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The Revelation of Jesus Christ: Chapter 25 - The Victory and the Crown

By Horatius Bonar

      "To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne."--Revelation 3:21.

      Three persons are set before us here--the warrior, the conqueror, the king. Or, putting the figure in another way, we have--1. The battle; 2. The victory; 3. The reward.

      I. The BATTLE. Common life in this world is a warfare; and hence even worldly men speak and write of 'the battle of life!' Much more is the Christian's life a warfare. It is an out and out warfare--for all here is hostile. It is called the good fight, the fight of faith, the good warfare.

      (1.) It is INNER warfare. The 7th of the Romans is the description of this--the battle between faith and unbelief, between the spirit and the flesh. This war is private, solitary--with no eye upon the warrior; fought in the closet, on the knees, with the Bible as his weapon; not uncertainly, nor as one that beats the air.

      (2.) It is OUTER warfare. The enemies are legion; the world, with all its enmities, snares, pomps, pleasures; Satan, with his principalities and powers--both of these in combination hating, persecuting, attacking. This is 'the great fight of afflictions' (Hebrews 10:32). Thus it is so far public--before men; 'we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.'

      (3.) It is DAILY warfare. It is not one great battle, but a multitude of battles--constant warring--there is no intermission and no discharge in this war. The enemy wearies not, ceases not--nor must we. We wake to warfare each morning, and go out to warfare each day. Everywhere we find the enemy posted, sometimes openly, sometimes in ambush. The conflict is life-long, and it is daily.

      (4.) It is warfare not fought with human weapons. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. We do not war after the flesh. It is in divine strength; with the sword of the Spirit; clothed in the whole armor of God. It begins when we begin when we believe. Faith, instead of being the end, is the beginning of conflict; ours is 'the good (or 'glorious') fight of faith.'

      (5). It is warfare in which we are sharers with Christ. He first fought the good fight, as the Captain of our salvation--the Lord strong and mighty--the Lord mighty in battle. The inner warfare indeed was not His, but all the rest was. He fought, when here, the same battles as we; and it is into His warfare that we are called to enter. His battle on earth was ours; and our battle now on earth is His. Let us fight it with this remembrance and encouragement. We fight along with Paul, but we also fight along with Christ.

      II. The VICTORY. Here it is spoken of as one great final victory, but in reality it is a multitude. As are the battles, so are the victories. There may be occasional defeats--wounds--losing ground; but the tide of victory rolls steadily onward. Inner and outer warfare ends in victory--we are made more than conquerors through Him who loved us. He fought and overcame, and He leads us on to victory--'Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.' The brunt of the battle fell on Him--He routed the army, and it is with a 'conquered foe' that we have to do. Sin, hell, death, the world, the devil, He has vanquished, and He is now leading us on to the same victory.

      Seven times in these chapters do we hear the glorious words, 'To him who overcomes.' Each Church had its battle and its victory--even Laodicea--so has each individual. No one can fight another's battle--or win another's victory. Each fights and wins for himself. Fight then, and win; overcome daily; nor faint until the long series of victories is summed up in the one great final triumph--the triumph of each saint, and of the whole Church of God.

      III. The REWARD. In these epistles seven rewards are promised--a peculiar reward to each. To Ephesus, the tree of life; to Smyrna, deliverance from the second death; to Pergamos, the hidden manna and the white stone; to Thyatira, dominion and the morning-star; to Sardis, the white clothing; to Philadelphia, to be a pillar and to receive the new name; to Laodicea, a seat on Christ's throne--each according to his peculiar battle and victory. In Laodicea there are warriors and conquerors--few, perhaps, but still some whose faith remained steadfast, raising them out of lukewarmness and worldliness. To these there is a brilliant hope presented--a seat upon Christ's throne. In Laodicean times, and a Laodicean Church, be faithful and true!

      (1.) A throne. Not salvation merely, or life, but higher than these--glory, honor, dominion and power. From being the lowest here, they are made the highest hereafter. Even out of Laodicea there come God's kings and priests--heirs of the throne!

      (2.) Christ's throne. He has a seat on the Father's throne as the reward of His victory; we have a seat on His as the reward of our overcoming. He shares with us His crown and throne. We are made 'joint-heirs' with Him. He is on the Father's throne just now; He will shortly be upon His own. To a seat with Him we look forward; and, cheered by this hope, we fight the good fight of faith. We are sharers or 'partakers with Christ' in all things. We share His battles, His victories, His rewards--His cross, and His crown.

