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Exploring Revelation
“The letter to Smyria pt.#3 Exploring Revelation”
by Art Sadlier   
May 19th, 2020


We have been looking at the suffering church of Smyrna. We have seen how they suffered persecution and how that persecution was sent to try them.

We pick up where we left off in Rev.2:10 "And ye shall have tribulation ten days." There were ten distinct periods of tribulation they suffered under ten different Roman Emperors. The warning indicated that in their lifetime there would be no relief from suffering.

We need to be reminded that the Glory of Christ's character is revealed through suffering. In Philippians we read, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:5-8)

Notice the result of Christ's sufferings in the next verse, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him." Suffering according to the Will of God results in Glory.

"Be thou faithful unto death," these suffering believers are about to see many more of their numbers martyred. The word from the Lord in this situation is, "fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer." There is no suggestion of deliverence from martyrdom, but the promise of deliverance in martyrdom. "I will give thee a crown of life," God, is a God who delights to reward and bless those who love Him and are faithful to Him. His reward is beyond human comprehension. Listen to the words of Romans 8:18, "For I reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Suffering for Christ also brings a special joy to the believer's heart. "And they dearted from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." Acts 5:41.

When the proconsel threatened Polycarp with death, Polycarp replied, "you threaten me with fire that burns for a short time and then is quickly quenched, you do not know the fire which awaits the wicked in the Judgment to come in everlasting punishment, why are you waiting, come do what you will."

The crowds came with their faggots for the fire. They prepared to bind him to the stake. "Leave me as I am" he said, "for He who gives me power to endure the fire, will enable me to remain in the flames unmoved without binding."

"I will give thee a Crown of Life." This crown does not refer to eternal life, these believers already had eternal life. This crown is the victor's crown, and as a result, those who receive this crown will reign with Christ. We read about this in Rev. 3:21. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne."

"He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the Second Death." the truth is that all believers are ultimately overcomers. We are overcomers by virtue of the new birth in which we become partakers of the divine nature. Ultimately, all believers will be with Christ and the Father, while the tempter, Satan, will be down in Hell. But, that does not mean our rewards will all be the same, they will not be the same. Remember there is a difference in practical overcoming, as opposed to positional overcoming.

"The second death," when we were saved the second death, for us, was no longer a possibility, because we had received life eternal.

Again, I remind you, the church of Smyrna was a church that existed in John's Day in the first century.

Secondly, it was prophetic of an era in church history when the chaacteristics and situations of Smyrna were dominant in the church of a specific period of time.

Thirdly, the characteristics and situations of Smyrna may be found in individuals and churches at any time in church history. As we study the messages to the various churches, they all have some application to us!

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