#service #story #mystory #witnessing #church #persecution #5015 -7000
As a Christian, can I really avoid being persecuted? Let’s hear the message to the church in Smyrna and where they stand today.
Discipleship 101 in the marketplace 5014 of 7000 – The obedient disciples of
Christ expects to be persecuted as it is a sure indicator that the disciple is making impact against the realm of wickedness. Persecution keeps the Christian alert and on fire for Jesus.
Revelation 2:8 Write this to Smyrna, to the Angel of the church. The Beginning and Ending, the First and Final One, the Once Dead and Then Come Alive, speaks:
9 “I can see your pain and poverty—constant pain, dire poverty—but I also see your wealth. And I hear the lie in the claims of those who pretend to be good Jews, who in fact belong to Satan’s crowd.10 “Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer—but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing—ten days. It won’t last forever.”Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you.
11 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death.”
27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
Comment : Today, we look at the letter to the church at Smyrna, a church known for suffering. Smyrna is the Greek word for myrrh, a flagrant perfume used in burial.
“The Greek word translated ‘Smyrna’ was used in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) to translate the Hebrew word for myrrh, a resinous substance used as a perfume for the living (Matthew 2:11) and the dead (John 19:39). Its association with death perfectly pictures the suffering church at Smyrna. Like myrrh, produced by crushing a fragrant plant, the church at Smyrna, crushed by persecution, gave off a fragrant aroma of faithfulness to God.”
Many believe that this church represents the martyrs of all the ages and the sweet-smelling fragrance of their faithfulness until death. There was no rebuke for this church and because they were faithful until death, their candlestick has never been removed. Christianity has never completely left this city. It is the only one of the seven cities still in flourishing condition. Modem day Smyrna in contrast to Ephesus which, today, is a deserted ruin with no people. Smyrna is still a large seaport with the present population of about 275,000 people. Today, it is known as Izmir, Turkey.,3rd largest city in Turkey.
Well, Smyrna lay 40 miles almost due north of Ephesus. It was the loveliest of all the cities. It was exceptionally wealthy. Scripture does not record the founding of the church of Smyrna. It is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible other than these four verses, but it is believed it is with the other churches that were founded while Paul spent two years in Ephesus on his third missionary journey.
Lesson for us is that faithfulness does not just come by wishful thinking or a strong desire to have it. It is birthed, strengthen and tested in the furnace of affliction. May the Lord find us faithful, not if but when testing comes in a Jesus name, amen.
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe Http://www.otakada.org
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