In Revelation chapter two, Jesus addresses the church in Ephesus. He now turns his attention to the church in Smyrna, the city of myrrh, the incense used for burial.
Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!
I apologize in advance if this post seems too serious or morbid but there is light at the end of the tunnel!
In the last post we explored how some in Smyrna were facing persecution. We can learn great lessons for our generation by learning about martyrdom. that not-talked-about subject that in the West we earnestly seek to deny or avoid.
The Church may need to have a sensible, down-to-earth conversation with itself about martyrdom rather than ignoring it and hoping it will never involve us.
Only a misguided fool glorifies or seeks out the sufferings of persecution. But this time of tribulation has been measured out by our Lord, a short period of time that will even be shortened that we might endure and flourish in.
Matthew 24:22 ‘If those days had not been cut short, no-one would survive but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened.’
The Lord calls us to be faithful.
Revelation 2:10a “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
The bitter reality is that many will be martyred in the end-times. But those who embrace martyrdom will instantly be brought into the very presence of the Lord and will receive the white robes of sanctified glory.
Revelation 6:11 ‘Then each of them was given a white robe…’
And then each person will be given a crown of life for all eternity.
Revelation 2:11a “He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.”
For there is no death by persecution that can touch a believer’s soul. We are redeemed and brought within the loving care of the Lord.
Romans 8:35 ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness, or danger or sword?
The misshapen claw of persecution will be bitter indeed. But yet the fury of the enemy is his own downfall and his vicious attacks bring his own defeat.
Revelation 12:10a ‘For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Daniel 11:45 ‘He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end and no-one will help him.’
Once again, I apologize if this all sounds morbid and serious. But this is a conversation that we need to have. There is joy and light in the darkness though!
Hasten the day…
To read my previous two posts in this series, please click below:
Tomorrow we look at the infamous altar of Zeus in Pergamum. To get there now, please click below:
Many thanks and blessings!