The second church that Jesus addressed in Revelation was the church in Smyrna. The Christians in Smyrna were surrounded by people that were antagonistic to the gospel and they faced constant persecution. Jesus knew the struggles they faced. He acknowledged that they suffered afflictions and lived in poverty. He understood that they were constantly slandered. He warned them that the enemy of the gospel would continue relentlessly testing them, some of them even to death. But He also assured them that their suffering would not last and He comforted them with the promise of what they would receive if they held on.
As Christians, we are not immune to struggles. (John 16:33) When we face trials there are two ways we can handle them. We can either be crushed under the pressure of trying to fight against them on our own or we can allow Jesus to carry the load for us as He promised He would do.
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. – Psalm 55:22
Jesus instructed the believers in Smyrna to remain faithful and we must remain faithful, too. We remain faithful by keeping our eyes on Jesus and trusting Him for the outcome no matter what we may be going through. The devil may be able to mess with our physical comfort while we’re on earth, but he cannot touch our eternal spirit. We are shielded by God’s power until the day we see Jesus face to face. (1 Peter 1:5) He has promised us that our eternity is safe in his hands.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. – John 10:28
Jesus’ final assurance to the believers in Smyrna is a reminder to each of us of our eternal security. Jesus promises that all who overcome despite trials and persecution will not be hurt by the “second death.” Even though our physical bodies will die on earth, there is a second death that will only be experienced by those who have not trusted in Jesus alone for salvation. The second death is the final and eternal separation from God. Jesus promises that the second death has no power over those of us that trust in Him and remain faithful to the end!