1. Series: God’s Message to the Church in Smyrna
This is part of a series on the seven churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 2-3). This article covers the message to the church in Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11).
The video messages of letters to churches in Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7), Smyrna (Rev 2: 8-11), Pergamum, (Rev 2:12-17), Thyatira (Rev 2:18-29), Sardis (Rev 3:1-6), and Philadelphia (Rev 2:18-29), Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzs5B_RI3OQ&list=PLGZv4fOP54n3HbIZJqV-Juw8qSO_tO7Ls
2. Hope and Faith in Face of Suffering
As we celebrated Memorial Day this week, it is pertinent to remember Admiral James Stockdale who was captured during the Vietnam war, was imprisoned there for seven years, and was routinely tortured and beaten. He never gave up and continued to lead, organize and help other prisoners of war. Recounting the ordeal, he said: “I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade”.
In Revelation 2:8-11, God asks the church in Smyrna, to not be afraid in the face of suffering/persecution, that they will be tested, and asked them to be faithful unto death so that they will receive the crown of life. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death (v11).
3. Perseverance Is a Virtue
Perseverance is the virtue we need to demonstrate when our faith is tested. As Romans 5:3-5 says “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Seven churches of Revelation series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzs5B_RI3OQ&list=PLGZv4fOP54n3HbIZJqV-Juw8qSO_tO7Ls