[Note to Group Leaders: This is a longer study than usual.]
Because of an egregious, yet popular, false teaching recently making the rounds in the Western Church which attempts to redefine an "overcomer" as some kind of over-achiever which the average believer does not have to attain to, this lesson begins with a New Testament survey of the definition and use of the word "overcome". While false teachings always ultimately fail the common sense and plain meaning of Scripture tests, time will not be devoted to explaining their mindset, but it should be noted that in parallel with redefining the "overcomer" they have invented a new category not found in Scripture they call the "overtaken" — people who may acknowledge Jesus in some fashion, but never live a crucified, changed life going forward, and yet who are purportedly given a second chance to make up for it in spite of rejecting His Word and ways.
This false teaching is particularly related to the book of Revelation because it offers that the Millennial Reign will be a kind of "Christian purgatory" (my description, not theirs) so the "overtaken" can have a second chance to earn their way into heaven, and a higher level of leadership and authority granted the "overcomer" at that time. Never mind that in every parable and illustration of the End Times that the "overtaken" are always rejected, excluded and thrown out to experience the worst consequences of judgment in hell, and the "overcomer" is always welcomed and rewarded, this false teaching creates the illusion the unfaithful can escape Jesus' direct warnings to the contrary.
At present we are witnessing many who regularly attend church, but according to biblical standards will find out too late that because they were overtaken by the cares of the world to the detriment of their faith, they will not experience what awaits those who are scripturally authentic "overcomers".