The one word in the book of Revelation that used to either fuel my fear or stoke my pride, depending on my “performance,” is the word “overcomer.” As a young Christian in the late 60’s, I remember many last-night-of-the-retreat talks and fiery sermons prepping me and my friends to work hard to become an “overcomer”, ‘cause only the “overcomers” would survive the last days and finally make it to heaven.
The biggest, darkest, most evil problem was that most of those talks I heard, 99% of the time, “left behind” the gospel! The onus of overcoming fell squarely on my shoulders as a spiritual performer! But earlier is the book of Revelation we are given the gospel-key to overcoming: “They overcame him (the devil and his assaults) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” (Rev. 12:11)
In other words, overcoming is a gospel issue. It is only by professing faith (the word of our testimony), in the finished work of Jesus (the blood of the Lamb), that we can be assured of inheriting the new heaven and new earth as sons and daughters of the living God!