Finally, there is one more promise Jesus makes to the overcoming saints in Smyrna. This promise is that the second death would have no power over them. Why is this such a huge blessing to the saints? Remember, they were being murdered for their faith in Jesus Christ, and daily faced the threat of death.
The question is, if there is a second death, what is the first one?
When Jesus talks about death He is referring to something much greater than the passing of the physical body. Everything Jesus talks about comes out of heaven and has an eternal connotation and consequence. Therefore, death is not something physical but something eternal. Paul shares about the first death and how it is connected to the Law of Moses in Romans 7:7-13
In this passage Paul discusses how the Law of Moses, which is good and holy, unmasks the power of sin that hides dormant within you until the time that it springs to life, or you become knowledgeable about what is right and wrong in God’s sight, and sin then produces spiritual death within you.
Commonly, this death occurs somewhere around the age of thirteen, hence the Jewish bar mitzva, or coming of age. Babies and children are not born with a conscience of sin and even though they do right and wrong actions their understanding has not yet awakened to the power of sin. Somewhere around this age a child’s conscience awakens and they make a decision to choose sin over godliness. At this point spiritual death happens. This is called the first death. This is also why Jesus says you must be born again.
Every person born into the world is born “in Adam” or of the earth. Sin entered the world through Adam and as a result sin lies dormant within every human being until it is awakened, and it produces death. Everyone that come to Jesus Christ for redemption from sin in given the free gift of eternal life “in Christ” and at that point are born again, except this time they are not born of the earth, but born of heaven. Big difference!
As a child of God, born from above, you are born without sin and no longer have sin within your new being. Your issues with sin are not with yourself but an evil entity called sin or the flesh! You are now called to be someone that overcomes and rules over the power of sin and death and to bring to nothing the works of darkness in your life.
What a privilege to stand upon and rule over the one (the devil) that once had power over you!
Now, what is the second death? This term, “the second death” is used four times in the Book of Revelation.
Rev 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who take part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
(Remember the word thousand is not a literal thousand years, the word thousand refers to indefinite or undetermined period of time, or an age. And if you link this Scripture with the ten days that Smyrna was called to suffer, you could say there would be ten thousand years. Jesus said that no one knows the time of day for His physical appearing. In other words, it is a time determined in eternity and not on earth. Then, He says the time and season is in OUR hands. Best we get on with the job of bringing Satan’s dominion to an end!)
Rev 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.
All death is spiritual, not physical. Heaven is a spiritual place and so is the lake of fire. Be careful, there are many “ministers of the gospel” who are teaching that hell is not real and that God would not send people there and that hell is not a literal spiritual place. To say this is to undermine the power of the cross and what it cost the Lord to redeem us from the power of sin. If sin was not serious and hell is not real, then the cross would not have been necessary!
So, when does the second death take place? At the point of physical death. The second death has no power over the child of God, as they are collected by the angels and escorted to heaven. Those who have rejected the grace of God and salvation through Jesus Christ will unfortunately find themselves in the place of eternal death and condemnation, which we call hell.
Understand this, it is NOT God’s will or desire that anyone go there. He came to redeem all humanity, regardless of how depraved they may have become through the power of sin. Hell was created for Satan and his angels, not people.
Mat 25:41 “Then He will say to those on His left, depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
I will continue this in the next blog.
Have a happy day! 😀😁😄
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