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Being an overcomer is not really difficult. The principles are simple, and these are in some way taught not only in churches but everywhere. Who has not heard that forgiveness is a virtue? What Christian has not prayed the Lord’s Prayer, which says, “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive our debtors”? What Christian has not heard that God expects us to be obedient? What Christian has not heard that we are to show forth the unconditional love of Christ?
The problem is that ingrained into us is the old Catholic concept of “sainthood.” They say that there are a few “saints,” but that path is too difficult for the average person. Such a mindset has discouraged many a Catholic. How often I have heard one say, “Well, I know I can’t be a saint, so I may as well enjoy life while I’m here. As long as I remain a Church member, I know that I will at least make it to heaven someday, even if I have to spend a lot of time in purgatory.” Recognition as a “saint” in the Catholic Church requires the person to perform at least two verifiable miracles. That would disqualify John the Baptist, who did no miracles (John 10:41). The greatest prophet did no miracle! Matt. 11:11 says,
11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
While men have plotted to be great in the kingdom of heaven, hoping to attain high positions in the religion, Jesus said that this was not the way to be great in the Kingdom. In fact, if anything, the religious leaders were to be at the bottom of the chain of authority in God’s Kingdom. In Matthew 20, Jesus made this very clear:
25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Mark 9:35 bears witness to this, saying,
35 And sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.
So the concept of sainthood is different from the biblical teaching of being an overcomer. The one requires being great in the eyes of men; the other requires being a little person. Neither is great knowledge a requirement to be an overcomer. Literacy is not a requirement to be an overcomer, nor does one have to go to seminary. Being an overcomer has more to do with the two great commandments: loving God will all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.
Being an overcomer has everything to do with our relationship with Jesus Christ and being faithful to Him to do as He leads. Jesus told a parable in Matthew 25, which shows who will be given authority to rule in God’s Kingdom. Matt. 25:21 says,
21 His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.
This master was not addressing a great general or a pope. He was addressing one of his slaves. The master was not looking for great conquests; he was just looking for faithfulness in the little things of life. That is an overcomer.