Church in Smyrna
The message Jesus sent to the church at Smyrna: Revelation 2:8-11
Jesus addresses the angel of the church 2:8
Jesus gives a self-description of Himself 2:8
I know thy works: Revelation 2:9
Commendation of the church
The church undergoing persecution
He that overcometh
He that hath an ear
The identification Revelation 2:8
The Commendation Revelation 2:9
A basic Foundation
The poor but rich Church
The city of Smyrna is still in existence today for it is a Turkish name, Izmir. This city today from my studies say that the modern city covers so much of the ruins of the ancient Smyrna that you are apt to miss the true beauty which was there. I begin in this basic foundation with this opening thought to illustrate was a city where the temple of Diana was as wells other temples of the false gods being worship in that day. Smyrna here in Jesus message represents a suffering and persecuted church under the reign of Nero and later Caesar. One would be safe in interpreting that if these Christians refused to worship Nero or Caesar they were persecuted and even burned at the stake. In addition, the Jewish population in Smyrna was sizable, and there were those who stated they were Jews but belonged to the synagogue of Satan, and they persecuted the Christians followers who walk strong in their faith in God.
This is Jesus second message the church of Smyrna and if one traveled from Ephesus to Smyrna, you would travel the distance of about thirty-five miles to the north entering the city at what was called the “Ephesian Gate.” Smyrna is only mention here in the scripture; however, there is other literature about this city it is also well to note the wickedness and the opposition to the Christians recorded in that century.
The idea seems to be those who professed to be Jews, they were not true Jews; they indulged in a bitterness of reproach, and a severity of language, which showed that they had not the spirit of the Jewish religion or people; they had nothing which became those who were under the guidance of the spirit of their own Scriptures. That would have inculcated and fostered a milder temper; and the meaning here is, that although they were among the Jewish Christians, they were not worthy of the name. That spirit of bitter opposition was indeed often manifested in their treatment of Christians, as it had been of the Saviour; however, still it was foreign to the true nature of their religion.
This is just a very basic background of the church at Smyrna.
What make a church poor or rich? Have you ever thought about it? To most people when you say poor they think of the negative impression of having no money or asset to keep life productive. I say this because of what Christ stated unto them “I know thy poverty, (but thou art rich). (Revelation 2:9 KJV) This church might have lacked the worldly goods; however, their faith of how they displayed their faithfulness is why the Lord did not haft to rebuke them. In addition, their faithfulness also demonstrates the glory of God and Christ Jesus in the church. Even though the church of Smyrna was being crushed under the pressure of the Roman Empire they still brought forth their faithfulness unto the Lord.
It would be well to note the rich that God values began in the beginning and will last for eternity. Think of it in this manner that this value of God’s riches for His creation cannot be bought with money nor can mankind steal this richness of God. Therefore, being faithful is handling the riches of God in our lives and in the life of the church. One might say that Smyrna was poor in silver and gold and material possessions, however, the Lord said “Thou art rich.” Their material poverty was offset by their spiritual riches which is their abundant blessing to receive a crown of life Revelation 2:10. It is well to understand that spiritual blessings, both in this life and the life to come, are inheritance given by our Lord. We the Body of Christ or Christians should take comfort with all assurance that the Lord knows our poverty, our tribulations that we receive while we walk by faith. Note: Even though Smyrna was the poorest of these seven churches, the Lord acknowledged these believers to be spiritually rich despite their lack of silver and gold.
Now we begin the second church in Revelation 2 and one might address it as the second period of church history. This time period in the church history is a time of persecution. This is a short message or letter to the church at Smyrna that contains no rebuke, only the Lord’s commendation. This church was stated by Christ to be known as one church that had within the wickedness of those who claimed to be Jews but were of the synagogue of Satan. Even in this part of church history it describes, prophetically, the conditions and the concepts of suffering and persecution for their faith and our Lord brings them a message of encouragement and that their suffering will only be for a short time.
