Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Church at Smyrna: Promise, Prophetic, Application

"He 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." (Revelation 2:11 - New King James Version)

In this final verse of the letter to the Church at Smyrna Jesus offers encouragement to these poor and suffering saints. Jesus often encouraged those who had ears to hear His message. What He meant was that those with spiritual ears should listen. Every Christian can learn from what Christ said. Everyone who desires to come to God can learn from the words of Christ. Those who are stubborn, proud or refuse to accept what God says have closed their ears and cannot hear the message of life.

Jesus refers to the one who wins the victory. In God's eyes, the victorious ones are those who have trusted in Jesus as their Saviour. They may suffer defeats in this life but the final victory is theirs because Jesus has won victory over death, hell, Satan and the grave. First John chapter five verse four tells us that our faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

Those who have victory in Christ cannot be hurt by the second death. The second death is eternal separation from God. Instead of the second death, the Christian has eternal fellowship with God and eternal peace, joy and happiness.

Some believe that the letter to the Church at Smyrna prophetically describes the period from about 150 AD to 316 AD. This was the time of great persecution by the Roman government. The Roman Emperors sought to completely destroy the Christian Faith. Thousands of Christians died.

Until about 250 AD, this persecution was localized. In some cities, Christians suffered little while in others many died. During the reign of Emperor Decius, persecution of Christians became Roman policy. They were accused of establishing a state within the state because their allegiance was to Christ not to the Emperor.

As a result of this increased persecution, many who had claimed to be Christian forsook the Faith rather than face death. The words of Jesus to the Church at Smyrna calling them to remain faithful does fit this period of Church History. To this period belong groups such as the Montanists in Asia Minor, the Novatians in Italy and the Donatists in North Africa.

There are two important lessons from this letter for us.

First, if you are not a Christian, you do not have riches in heaven. If a person is not trusting Christ and Him alone for his eternal hope, he does not have victory. If a person has never asked Jesus to be his Saviour, he is headed for the second death.

If you want to know more about Christianity, or have questions regarding becoming a Christian, you can post a comment on this post, or visit This is the website for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

The second lesson is for Christians. You may be going through a difficult time. You may be suffering for your Christian Faith. Jesus wants to encourage you.

Do not be afraid. Hold on to your faith. You have a reward in heaven and a crown of life waiting for you in heaven. Trust Jesus and obey Him no matter what the cost.


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