Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Church in Smyrna

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).
Are there churches out there that are strictly meant to suffer for the cause of Christ? I know I have many situations swirling in my head right now. Also it makes me think about many people I have known and heard of who have suffered so much, yet remain faithful. I think of the churches in China, India, the Middle East and all the other countries where they are executed for their faith, but what about here in America? If it has not started already, SOON, we will experience tribulation. Are we ready?

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!

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1 comment:

Mari said...

I'm enjoying these posts - they are thought provoking. I have to say that I can't say that I want to be part of the suffering church. However, I do feel that we are far too spoiled here, and thus don't depend on God like we should. If We were suffering a bit more, I think we would turn to God more. Hope that makes sense!