To the seven church in Revelation 2 and 3 there are recurring messages. Though the message to each is personally tailored, some things are applicable to all. Jesus, “the first and the last, who was dead, and is now alive” (2:8; 1:17), says to all 7 that he “knows” their deeds and tribulations. He is fully aware of their specific issues. After giving specific instructions to them, He says, “He who has an ear, let him hear” and He says, “he who overcomes” will receive eternal blessings.

In Revelation 2:11 he says Overcomers won’t be hurt by the second death. In Revelation there are two resurrections and two deaths.

“He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.”

That there is a second death implies there is also a first death which must be the spiritual death caused by sin. It also says,

“Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”

The first resurrection implies there is a second resurrection which must be the general resurrection of all men, believers and unbelievers, which will not be a blessing to those who have not repented and followed Christ. But those who take part in the first resurrection, these are Christians who are priests in the kingdom of Christ.

There are two deaths and two resurrections that concern every man. All men will suffer both deaths (except for those who are “alive and remain at the coming of Christ”) and all men will be part of the second resurrection. The eternal salvation is for those who also partake – by making the choice to obey the Gospel – of the first resurrection because over these these second death – being cast into hell, Rev. 21:8 – has no power. This is what Paul meant, saying, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting” (1 Cor. 15:55)? Those who do not partake of the first resurrection “won’t come to life until the end of the thousand years” meaning they chose not to reign with Christ in His kingdom and so they will stand before the judgment seat and be found still dead in their sins. Consequently, the second death, eternal hell, will have power over them and Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15 do not apply to these.

The first death is the spiritual death that all suffer as a consequence to sin. The second death is the eternal separation from the presence of the Lord. The first resurrection is the rebirth in Christ at Baptism. The second resurrection is the general resurrection of all men at the second coming of Jesus.

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