Saturday, 12 September 2020
“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
Jesus repeats the words previously spoken to the church at Ephesus, saying, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” To understand the significance of this statement, refer to the comments of verse 2:7. In short, it is a call out to the churches to pay heed to His words.
He then next says, “He who overcomes.” Again, as before, to “overcome” is something that occurs when one believes in the finished work of Christ, meaning the God/Man. There is no other way to overcome than through what He has done. For those who do overcome, Jesus says, that he “shall not be hurt by the second death.”
This is a phrase that is new to Scripture. It can’t be fully understood without referring to its explanatory verses found later in Revelation –
“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.” Revelation 20:6
“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14, 15
“And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.’” Revelation 21:6-8
The “second death” is the Lake of Fire. It is the final state for all humanity apart from God. Jesus is the only way to avoid this fate. To believe in Him is to overcome. To overcome means that they have been spared from this second death. They have moved from spiritual death to spiritual life. It is the reconnection to God that was lost at the very beginning when Adam sinned. Through faith in Christ, one is born again. The reconnection is made, and its effects are eternal.
Life application: One must overcome in this life and “he who has an ear” should pay close attention to the warning. This is our one big chance to get it right. The book of Hebrews makes this perfectly clear in verse 9:27 – “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, …” Jesus, through the eternal Spirit, calls out to the churches and warns us of the consequences of not calling on Jesus as Lord.
When speaking to the people of Israel in a discourse about the judgment of the nations, Jesus says that the Lake of Fire was designed for the devil and his angels –
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” Matthew 25:41
The purpose for man was eternal life in the presence of God. However, God granted man free will. Adam used it and the spiritual connection to God was severed. In order to have that repaired, we are expected to use our free will wisely. Those who want to live apart from God now will live apart from God for all eternity. The Lake of Fire is eternal. It is man’s default position. When God judges, no one will be able to complain that the judgment was unfair.
Now, while there is breath in your lungs, is the time to call on the name of Jesus and get right with God. The switch from the default position is only possible through Him. Anything else will result in the eternal sadness of the “second death.”
Lord God, thank You for Jesus and His cross. We know that without it there would be no hope at all. But because He prevailed over death, we too can prevail over it. For those who receive Him, there is the promise of eternal life. May we be careful to spend our time getting this word of reconciliation out to those who so desperately need to hear it. All glory to Jesus who makes these things possible! Amen.