A. The eternal reward view: rightly teaches that the rewards in Rev. 2-3 are given in different degrees according to one’s faithfulness in loving and obeying Jesus. Rewards are given in addition to the free gift of eternal life. Jesus is speaking to churches. The issue of salvation is settled, the issue in focus is the particular areas of unfaithfulness that Jesus emphasized in their lives. Not all Christians overcome the specific unfaithfulness Jesus highlights in their life.
B. The loss of salvation view: teaches that believers are exhorted to faithfulness to avoid losing their salvation. In this view, failing to overcome is synonymous with losing one’s salvation. This view implies that we must overcome all spiritual immaturity to avoid losing our salvation. This implies that only mature believers are saved. The diligent workers in Ephesus who lacked fresh love for Jesus would have lost their salvation if dying before faithfully renewing their first love.
C. The all believers view: teaches that all believers are overcomers because of the very act of believing in Jesus is all that is needed to be an overcomer (1 Jn. 5:4-5). Faith in Jesus rather than faithfulness to Him is emphasized in this position. In other words, both the spiritually mature and immature believers are equally overcomers. Thus, all the rewards in Rev. 2-3 are automatically and fully given to all believers as being synonymous with the gift of eternal life. The thief on the cross will receive the same reward as Paul and John the Baptist.