Smyrna means “myrrh” or Bittersweet
The question that comes to mind and keeps coming back in mind is regarding the message Jesus sent to each church. How does the church of today regard these seven messages of Christ? Do we regard them as just another message of prophecy or just another message? There are other questions regarding the church and the teaching of these seven messages of which is vital to enter into the kingdom of heaven. It seems like there is more teaching about grace and how we will be delivered out of all the suffering of the book of Revelation rather than the warning found in this prophetic word of Christ Jesus. However, I believe that is why this message to Smyrna is so vitally important today regarding the issue of suffering.
I believe why Jesus was telling them to have no fear of the things they must suffer for they are in His Hands. Furthermore, Jesus is giving them assurance that nothing that is going to happen to them that He does not already know about. The message that Jesus is sending to the church today that suffering will occur in our lives, moreover, Him and the heavenly Father is aware of all things.
Note: That after a person is saved hard times and suffering often happen. In addition, they are living right and still times are hard and things keep going wrong. There is confusion to where each of us may ask why are all these things happening?
As I continue to study these messages of Jesus more closely, I look around, and see the suffering in the world today. How can we neglect this message of Christ’s? However, the time will come when the church of today will suffer for their faith as did the church of Smyrna. I say this because there are so many religious cults, which tells, unto me that we are living in the time when people will say they are Christians, and are not; however, are a synagogue of Satan or church of Satan as the word of Christ states here in His message to Smyrna. Furthermore, part of the suffering of the church will come by rejecting the message Jesus sent to these seven churches. Moreover, there are those who claim to belong to a church and do not belong to any. I do not know what others interpret from the message of Smyrna, but I believe Jesus is telling the church and people today to stay strong in our suffering and our faith for it will only last for a short period of time.
Smyrna has remained faithful, even in a city full of wicked doctrine and the Roman Empire’s Church. Even today, we do not express it as wicked doctrine we call it false doctrine even though the end results are wicked. I must commend this church for it must have been very watchful, not relaxed that they should have to repent because of not allowing false and evil doctrine to be taught in the church. I further believe that is why the Lord did not have any condemnation against this church. In addition, look at the promise the Lord made for this church. In addition, one might interpret that the church of Smyrna set forth the stage prophetically in the church history when the church was being persecuted by the Roman Empire and those who claimed to be of the church but was not Revelation 2:9.
Jesus Self-description of Himself
Smyrna: Saith the first and last= (the one that is eternal, the beginning and end) (was dead and is alive= death and resurrection)
Jesus addresses the church
Smyrna – No warning or condemnation, but it would endure a period of persecution a short time.
Meaning of the name Smyrna
Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) Smyrna-name means “myrrh” The martyr church, the church that would suffer persecution or the poor rich church.
Myrrh was a fragrant spice which was used in Israel’s rituals. This spice had to be crushed or beaten small before it gave off its fragrance. So was it with the church at Smyrna, yet with all their persecution they gave off a sweet fragrance unto the Lord. In addition, Smyrna name also means a sweet perfume used in embalming dead bodies, also included in the holy anointing oil used in the Tabernacle worship recorded in the Old Testament exodus 30:23. In addition, from the root Hebrew word meaning “bitter” the resin was taken from a shrubby tree and had a bitter taste Psalm 45:8. I state this because was a little church in a commercial city and full of wickedness. Therefore, when we look at Jesus message and at Smyrna’s affliction, persecution, and death of the people and yet these people of the church endured for the sake of the Lord Jesus and God. Myrrh also has a bitter taste and a sweet smell. I further believe that this is why Jesus stated no warning against them and had nothing bad to say about them.
Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) represents the persecuted church or the suffering church. It is noteworthy to state that Smyrna is mentioned here in the book of Revelation in addition it is evident that this city was noted for its wickedness and its opposition to the gospel of Christ during this century.
