We move on to the second of the seven letters in Revelation. This time the letter to the persecuted church in Smyrna. Jesus has good things to say about the church in Smyrna. It’s a bit harder to determine whether there’s any bad news in here – at least the kind of bad news that the church in Ephesus received. There were certainly warnings. But whether things would actually turn out “badly” was dependent on how well the people in that church listened to and carried out what Jesus said.
Once again, the title comes from the section title in the NKJV. But this time, the title refers to the content of the letter, rather than how Jesus referred to Himself as the author of this letter. Therefore, persecution will be high on our list of things to look at.
First – Blessings in the Seven Letters
Conclusion – The church in Smyrna
One danger, in Smyrna and for us, is complacency. We saw that in the Ephesian church, where the people had lost their first love. They lost their love for God. And because of that they were, as one Commentary put it, the backsliding church.
Another danger with this spot, although Jesus’ letter seems to me to indicate it’s not going to happen with this church, is that Tribulation could be a new trigger event. It could be such a shock to them, that they question their faith. That could cause the backsliding seen in Ephesus. It could even cause them to just drop right off the graph, because they give up on God.
But again, I believe the letter indicates this won’t happen.
The thing is, with us as individuals, we don’t get letters from Jesus. We get the “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit. A voice we can miss if we don’t listen for Him. One we can even ignore if we choose. It’s one more reason why we need to regular do as David did in Psalm 139.
The church in Smyrna is, by all indications in the letter, doing well. They need to stay the course. Or, from another generation, keep on keepin’ on. Keepin’ the Holy Spirit. Staying on the narrow path.
So what about you? Where do you see yourself, related to the contents of Psalm 139? And if you’re not there, are you ready to pray that God will show you the way? And as long as we’re looking at ourselves, what about our loved ones, friends, and even people we come in contact with but don’t really know?
Are you there? Are you willing to do what’s needed to get there? And, if you can do that, will you have the strength to “keep on keepin’ on”? You will, if you’re a true disciple and with the power of the Holy Spirit.
I pray that I will do the same. And maybe we’ll meet one day in Heaven.
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