Revelation 2:10b-11 Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 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.
This is the closing statement to the church at Smyrna from Jesus. He is going to discuss life and death matters for both the present life on earth and eternal considerations.
Be faithful…The idea expressed in the original Greek is a matter of practice and lifestyle. Be faithful in your life. Continually practice your faith…to the point of death.
θάνατος/thanatos is the Greek word for death. Here is the idea in the original language. The separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended with the implied idea of future misery in hell. –Strong’s Concordance
This death is in reference to bodily, physical death. Humanity in its current fallen condition is either going to die or be transformed at the rapture.
How are we going to overcome that? Jesus has an answer. I will give you the crown of life. The crown of life is an eternal gift. Below are three of many verses claiming eternal life through Christ.
John 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. -Jesus
1 John 5:11-12 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”-Jesus
He who has an ear…Listen up! The Spirit and Jesus are talking to YOU!
He who overcomes…Another translation for the word “overcome” is conquer or win the case as a legal matter. The Greek word is νικαο/nikao. This is arguably a continuation of the legal language to the church at Smyrna. Remember, Satan is the prosecution in this legal matter (Revelation 2:10).
Jesus is the ultimate conquering hero. He has overcome death and sin.
Revelation 5:5 and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
As members of the body of Christ, we conquer via the Overcomer. Scripture is very clear. There is only one way to conquer.
1 John 5:4-5 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world…our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
The second death is the one to be avoided. It is a one way ticket to hell.
Revelation 20:14-15 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.