I feel that it is noteworthy to state that two of the seven churches of Asia Minor received from Jesus a message with no condemnation: Smyrna and Philadelphia. Let it also be made know that this does not mean that they did not have flaunts or were perfect and entirely void of sins. For Paul wrote that we all sin and come short of the glory of God Romans 3:23. I believe it would be safe in saying that there has never been a congregation that consists solely of Christians who makes up the body of the church that is a perfect congregation. However, the Lord is willing to forgive our sins and shortcomings as long as we grow in love for Him with all devotion to Him, so long as our direction of our lives is moving forward in His grace and not downward.
We must remember that the church at Ephesus we saw the downfall of the church at Ephesus, who yet labored for God, had lost their love, their fellowship and intimacy with Christ and the Father in the church of Smyrna how can we see persecution and poverty work for them to bring them into a closer relationship with Christ and the Father.
Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; KJV
Revelation 2:8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: NASB
Revelation 2:8 To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. NIV
Revelation 2:8 To the angel of the Messianic Community in Smyrna, write: ‘Here is the message from the First and the Last, who died and came alive again: CJB
Revelation 2:8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: NKJV
General reference to Revelation 2:8: John 19:39; Isaiah 53:12; John 10:11; 12:23-24; Romans 5:6; 14:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 2:9; Revelation 5:9.
By Jesus introduce Himself as the first and the last He is also stating that He is the “eternal one.” In addition, Jesus is saying that He always existed in the past, present, and the future. In keeping in context with what Jesus dictated to John He also portrays Himself to His death on the cross and the one who was resurrected from the dead. In addition, Jesus is not only the eternal One He is the one that is our reminder He is the eternal Son of God.
Each of these churches had a pastor or messenger from God that Christ sent His message or letter. In addition, each message also reveals Christ Himself in a manner best suited to instruct them, encourage them in their time of suffering and persecution. Our Lord reminds them in a way to let them know that He had suffered and died and now lives again and that He had triumphed over death or the He had defeated death and was the Master over it Hebrews 2:18. Also note that Christ was tempted and tried in all points as we are tempted and tried and the Lord Jesus Christ is now our High Priest Hebrews 4:15-16.
To start this church plays a crucial role in describing the tribulation to come that I believe is right around the corner. It is stated in this manner because there is much discourse on the subject about tribulation especially about the great tribulation. The role of this church holds a key element for those who hold fast even until death and in the Day of Judgment I believe those who hold fast in their walk of faith will be commended for their faith. Yet what is most striking when studying the contrast between two churches here in Revelation 2 and 3. Christ shows Smyrna as the poor rich church and Laodicea the poor rich church. The elements are a poverty which is rich and a wealth which is poverty. It also may be well to state that the time will come when we will stand up before the Throne of our Lord and be counted.
This is the second message to the seven churches in Asia Minor written by the hand of the apostle John and dictated by our Lord. One of the important issues we need to remember as we study each of these messages is the description that Jesus gives about Himself. When Jesus uses the term “the first and the last” Jesus is relating to the “I am” and that He existed before all things existed and that all things will exist until completed. In addition, He is the only one who holds the key to conquer death and give eternal life.
By looking at how Jesus addresses this church in Smyrna with these key points are 1 “The first and last” 2 “Which was dead and is alive.” What are some of the key factor in Jesus introduction of Himself? The first key factor it has been taught that He died and came to life again and therefore, conquered death. In addition, Jesus is the firstborn of many brothers and sisters to be part of the first resurrection and to live in the New Jerusalem. We are to teach that the first and last is “signifying that the Lord Jesus is the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end”. I further believe that Jesus addresses this church with this kind of an introduction of Himself for He knows the suffering that Smyrna is about to face. For the church is a prime example of persecution and suffering within the church as well as against the Roman Empire and at the hand of Satan.
It is also well to note this important factor that each of the messages of Jesus Christ to the seven churches holds a vital important prophetic meaning for the church then as well as the church today. Five of the seven churches messages contained a message of correction about their failures. However, Jesus does not give any criticism or correction to Smyrna at all.
