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100 Years Ago Words in Season: To Him That Overcometh

by R. H. Boll

(Reprint from Word & Work, March, 1919)


The Lord’s final word to Ephesus is gracious promise “to him that overcometh.”  Overcometh what? Even this fatal, all too common tendency to decline in love. Be sure there will be a pull here. The enemy knows too well the importance of this point not to concentrate his utmost power and subtilty on it. “Because iniquity shall abound,” and on account of unbelief and carelessness and the deceitfulness of sin—“the love of many shall wax cold.” I fear there are some in the church who have never become so acquainted with Jesus as to let their first faith deepen into personal love. I fear there are others who once loved and let the cares of this world and the lust of other things entering in obscure His image in their hearts—perhaps forever. Remember—repent—do the first works. To him who overcomes—in the garden of God with his Lord he shall walk and eat at Jesus’ hand of the fruit of the Tree of Life forever. For where love is there is life, and life worth living for evermore. There is no love in hell. That is why it is hell. But those who have tasted the love of Jesus here, and in whose heart sprang up the response of true love to Him; those who have found love here, and have labored and suffered in love, love will be their portion and inheritance unto the ages of ages.

“For life and all it yields of joy or woe.

And hope and fear—believe the aged friend—

Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love,

How love might be, hath been indeed, and is;

And that we hold thenceforth to the uttermost—

Such prize despite the envy of the world.”


  1. H. Boll was a well-known preacher among the Churches of Christ and served from 1904 until his death in 1956 as minister of the Portland Avenue Church of Christ in Louisville, KY. He was Editor of the Word and Work Magazine from 1916 to 1956.


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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33