Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rewards for Enduring

As a church we are reading through the book of Revelation right now. We are all reading it ourselves and taking notes, discussing it together and watching a video series about it as well. The individual leading the video series had mentioned how important it is to understand the purpose of a book in order to fully understand it. I agree with him 100%.

He had noted that the purpose of the book of Revelation is summed up in Revelation 14:12. I tend to agree with him.

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful.
~Revelation 14:12

The more I read this book and study it the more I realize we may never be able to interpret accurately every part of it until it actually happens. I also realize that God gave us this book to encourage us when these things start to happen. It may get worse for a bit, but in the end we know who will triumph. God is calling us to endure and remain faithful.

The beginning of the book consists of letters written by Jesus to the seven churches in Asia. As I read them over I noted that Jesus speaks of rewards in each one for those who endure, are faithful and overcome. This is significant if you believe as I do that the purpose of the book is to encourage those who are called to endure and remain faithful.

Rewards promised to the churches if they are faithful, endure and overcome:
  • the right to eat from the Tree of Life
  • given the Crown of Life
  • not to be hurt by the second death
  • given some of the hidden manna
  • given a white stone with a new name
  • given authority over the nations
  • given the morning star
  • given the right to sit with Jesus on his throne
  • will be dressed in white
  • will never have their name blotted (or scratched) from the Book of Life and will have his/her name acknowledged before the Father and his angels
  • will be made a pillar in God's temple
  • will have the name of God, Jerusalem and their new name written on them
Now I don't understand exactly what each of these are, but Jesus seems to imply these are pretty good things and I tend to believe him. I find this list of rewards for those who endure to the very encouraging in my own life when I go through trials and disappointments. I pray others will as well.

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