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Are You an Overcomer?

Zach Putthoff Written by 
Sunday, 29 September 2013 12:42

This week I watched a new music video, debuted yesterday on Good Morning America, that has been making its way around social media over the last 24 hours. The music video is for the song “Overcomer” by Mandisa, a song about persevering in the face of adversity.

The video is actually quite inspiring, as it shows in raw depth and honesty well known people who have persevered in the face of serious adversity. I was moved as I watched it.

And yet, as a Christian, I was also left dissatisfied. Dissatisfied because the video didn’t reach the biblical depths of what it ultimately means to be an Overcomer. In fact, it doesn’t even come close.

An Overcomer in the Bible is one who perseveres all the way to their death, knowing that death is not the end, because Christ has suffered it himself, overcome it through his bodily resurrection, and will do away with it completely in the end. Jesus refers to the Overcomers several times in the book of Revelation, promising them things like…

The blessing of eating of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God (Rev 2:7).

The blessing of not being hurt by the second death (Rev 2:11).

The blessing of reigning with Jesus over the nations (Rev 2:26).

The blessing of not being erased from the book of life, and confessed by Jesus before his Father and before the Father’s angels (Rev 3:5).

The blessing of citizenship in God’s eternal city, the New Jerusalem (Rev 3:12; 21:7).

You’ll notice that none of these things have anything to do with this life. They all have to do with the next life. That’s because being an Overcomer, by God’s definition, is not simply about persevering in this life, but through this life into the next.

Being an Overcomer is about persevering in obedience to God all the way to that point when a cancer stricken body can no longer hold out. It’s about seeking to be obedient to God all the way to death, knowing that death is coming (unless Jesus returns first) and that death is not the end.

When the Apostle Paul said, “In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:37), the “things” he was referring to included death. You can see that in the verses leading up to this glorious statement.

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOURR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” (Rom 8:35-36)

That’s why, when he goes on to talk about all the things that have no power to separate us from the love of God in Christ, the first thing he mentions is death. “I am convinced that neither death, nor life…will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Not even death. That is why we conquer. That is how we conquer. If death was the end, there would be no overcoming anything. There would only be delaying the inevitiable.

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