Come, Become, Overcome, Welcome
By John LaVier (Jan. 1953)
What a wonderful word of invitation, found many times over on the pages of Holy Writ. In the early chapters of the Bible we hear God’s call to Noah: “Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” In the middle of the Book is His invitation of old: “Come now, and let us reason together; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Also through Isaiah He said: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” In the last chapter of the Bible an invitation is still extended: “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosever will, let him take the water of life freely.” All through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and in every age, God calls sinful man to Himself. The Saviour says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” and the promise is made, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” Of course, John 6:44 is true: “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.” Salvation is all of God, from first to last, and thus we sing: “He drew me, and I followed on, charmed to confess the voice divine.”
First we come and then we become! We become saints, saved by the grace of God. We become sons; sons of God through faith in Christ, for “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” We become heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. We become the righteousness of God in Christ, and accepted and complete in Him. We become without condemnation in Christ, justified by His blood. We become new creatures, for “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We become members of the Body of Christ, made one with Him who is the Head and joined to Him in a union that can never be broken. We become citizens of heaven, raised up with Christ and seated in the heavenlies in Him. We become partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, awaiting that day when we shall be manifested with Christ in glory. We become ambassadors for Christ, entrusted with the wonderful message of grace and reconciliation. We become the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, for having become saints, we are now to walk as becometh saints. We are to “speak the things which become sound doctrine,” and our manner of life is to be “as it becometh the gospel of Christ.”
The Apostle John, in his epistles, and also in the Apocalypse, has much to say about overcomers and overcoming. However, this language is not to be found in the Pauline letters addressed to us. In them we are seen as being “in Christ,” seated with Him “far above all” and with “all things under His feet.” As members of the Body of Christ we are seen as having already overcome all “in Him.” In ourselves there is nothing but failure, but in Him there is nothing but victory. We can do nothing in our own strength, but “we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us.” Of ourselves, we are weak, but we can be “strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” We need never know defeat, for “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” To be “more than conqueror” means to be unconquerable. We can overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil; not in our own strength, but in Him. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is operative in us, and we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are to yield ourselves unto God, as those alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness unto God. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then we have the victory that overcomes all, and can exult: “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.”
The word welcome is not to be found in the Bible, but certainly the thought is many times expressed. In that which has been referred to as his swan song, Paul wrote: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand … Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” When the old warrior penned these words he was doubtless anticipating the glad welcome by his Lord in glory, and not only His welcome but also His “well done.” And surely it will be a royal welcome for each one of the Lord’s own. He who loved us, and gave himself for us, must even now be eagerly waiting for that day when He shall return “with grace on His brow, like a halo of glory, to receive from the world “His own.”
O Lord Jesus, how long,
How long, ere we shout the glad song,
Christ returneth! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Amen. Hallelujah! Amen!