Smyrna represents the persecuted church. Although they suffered greatly for the sake of Christ and lived in extreme poverty, Jesus told the Christians in Smyrna that they were spiritually rich! Why? Because when you suffer injustice for the sake of Jesus, His righteous and just nature demand that you receive rewards in proportion to your suffering. And if you don’t receive that justice on earth, then you have to get it in Heaven.
The Church has suffered physical, social, and cultural persecution throughout its entire history, and even in modern times. Christians in totalitarian and theocratic regimes risk brutality and death just for worshipping Jesus. Here in the west, Christianity has gone from being a pillar of society to a reviled, mocked, and culturally disparaged institution. We are going down a path where Christians in America will one day be treated the same as the Church in China and Muslim countries.
But why does Jesus never offer or promise relief to the persecuted church? Because if He stopped their suffering, He would be limiting their reward! Jesus knows that any suffering we endure during our relatively short time on earth, is insignificant compared to our eternal glory. Therefore it would be unjust to take away our earthy suffering at the cost of limiting our eternal reward!
In this week’s episode, we examine the Epistle of Jesus to the persecuted Church at Smyrna from a historical, personal, and prophetic perspective
Don’t Persecute the Messengers (blog post)
Evolution, the Impossible Fairy Tale
Darwinism – The World’s Deadliest Religion
Letter to Smyrna
Next Episode – The Compromising Church