Revelation 2:9 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. KJV
Revelation 2:9 I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich); and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. NASB
Revelation 2:9 I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but a synagogue of Satan. NIV
Revelation 2:9 I know how you are suffering and how poor you are (though in fact you are rich!) and I know the insults of those who call themselves Jews but aren’t – on the contrary, they are a synagogue of the Adversary. CJB
Revelation 2:9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. NKJV
General references to “tribulation, poverty, blasphemy, riches synagogue of Satan or children of the devil”
Tribulation a part of human or earthly experience: Deuteronomy 4:30; Matthew 24:21; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; Romans 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:4; Revelation 7:14: Poverty 2 Kings 17:12; Matthew 8:20; Mark 12:42; 2 Corinthians 6:10; 8:9: Blasphemy against Christ and we should also consider profanity: (Blasphemy against Christ: Matthew 12:31; Mark 3:28; 14:64; Luke 5:21; John 10:33; Revelation 13:5) (Profanity Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 19:12; Matthew 5:34; James 5:12) (Children of the devil or children of the world: Matthew 13:38; John 8:44; Acts 13:10; 1 John 3:10; Luke 16:8; 20:34; Ephesians 2:3; 5:6; Colossians 3:6)
To me these verses of scriptures state a lot about what the church is today in what I have underlined. However, I can only go by what the Holy Spirit of God teaches me in the statement I am about to make. “I know them in the church, who say they are Christian and are not.” Christ lets us know that our lives here on earth will have trials and tribulation. However, we are to be faithful unto Christ even unto death. Furthermore, if we are faithful even unto death look at what Christ has promise to give us a crown of life.
It should be a word of comfort to all Christians to know the Jesus and His Father knows our works. For they know our works, our trails, our tribulation, and our suffering for He is an all knowing God. As for myself I take comfort in the reality that my Lord knows all and therefore, I trust His judgment in my life and therefore, do all I can do to trust Him completely and rest in His Divine Grace. I state this because of what took place with the message Jesus sent to Ephesus about their loss of love and their intimacy with Him, however, with the church at Smyrna their persecution and poverty brought them closer to the Lord and therefore the Lord commended them for their relationship with Him in their suffering.
Jesus states to each church “I know thy works” therefore, we cannot escape this factor of the Lord’s message; we may be able to fool the people at church, our neighbors, and even those where we work, even the members of our own family. However, the Lord Jesus knows our works therefore we cannot fool Him. Yet another way of addressing works here is Jesus knows that it is because of the works of Smyrna that they are being persecuted. In addition, our Lord focuses on their works and persecution that comes as the results of their works. For we find throughout the scriptures that the Lord searches the heart Jeremiah 17:10 and Romans 8:27 according to the will of God. As I have study, the history of these seven churches some of the earliest persecutions seemingly done by those who claim to be Jews but are of the synagogue of Satan.
After Jesus’ address to Smyrna, Jesus now addresses the cause of divisions within the church. First Jesus addresses His awareness to the opposition they are facing with the old Jewish source in Smyrna. It is well to be noted here that Jesus offers them words of encouragement and for them not to lose faith even in the worse of conditions. What is missing that most of us want to hear is not proclaimed by Jesus to Smyrna. Most every Christian wants to hear the missing component here in the message to Smyrna and that is that Jesus is going to relieve or deliver them out of their distress.
You and I must also take into consideration that life in Smyrna was dangerous because they were Christians and did not uphold the false doctrine and its teaching of the Roman Empire. The Roman authorities stood very much against them at Smyrna and refused to accept any other confession other than that of “Caesar” for he was their lord. I would say what was even worse and more hazardous was the opposition from those who said they were Jews but are a synagogue of Satan. The way Revelation 2 and 3 relates these messages of Jesus there are three oppositions we need to look at: the first is the Christian doctrine, the second is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, and the third is the doctrine of Balaam.
