Who Are the Overcomers in the Bible?
The term “overcomes” is prominent in Revelation, occurring seven times in Revelation chapters 2-3 and once in Revelation 21:7. Who are the overcomers in the Bible?
Some examples of overcomers are also found outside of Revelation. For example, in the New King James Version, Luke 11:22 mentions a parable in which a person overcomes someone in battle. The idea includes defeating the opposing person.
In 1 John 5:4-5 we find two occurrences of this word: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
In 1 John, written by the same human author as Revelation (the apostle John), an overcomer is spiritual. A spiritual overcomer is a person “born of God” and who believes “Jesus is the Son of God.” In other words, every true believer in Jesus is an overcomer.
This is important to understand when discussing the overcomers of Revelation. The seven occurrences in chapters 2-3 are addressed to local church believers who lived during John’s time. They include:
- Revelation 2:7: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
- Revelation 2:11: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
- Revelation 2:17: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives.”
- Revelation 2:26: “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.”
- Revelation: 3:5: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
- Revelation 3:12: “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 I will write on him My new name.”
- Revelation 3:21: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
In each passage, the overcomer is a believer in Jesus who remains faithful during a time of persecution or trouble. The persecution does not create the overcomer; the persecution reveals the true overcomer. Those who do not truly know Christ will fail to endure suffering for His sake.
The final mention of an overcomer in the Bible is found in Revelation 21:7: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” True believers will “inherit” eternal life with God as described in Revelation 21-22. All who truly know Christ are overcomers and will ultimately dwell with Him in a new heaven and new earth for all eternity.
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