Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

The Church at Smyrna: No Rebuke, but Trouble Will Come, Part 9 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #311)

TEXT: Revelation 2:8-11:

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.


William Gurnall said, “Faith looks through the key-hole of the promise and tells thee what it sees there laid up for him who overcomes. Faith listens and tells thee that it can hear the shout of those crowned saints, as of those that are dividing the spoil and receiving the reward of all their services and sufferings here on earth.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church-age since Pentecost.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “In many revivals in Quebec and North America, large crowds gathered to hear the gospel preached, just as the Haldane brothers had attracted in Scotland. Revivals, however, can’t be poured into a mold; God’s work in human life has varying expressions. In Geneva, Robert Haldane carried revival to a small group of students, and through a quiet ministry so different from what he’d experienced back in his native land, his students became carriers of revival to the world.”


Jesus’ final word to the suffering church at Smyrna is: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” All human beings have ears, but not all humans have “ears to hear.” Jesus used this expression when telling His parables. What does it mean? We hear many things every day that we do not listen to. Some people work with the television on in the background; they hear the television but they are not listening to it. To have “ears to hear” is to listen with intention, to listen with purpose, to choose to hear. This letter to the church at Smyrna, which is applicable to churches today, is for those who choose to hear with the Spirit has to say.

The letter ends with a word of promise for the believers: “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” All of Jesus’ words to this church have been about helping them to face their suffering and not despair in their suffering. Jesus wants them to overcome their suffering. The Greek word translated as “overcome” means to conquer, to prevail, or to get the victory. Even though we may be beaten down and buffeted by persecution and tribulation in this life, God’s plan is for us to overcome in the end.

However, our ultimate victory is not of this world. Our victory comes in escaping “the second death.” The second death is judgment at the Great White Throne where all those who have rejected Jesus Christ will be tried and sentenced to an eternity without God, without light, without end. Often, the world mocks those who give their all to Christ and put their lives on the line for him. Some say we are fools. But, like Paul, we ought say if we are fools, we are “fools for Christ’s sake” because escaping the second death is worth it.

As we go through this life, we will do well to have the words of C.A. Tindley’s hymn frequently on our lips:

This world is one great battlefield
With forces all arrayed,
If in my heart I do not yield
I’ll overcome someday.

Both seen and unseen powers join
To drive my soul astray,
But with His Word a sword of mine,
I’ll overcome someday.

A thousand snares are set for me,
And mountains in my way,
If Jesus will my leader be,
I’ll overcome someday.

I fail so often when I try
My Savior to obey;
It pains my heart and then I cry,
I’ll overcome someday.

My mind is not to do the wrong,
But walk the narrow way;
I’m praying as I journey on,
To overcome some day.

Though many a time no signs appear,
Of answer when I pray;
My Jesus says I need not fear,
I’ll overcome someday.

Let’s pray.

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.