To the Angel of the church of Smyrna write: "the words of the first and last, who died and came to life again". Interesting note which I should have mentioned in Ephesus, is that Christ is quoting his description from the previous chapter of Revelations, verses 17-20. Again these word would ring so true for this church.
The suffering church.
What would you do if you heard these words from your Lord ~"Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed (it's going to happen), the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days( a limited number of days). Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life"
There was no happy pronouncement for this church. The Lord saw what they had endured:
- Tribulation and poverty (yet they were rich)
- Slander of false Jews (of the synagogue of Satan)
- About to suffer more
- Imprisonment (That they may be tested)
- Will suffer 10 days of tribulations. (In some of the articles I've read, it mentions that the tribulation will be brief, but as in the culture at the time, most imprisonment ended in execution).
Do we desire to be part of "the suffering church" or would we rather skip that part? What if Christ has called us to that? Would we be able to "Be faithful unto death, and receive the Crown of Life (eternal life)?
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers (overcomes, over powers, triumphs) will not be hurt by the second death (that time when the wicked are judged to eternal death, Rev. 20:4-6)."
I asked again, where do we stand? Where do I stand? Am I ready to say to Christ "I will be faithful, even to death"? I pray that when he sees my heart, he sees YES!