never be erased from it, Phil 4:3, Rev 3:5, 13:8; 17:8; 20:12-15; 21:27.The reference in Ex. 32:33 and Psa. 69:28 is a reference to unbelievers being blotted out for their sin of unbelief.Unbelief is the one and only sin (which is not really a sin, but a rejection) that was not paid for at the Cross.


Believers can be assured that they will be in heaven, regardless of how they fail in their Christian life, and that they will be acknowledged before God the Father, who is in heaven, as well as before everyone else who is in heaven.  Christ confirms your right to be in heaven, because you have complied with the mandate of salvation, namely having believed in Him.


Once you have believed in Christ then you are saved.You will go to heaven.  There is nothing you can do or fail to do, that will change your eternal status of being saved.  Granted those extra blessings for mature believers will not be yours, but being in heaven is a phenomenal gift in and of itself anyway.  You will still have eternal happiness.



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Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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