Revelation 3 Lesson

Overcoming Adversity

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

In today’s study, we will look at Jesus’ messages to the Churches in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. In each of these messages, Jesus highlights the importance of overcoming adversity and lists the benefits that will be received by those who do.

Why did Jesus do this?

To motivate the Churches to press on and to persevere! When things get tough, Jesus wants us to keep going, to keep our eye on the prize, and to never give up! For those who overcome, an eternity in paradise with God, Jesus, and all the saints awaits!   

JESUS’ MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS (Revelation 3:1-6)

Jesus tells the Church in Sardis that He knows their deeds and that they are about to die. He is not talking about a physical death; He is talking about a spiritual death. Jesus is encouraging them to fight to keep alive the parts of them that have not yet died and to persevere.

We need to heed this warning and prioritize God in our lives. Jesus’ message to the Church in Sardis reminds us of the tremendous benefits that await those who overcome:

  • "He who overcomes will 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.” - Revelation 3:5.

JESUS’ MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA (Revelation 3:7-13)

Jesus’ message to this church is quite positive. He seems pleased with how those in Philadelphia have kept His word and not denied His name. 

Jesus talks about the benefits that those who overcome will receive:

  • “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” – Revelation 3:12.

When we grow tired or become discouraged, we need to meditate on these words from our Savior.   He is telling us to keep fighting the good fight because when we overcome, we will be with Him forever.   Our bond with Jesus is unshakeable and strong, like the pillar of a strong building! Philadelphia was a city that experienced many earthquakes.   The idea of becoming a pillar in the temple of God is a visualization that would have made a lot of sense to the citizens of that time.   Our Savior is stronger than any foe, or any challenge that we will face.   His graceand mercy are forever!

JESUS’ MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA (Revelation 3:14-22)

The last of the seven churches of Asia that Jesus sends a message to is Laodicea. To them, Jesus delivers a stern and powerful warning! He talks about how they have become “lukewarm” and are neither cold nor hot. It is a metaphor for followers of Jesus that take His sacrifice for granted and have a faith that is just ok, nothing exceptional about it. He reminds them in this message that when He reproves or disciplines them, it is because He loves them:

  • “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. ” – Revelation 3:19.

As He did in His messages to the Churches in Sardis and Philadelphia, Jesus ends His message by sharing the benefits that await those that overcome in the Lord:

  • “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. ” – Revelation 3:21.

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT PERSEVERANCE

Overcoming adversity is something that Christians are required to do, as highlighted in the following three scriptures:

  1. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” - James 1:12,
  2. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” - James 1:2-4,
  3. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” - Galatians 6:9,

CONCLUSION

In today’s study, we read three scriptures about the benefits that those who overcome in the Lord will receive:

  1. "He who overcomes will 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.” - Revelation 3:5,
  2. “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” – Revelation 3:12,
  3. “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. ” – Revelation 3:21.

These scriptures highlight the eternal benefits that will be received by those who follow Jesus and endure until the end!  

We will finish today’s lesson with the following words of encouragement written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy:

  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Comments

Pat Dermody

Verse 20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door I will come to him and will dine with him and he with Me.” God is with us all day long, every second. We need to pause throughout the day and feel that presence and hear His voice...hear him when someone cuts us off in traffic, hear Him when given a doctor gives us some “bad” news, hear Him when someone hurts us or loves us. Our lives get so busy that we don’t listen enough for His presence in our lives. Take time today to let God be present.

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John

"He who overcomes". We must keep fighting to do what God tells us is the right thing to do. It's not always easy, there are a lot of temptations, but the rewards are immeasurable.

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