In Revelation 21.7, we find these encouraging words: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and he shall be my son.
Embedded in this summative promise are the truths of inheritance based upon familial relationships. We will inherit as a joint-heir with Christ because we are made to be a child of God.
This final promise includes the previous seven guarantees already mentioned to the churches of Asia Minor. It is helpful to take a moment to review those promises again. Here is what Christ, the Ultimate Overcomer, has promised to those who are “in Him,” – those He calls overcomers:
- We will eat from the tree of life (2.7).
- We will not be hurt by the second death (2.11).
- We will have hidden manna and a stone (2.17).
- We will receive authority over nations (2.26).
- We will have our names remain (3.5).
- We will be a pillar in God’s temple (3.12).
- We will sit with Christ on His throne (3.21).
Abraham and the covenant God made to him casts a mighty shadow over the pages of Scripture. In Genesis 17.7, God promises to be a God to Abraham and to his seed. This promise is continued with the Davidic Covenant. As God confirms the seed of David, the promise of being a Father and God to his seed is reiterated (2 Samuel 7.14). As Paul writes to the Galatians (3.19), he explains that all believers are the spiritual seed of Abraham (see also Romans 4). This connects all overcomers to this promise based upon our sonship in Christ.
This theme carried over into the New Testament writers as well. Paul references that our inheritance is in Christ, that it has been predetermined (predestined) for believers (Ephesians 1.11; Colossians 3.24). The writer of Hebrews (could be Paul as well) advances this theme in discussing our eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9.5). Peter discusses it as well in the opening paragraphs of his first epistle (1 Peter 1.4).
Summarizing this data, we can envision what Christ means when He closes the New Testament canon with John. To inherit “all things” is to spend eternity with Christ, the One who made “all things.” It is the future hope, the motivator, for every believer who is struggling to live as an overcomer. We will see Jesus one day. We will live forever in His presence. Heaven is not a myth or fable; it is just as real as Los Angeles, California or Rome, Italy. Further, we are already citizens of that place.
Take heart believer! In an overwhelming world, we have an overcoming God. He has called us and enabled us to be more than conquerors. We have the right and the privilege to refuse to live like victims and instead live like victors. This is the promise for believers.