Study Of Revelation – Letters to The Churches – Smyrna

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Letters to the Churches; The Second Church ‘Smyrna’.

Revelation 2 verses 8 to 11:

Smyrna was to beautiful city on a safe harbor and was a trade base. Most likely the church in Smyrna was a product of Paul’s Ephesian ministry. At the end of the first century, life was difficult and dangerous for the Christians in Smyrna. The city Smryna was a loyal Roman ally, and it was the center for emperor worship, so any other religious organizations, could be perceived as political threats    .

The religious life in the city was completely pagan. A hill called the Pagos overlooked Smyrna, was crowded with temples and shrines to pagan gods.The people were also extremely prosperous, The source of wealth was based on the production of Myrrh. Myrrh was an oily, fragrant gum produced by a thorny tree that grew around the region To extract to gum the plant had to be crushed and the more it was crushed the more myrrh it provided. There was irony in this because the church it self was under extreme pressure.But as these Christians endured the crushing weight of persecution, the more sweet the perfume of their love for Christ.

Jesus addresses this church from His role as the resurrected One. He identifies them by the distress they have experienced through, suffering, poverty and slander. Christianity was outlawed at the time of John’s writing and was particularly held in contempt in a place known for it loyalty and worship of the emperor

Jesus issues two commands to the suffering and persecuted church.

First:  Jesus tells them not to be afraid of the suffering that lies ahead. Jesus does not tell tell ‘They won’t suffer anymore’ , Instead He tells them that their suffering has a purpose and, it time will come to an end..

Second: Jesus gives them a word of counsel to stay faithful, even to the point of death. Jesus wants this congregation to be faithful until death, so that they may receive the Crown of Life, The word translated here crown is not a king’s crown, but the winning wreath given to a victor of a game. {The Game of Life]..

In today’s world things have changed much in it dealings with Jesus. but the church has, our loyalty to Christ and His Ways are not being clearly lived and defined enough to produce that kind of outrage fro the world.

The days ahead may produce real persecution to us, for our faith in Our Lord and Our Friend,  what kind of courage will we have if this does happen. Remember Jesus Our Lord and Our friend is always with us no matter what we go through.

God Bless.

O F J.

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