“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive.” Rev 2:8.
Jesus introduced Himself to this church as the first and last, the one who died and is alive. Like I told you yesterday, observe the way He introduces Himself.
Now this church was under serious persecution, but they remained true. They were physically in poverty but Jesus said they were rich. What does that mean? How come they were rich yet physically poor?
It is because they didn’t access their riches, because they were too concerned about the troubles and lies and falsehood, they had no time for riches.
The fault wasn’t God’s; they were the ones who didn’t claim what was theirs and they allowed false prophets to rob them.
Now Jesus told them they were going to face persecution but they should not fear. Have you ever wondered why Jesus will know trouble is coming and He will not stop it? Remember Peter, how Jesus told him, Satan has desired to have you, and then He said when you are converted… Why didn’t He just pray against it?
To this church He says, they will cast you into prison but be faithful unto death and you will receive a crown of life. Now you understand why He introduced Himself as the one who died and is alive.
So Jesus is saying, there is nothing you are going to face that I haven’t faced so keep your eyes on me and you will get the victory.
However, Jesus didn’t say they will die, He said, keep your faith even to the point of death and you will receive a crown of life. The crown of life isn’t given after death, but that is not today’s talk.
Then Jesus says the one who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death, why? It is because they already have a crown of life. Their faith had confirmed they were of the breed of Jesus so death has no power over them anymore.
No matter what you are facing in life, keep your faithfulness because there’s a reward and Jesus is watching to give you that reward.