In Chapter 2 Verses 8-11 Jesus Speaks to the Second of Seven Churches
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: (NKJV*)
“the First and the Last” is our Lord Jesus Christ who tells John to write to the church of Smyrna.
“9I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” (NKJV*)
“(but you are rich)”! You may ask how can they be rich when Jesus says that they live in
poverty? They are rich in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Matthew 6:19-21 – 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NKJV*)
When you have Christ in your life you are rich, just look at the final destination for the believers!
Matthew 10:22b – “But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (NKJV*)
And Jesus will give them “to eat from the tree of life”! (Rev. 2:7b)
“10Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (NKJV*)
The Lord encourages the church of Smyrna and us to be willing to die rather than deny our faith in Him referring back to Matthew 10:22b. The “crown of life” is for human testing even to martyrdom. The Lord Jesus commends the church in Smyrna and lets them know they will be persecuted, but He holds nothing against them.
We can expect to be persecuted:
John 15:20a,b – “Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (NKJV*)no matter how slight or how severe. W.MacDonald comments: “But we cannot expect better treatment than our Lord Jesus received. Our word will be refused just as was the Savior’s.” And still is rejected by many to this day.
“11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'” (NKJV*)
W.MacDonald: “Again the willing hearer is encouraged to listen to the Spirit’s advice. Here an overcomer is one who proves the reality of his faith by choosing to go to heaven with a good conscience rather than stay on earth with a bad one. He will not be affected by the second death, the doom of all unbelievers.”
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; I say, on the LORD!”
Revelation 20:6, 14 – “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. … Then Death and Hādēs were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (NKJV*)
The first resurrection has three principal phases:
1. the resurrection of Christ
2. the resurrection of His Church; and
3. the resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints.
The second death is preceded by a resurrection of the unsaved to face the Lord at the Great White Throne. In this second death the unbeliever just keeps dying; it is –according to King James Study Bible: “eternal punishment in the lake of fire” which will never be quenched. (check out: Isaiah 66:24; Jeremiah 7:20; Ezekiel 20:47-48; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Jude 7)
OUR FIRST LOVE IS GOD –the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—!
First God, second our family, and third our country!
(NKJV*)Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.