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Revelation blog post 9: Keep on running

July 9, 2014

Revelation 2:8- 11

Given the way John’s Revelation was written all 7 churches would get to hear what Jesus had to say to the 7 churches.

After hearing the news from Ephesus, a pretty strong church threatened with extinction, the other half dozen must have wondered what was coming. Smyrna didn’t have to wait any longer.

Jesus uses different words to introduce himself to them. He is the first and the last. He has always been and always will be. He is the one who died and is alive again. He is indestructible.

Again we are reminded that Jesus knows. There is no hiding from the Everlasting Death Conquering One.

But what he knows of Smyrna is their afflictions and their poverty. If Ephesus appeared to be thriving, Smyrna might have been seen as struggling. Afflictions and poverty. For them life was tough.

They were not a wealthy church or it seems a healthy church. Examples of the prosperity gospel they were not! You don’t apply for church membership at Smyrna for an easy time.

What an important thing it is to see ourselves from Jesus’ perspective.

As they looked at their troubles and poverty the believers at Smyrna may have felt defeated.

Jesus’ assessment is totally different – “you are rich!’

Whatever others saw, or how they’re saw themselves, Jesus saw them very differently and was pleased. Somehow they were truly prosperous.

It seems that the church at Smyrna was suffering abuse from so called religious people.

Times were hard. And it seems they were going to get harder.

Serious persecution was on its way. A short sharp persecution which would bring imprisonment and threats of death.

But the encouragement is for them not to be afraid, but persevere. It is after all only for 10 days.

There is no threat for Smyrna but there is a promise of reward. They will be crowned as winners.

Few of us know what it is to face persecution for 10 minutes, never mind 10 days. Do we cave in? Persevere.

Are we aware of our inadequacies? Look for the riches that Jesus rates.

Again “if you’ve got ears, then listen”. To the winners the second death cannot hurt them. Death is certain for all of us, but beyond that there is eternal life and death. The victorious will live.


From → Christianity

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