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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,

A lesson taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, June 6, 2021

Hymn Sung Before the Lesson: “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?”
     (by Dr. Isaac Watts, 1674-1748; stanzas 1, 2 and 4).

Please turn to Matthew 22:14 (p. 1030 Scofield). Jesus said,

“Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).

Jesus said these exact same words in Matthew 20:16 (p. 1027). Both times He said these words in an eschatological setting, referring to the end times, in the Gospel of Matthew. The commentary is in II Timothy 2:12 (p. 1280),

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (II Timothy 2:12).

When God created man, He put him in the Garden of Eden. And God told Adam and Eve to reign over the created world. But Satan tricked Eve. Then Eve, in turn, tricked Adam. They both lost their reigning position as a result of their disobedience to God.

“Many are called.” Every Christian is called to consecration and growth in Christ. This is revealed in Romans 12:1, 2 (p. 1206).

“But few are chosen.” That refers to being chosen by God to reign with Christ in His 1,000-year Kingdom. There is a saying, “You get what you pay for.” The equivalent is, “You become an overcomer by suffering as Christ did, and as all the faithful Apostles did.”

If ease of training is the mother of failure, then preparation is the father of success. Suffer silently for Christ, without self-pity. We should never avoid hardships nor difficulties. What is impossible for men is possible with God. He will renew your strength (see Isaiah 40:30-31, p. 748; and Philippians 3:12, p. 1260). God will constantly renew your strength. I have proved that in my own life. I am in my eighty-first year of life, and I have no thought of “retiring.”

If you do these things you will be prepared to become an overcomer. You should be willing to lay down your life cares. You become an overcomer in Christ’s Kingdom by being an overcomer now. In his 90’s Dr. Lin said,

The Future of Overcomers

1. The church at Ephesus, Revelation 2:4-7 (p. 1332).

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:4-7).

2. The church at Smyrna, Revelation 2:10-11 (p. 1332).

“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Revelation 2:10-11).

3. The church at Pergamos, Revelation 2:14-17 (p. 1332).

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Revelation 2:14-17).

4. The church at Thyatira, Revelation 2:26-29 (p. 1333).

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:26-29).

5. The church at Sardis, Revelation 3:5-6 (p. 1333).

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:5-6).

6. The church at Philadelphia, Revelation 3:7-8, 12-13 (pp. 1333-1334).

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:7-8).

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:12-13).

7. The church at Laodicea, Revelation 3:19-22 (p. 1334); see Revelation 5:9-10 (p. 1335).

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:19-22).

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

Stand and sing our hymn!

Am I a soldier of the cross, A follower of the Lamb;
And shall I fear to own His cause, Or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize, And sailed through bloody seas?

Sure I must fight, if I would reign; Increase my courage, Lord!
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain, Supported by Thy Word.
     (“Am I a Soldier of the Cross” by Dr. Isaac Watts, 1674-1748;
         stanzas 1, 2 and 4).