A Call to Holiness
A few years ago I was going to preach a message on holiness. A few hours before the message, I was in deep prayer and this thought came to my mind: “why should we preach to live holy lives?” Then a phrase came to my mind from some verses that I know, “…he who overcomes…”, and I started to read these verses.
The Holy Spirit is so precious, in that He brings to our remembrance those things of the Lord that we were meant to say. Immediately I saw something so profound in these verses, and it became the crescendo of the message preached that evening.
I am convinced that the effort in man preaching a thousand words is nothing compared to a single word spoken by the power of the Holy Spirit. If we spent more time seeking Holy Spirit power, we would affect far more change in those we would preach to.
The Perfect Seven:
In Holy Scripture the number seven represents completeness or perfection. In the book of Revelations the Lord Jesus is giving a word to the seven churches. For each church the Lord would praise where earned, admonish where it was needed, and then call each one of them up to overcome to a new level.
As I was reading through these verses, I found the answer to my question, why should we strive to live holy lives? The answer is that the more we overcome, the more that will come over us in heaven.
Consider that all you do has eternal implications for all that you would have in heaven. How you live now will impact you for all of eternity. It is never a wrong teaching to live more holy lives, but a dangerous thing that we would teach a grace message that would encourage otherwise.
It matters what you do. Seek to live holy lives. Not of you, but Christ in you.
The Seven Levels of Overcoming:
Overcoming Level One: To the first Jesus said, “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 2:7). Level one is salvation, eternal life in heaven! This is free, all you have to do is accept Jesus as your Lord.
Overcoming Level Two: To the second Jesus said, “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death” (Revelation 2:11). Level two is higher, you get salvation, and you also have good works that passed through the fire, that were not hurt in the fire, and so you bring to heaven what your good works have yielded.
Overcoming Level Three: To the third Jesus said, “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 it” (Revelation 2:17). Level three is even higher yet! You have intimacy with the Lord, sharing in the manna and being rewarded with a new heavenly name. You are nearer to the Lord!
Overcoming Level Four: To the fourth Jesus said, “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations” (Revelation 2:26). Level four is higher even more! Because of your great faithfulness in the little things, you are being entrusted to be a ruler for Christ in heaven. You are not only near the Lord, but you are trusted by Him with much. You have a position of authority given by the Lord Himself!
Overcoming Level Five: To the fifth Jesus said, “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 3:5). Level five is so much higher! Because of your devotion and holiness, you are being brought closer to the Father and introduced into His presence by the Lord Jesus Himself!
Overcoming Level Six: To the sixth, Jesus said, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more” (Revelation 3:12). Level six is incredibly higher! Because of your higher walk on earth, living a life of holiness, and you were faithful to the Word, you are now serving in the holiest of temples – in heaven! You not only get nearest to the Lord, but you stay there with Him and serve Him in heaven!
Overcoming Level Seven: To the seventh, Jesus said, “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” (Revelation 3:21). This is the highest level, there is nothing higher than this! The Lord Jesus has you sitting right next to Him! What a glorious thing we should hope for, but to be sitting so near to our Lord Jesus! This is completeness. This is the perfection of our faith. This is the reason we would seek to live such holy lives here on earth!
Let us all pray for one another, that we would “…stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).
You do not reach the higher levels by your effort, but by surrendering yourself to the Lord, that the Spirit of Christ would reign in you. It is not the strongest person that will prevail in heaven, but the weakest.