I believe that I would be safe in saying that the people in the church today would raise this nagging question: Why did not Jesus deliver this faithful church from its persecution and suffering? I must be honest I can only give my honest opinion to answer this question. Therefore, we must take into consideration each message of Jesus to find the answer. For any of us I believe that we have to maintain our faithfulness as Smyrna did and accept whatsoever future the Lord has for us. In addition, I must say if Smyrna did not surrendered their lives in persecution and in defense of the gospel and the word of God, they have a far better life to look forward to in the kingdom of heaven. Furthermore, we Christians need to remember continually that Jesus is in control over every circumstance that impacts each of our individual lives. Therefore, we need to put our faith in the assurance of Jesus’ promises that He will chart each of our lives in the course that is best for each of us.
In referring to Smyrna tribulation Jesus assures them that He knows their oppression as well as their enemies that is causing their affliction. It seems like their persecutors were not just only the Roman Empire and pagans, who would naturally would offend the Christian faith, however there were also those hostile Jews and Satan himself. Therefore, we must also take into consideration the context of this scripture that states “I know the blasphemy of them who say they are Jews, but are the synagogue of Satan.”
When we speak of tribulation in this present day and time in life, especially our suffering on behalf of Christ and the cross when we delay the work the enemy, places the snares before us and we must therefore bring to the surface the true Spirit of God in faithfulness. Moreover, the enemy loves to bring diversion and deception when it comes to the spirit of truth in God’s Word, hoping to distract us from the work and ministry of the Lord and our truing calling from God. With Smyrna we see that when trials and tribulations were ever present in their life, their souls had learned to depend on God, their focus was therefore singular with the purpose to fulfill the will of God and His Word.
“I know your poverty” If Christ and God knowing our poverty, many today would possibly say something to this effect “if God knows our poverty then why does He not do something about it?” When we look at the Greek word for poverty “ptocheia” which is far more than just “being poor; poverty.” It literally means: “destitution;” can also mean complete destitution. This is just one of many commentaries from the Greek interpretation of the meaning of the word poverty.
As the church at Ephesus brought out the reality of the start of the apostolic age of the church, therefore, the church at Smyrna brings out the period and age of suffering and persecution. Nevertheless, let us consider some of what the other apostles write in the scriptures about poverty. Note: It may be well to consider the extreme poverty by the fact of the process of their persecution and suffering that Smyrna was facing from the Roman Empire and from those who claim to be Jews but were children of the devil who slanders the Word of God. Now James states it in this manner that the same spirit refers to “the poor of this world rich in faith” James 2:5. The apostle Paul states yet another manner of poor by using the verb, “as poor, yet making many rich” 2 Corinthians 6:10.
Those who say they are Jews
Now concerning this text of scripture about this group that says they are Jews but are of the synagogue of Satan. In addition, Jesus goes on to refer to those who say they are Jews and are not Romans 2:25-28. This text of scripture here in Romans makes it clear to be a Jew means more than to possess an outward appearance of being a Jew. These foes were tearing at the works Smyrna reputation with their false claims to be something they were not. One might also interpret this text of scripture as to say “I know your enemies” of those who say they are Jews and are not but are of the synagogue of Satan. One might also add that they were Jews by race but not by faith or one might say in their spiritual characteristics. In other words they did not share the same faith that should be professed by godly people.
Here in verse nine we also must take note “I know the blasphemy” these are the individuals who fail to recognize that Jesus had come and fulfilled the prophetic words of the prophets in the Old Testament. In their physical characteristics were of Abraham their spiritual characteristics they did not share the same faith. Jesus refers to these people as children of the wicked one in the gospel of Matthew 13:38 and in the gospel of John Jesus refers to them as being of their father the devil John 8:44, while in the book of Acts states “thou child of the devil” Acts 13:10.
Now this synagogue in Smyrna we should also note that we should not make it known as the Sun City or any church anywhere else in the world. I bring out this point so that I do not paint a false picture that all Jews and all Gentiles are painted with the same picture.