      Let us look forward then, as well as backward. All the promises to these Churches bid us look forward. Amid toil, conflict, weariness, sorrow, backsliding, we have a hope! Let us hold it fast; let us use it constantly. In the midst of Laodicean lukewarmness here is something to stimulate and rouse! When our hands hang down, let us think upon the throne--the throne and Him who gives it--the throne and Him who sits on it, and shares it with us. It will be glorious enough to compensate for hardship and conflict now! It may soon be here--we know not how soon. Events are rushing on--Antichrist is waxing strong; Israel is preparing to return; wars are rising; departures from the faith are multiplying; the gospel is going forth as a witness. The King is on His way. Behold, the Bridegroom comes! Let us watch and be ready.

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See Also:
   Chapter 1 - The Book of the Last Days
   Chapter 2 - The Grace and Peace of the Three-One God
   Chapter 3 - The Chief Among Ten Thousand
   Chapter 4 - The Great Advent
   Chapter 5 - The Fullness of the God-Man
   Chapter 6 - The Voice from Patmos to the Churches
   Chapter 7 - The Seven Golden Lamps
   Chapter 8 - The Glory of the Son of Man
   Chapter 9 - Fear and its Remedy
   Chapter 10 - The Symbolic Sevens
   Chapter 11 - Watchman, What of the Night?
   Chapter 12 - Self-Denial Christianity
   Chapter 13 - First Love Left
   Chapter 14 - Paradise and the Tree of Life
   Chapter 15 - The Divine Food of Our Heavenly Life
   Chapter 16 - The Morning Star
   Chapter 17 - The Fullness of the Holy Spirit
   Chapter 18 - The Key of David
   Chapter 19 - The Church's Little Strength, and the Lord's Great Love
   Chapter 20 - The Philadelphian Conqueror
   Chapter 21 - The Charity of the Lord Jesus
   Chapter 22 - The Heavenly Merchant and His Goods
   Chapter 23 - The Love and the Discipline
   Chapter 24 - Christ's Loving Earnestness
   Chapter 25 - The Victory and the Crown
   Chapter 26 - Glory to the Glorious One
   Chapter 27 - The Weakness and the Power of Christ
   Chapter 28 - How Long?
   Chapter 29 - The Recompense of Martyrdom
   Chapter 30 - Pent-Up Judgment
   Chapter 31 - The Great Multitude
   Chapter 32 - The Earthly and the Heavenly
   Chapter 33 - The All-Fragrant Incense
   Chapter 34 - The Cross of the Lord Jesus
   Chapter 35 - Strangership and Pilgrimage
   Chapter 36 - The Heavenly Song of Victory
   Chapter 37 - The Blood of the Covenant
   Chapter 38 - The Church Dwelling Alone
   Chapter 39 - The Model of a Holy Life
   Chapter 40 - The Everlasting Gospel
   Chapter 41 - The Swift and Sudden Advent
   Chapter 42 - The One Witness and the One Testimony
   Chapter 43 - The Great Prophetic Theme
   Chapter 44 - Messiah's Many Crowns
   Chapter 45 - The First Resurrection
   Chapter 46 - The Great White Throne
   Chapter 47 - Death and the Grave
   Chapter 48 - The Vision of the Restitution of all Things
   Chapter 49 - God's Tabernacle on Earth
   Chapter 50 - The Coming of the Perfect, and the Departure of the Imperfect
   Chapter 51 - The New Things of God
   Chapter 52 - The Conqueror's Reward and the Coward's Doom
   Chapter 53 - The Glorious Bride
   Chapter 54 - The Holy City
   Chapter 55 - The Light of the New Jerusalem
   Chapter 56 - The Life River
   Chapter 57 - The Tree with its Twelve Harvests
   Chapter 58 - The Serving and the Reigning
   Chapter 59 - The Curse Cancelled, and the Kingdom Begun
   Chapter 60 - The Vision of God
   Chapter 61 - Entrance Into the City
   Chapter 62 - Come, O Savior! Come, O Sinner!
   Chapter 63 - The Divine Word, and the Doom of its Defacers
   Chapter 64 - The Free Love of Christ
   Chapter 65 - The Last Amen


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