He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments. I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.Revelation 3:5 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
This is Jesus making a promise to you as an individual. Amidst epistles He gave to seven separate local churches as a whole, His appeal is to the church as a whole and extends to the individuals in those churches.
The weird thing is no matter how bad these churches’ ‘report cards’ were those attending were not encouraged to leave. That speaks volumes, especially in today’s age. (That is another post.) It is when we encounter odd things we can be sure to find something useful. Those attending the churches were instead instructed to strengthen what remains, to repent, remember and be zealous to do right.
To each individual “who has an ear…” Hear!
Hear the promise He gives to you if you are a believer. It is a His Word that you cannot lose your salvation, that you can trust Him. Remember what God thinks of His Word?
He places it above His name (Psalms 138:2.) Believe Him.
Conversely, this is sometimes taught that that same promise is a warning to you. Your salvation is tenuous and precarious. That if you are not careful, you can lose it. That Jesus will blot out your name from the Book of Life. Is that what is really being said?
When we attempt to rightly divide what is being said in the Bible, it is important to use the whole counsel of Scripture. Pointing to standalone verses, context is often non-existent. These verses are made to support or conform to external ideas. With that in mind, let’s see what can be gleaned here.
We read clearly that Jesus says “he that overcomes.” He is assessing the overcomer. What does He mean?
Let’s look at how John (the human writer of Revelation) explains these remarks. Revelation is the last book of the New Testament, though scholars believe it was written before John’s three epistles. Therefore, his epistles could offer some enlightenment.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves the one born of the Father. By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and the victory that overcomes the world is our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world, but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?1 John 5:1-5 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
He who overcomes is he who believes… If you believe, that is you. Whoever is born of God overcomes the world. Look at how the sentence is constructed. The one born of God, or better born again, overcomes… It is a continuing process that doesn’t stop. The born of God part has already happened. Overcomes is in the simple present tense. The simple present tense in English is used to convey unchanging situations, general truths, and fixed arrangements. Being born again results in unchanging and fixed salvation.
The promise given to you is another iteration of that in 1 John. To you, as the overcomer—Jesus will not blot your name out of the Book of Life and will also confess your name before the Father.
It’s the provision of the Holy Spirit to anticipate the need to provide necessary commentary in a later-penned epistle. This is to ensure that you, as a believer, move beyond the elementary things of the faith.
If you struggle about losing your salvation, don’t. You cannot.