Revelation 2:10 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. KJV
Revelation 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer, I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you a crown of life. NIV
Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. NASB
Revelation 2:10 “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. NKJV
Revelation 2:10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Adversary is going to have some of you thrown in prison, in order to put you to the test; and you will face and ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful, even to the point of death; and I will give you life as your crown. CJB
General references to “fear not, tested or life tested, imprisonment, faithfulness, persecution”. (Imprisonment Jeremiah 37:15; 38:6; Mark 6:17; Acts 5:18; 12:4; 16:23; 23:35; 2 Corinthians 11:23) (Persecution Jeremiah 20:2; 32:2; Daniel 3:20; 6:16; Acts 4:3; 5:40; Hebrews 11:36) (Life tested Psalms 17:3; Daniel 12:10; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3; Luke 6:48; 1 Corinthians 3:13; James 1:12) (Faithfulness Revelation 20:4; Matthew 24:45; Luke 19:17)
The Lord Brings His Counsel
Jesus addresses this church or congregation with their present suffering as well as the future suffering that was yet to come. The Lord’s counsel begins with these words “fear not” or another way of interpreting it is “fear nothing” could also mean no matter how small or how severe their persecution will only be for a short time. Jesus is letting Smyrna know that He also knows about suffering and about their suffering. However, Jesus gives them words of encouragement that it will only be for a short time. Jesus acknowledges that He knows their tribulation and in addition, Jesus reveals that there will be even greater tribulation. The word of the Lord Jesus is also letting them know that they are about to experience the testing of their faith to fullest extent. The promise to them is that of assurance that they have nothing to fear even if they were martyred because they have died faithfully they will be given a crown of life.
Another key element in this text of scripture is “ten days” meaning a short time or may be interpreted that this early church suffered ten major persecutions under the rule of the Roman Empire and their leaders. In addition, you will find when you study other resources of history of the church at Smyrna that there are notable persecutions in Smyrna that lasted “ten days” notice (One day is often reckoned as one year in biblical history). Stating this fact it is easy to be a Christian and follow the Lord when everything is going good. However, our true test is when all of the odds are against us. What would Christ message be for the church today? Would His message be even in the midst of all our pain, suffering, persecution, and our testing I believe it would be the same “fear not”. No matter what we are facing, sickness, disease, family problems, or even the possibility of death, do not fear these things for our Lord God has given us the power in the Holy Spirit to overcome the spirit of fear 2 Timothy 1:7.
Revelation 2:11 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. KJV
Revelation 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not bet hurt by the second death.’ NASB
Revelation 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. NIV
Revelation 2:11 Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic Communities. He wins the victory will not be hurt at all by the second death. CJB
Revelation 2:11 “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.” NKJV
General references to “he who has an ear, he who overcomes”.
(Hearing Nehemiah 9:20; Luke 12:12; John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 John 2:27:) (Overcomers are given rewards: 1 John 2:13; 5:5; Revelation 2:7; 2:17; 2:26; 3:5; 3:21; 21:7; in addition a promise to the temped and overcome.)
One of the most asks questions: What is the second death? You will only find it written four times in the book of Revelation “Revelation 2:11, Revelation 20:11 and 14 and Revelation 21:8 it has been taught that the “second death” means a permanent separation from God either by burning or some other form of annihilation, depending on one’s theology. In addition, the Holy Scriptures says very little about the second death and one might think that there would be more on this subject within the church, however, it should not really come as a surprise to anyone that there is not very much study on this subject as there is. My reason and logic for this statement is that most Christian colleges or schools of theology do not believe that the church is subject to the second death.
The way that Jesus brings out this text of scripture, He states that them who overcome will not be harmed by the second death. One might also interpret this text of scripture in terms of the punishment in the lake of fire that means an eternal punishment. Jesus truly makes it clear that them that overcome will not be harmed with the second death.
What is the second death in the Holy Scriptures?
The second death is eternal separation from God for the unsaved. You can read about this in Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14-15, and 21:8. The first death referred to in Matthew 10:28 is the physical death.
“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 NKJV).
“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15 NKJV).
“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 21:8 NIV). Commentary about the seven churches Pergamos