Summary: The time of this church period, SMYRNA, was from about 100-350 A.D. Of the 7 messages to the 7 churches, this one, the message to Smyrna, is the shortest, only 4 verses. This church of Smyrna and also the 6th church, Philadelphia, are the only 2 churches
REV.#5(SMYRNA) ~2:8-11 5-16-09
Today we’ll continue our study of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, this is our 5th study.
Last time we talked about the 1st Church of the 7 that the Lord tells us of in Chapters 2 & 3, we talked about the Church of Ephesus, the Apostolic time period of the Church age, Ephesus was of the time period of about 37-100 A.D., THE Lord commended that Church for some of the things that they stood for and believed, but He also criticized them in that they had left their 1st love.
This message, as all the seven messages, has something to say to each of us as Christians today.
Notice verse 7a: ’He that hath an ear to hear’, in the singular, ’Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches’. So it’s for us as individuals to take heed to God’s word, to Christ’s revelation to each of these churches, and apply them to our own lives.
He also says, “I know thou works” to each church, and this also is to every individual person.
Today we’ll take a look at the 2nd church that the Lord writes about. The church of SMYRNA, the great persecuted church.
The time of this church period, SMYRNA, was from about 100-350 A.D.
Of the 7 messages to the 7 churches, this one, the message to Smyrna, is the shortest, only 4 verses. This church of Smyrna and also the 6th church, Philadelphia, are the only 2 churches that the Lord, Who is the Head of His True Church, did not rebuke in some way.
Listen as I read today’s text to do with the 2nd Church, the great time of Christian persecution, the Church of SMYRNA.
8And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. --
10Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Let me say that there were far more churches than seven in Asia Minor in John’s day, but the Holy Spirit selected these seven. - Seven is the number of completion, and so seven is representing the complete church age, “the things which are” . So we have here a divine revelation concerning the church age in the 2 & 3rd chapters, which all both in red writing as the Lord Jesus is doing all the talking.
True believers of Jesus Christ have always been and still are persecuted around the world, some places in the world are much worse than others, some places, especially in the Muslim countries, many Christians are put to death for their faith in Jesus.
Smyrna is the modern day city in Turkey called today Izmir, and it was an important seaport in the day of the apostle John. It was about 40 miles north of Ephesus that we talked about last week.
There is nothing known for certain about how the church of Smyrna 1st began, Yet with all the persecution that had been heaped on these Christians, we find that Smyrna endured, and there is still a witness and testimony to Jesus Christ even today in SMYRNA, today called “Izmir” in modern-day Turkey.
And today the population of Smyrna, or Izmir as its called today, is about 400,000 people. The location is the same as it was then. It’s been around for a long, long time.
Ephesus is gone, its harbor is silted up, but Smyrna lives. And in that city there are still Christians worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ.
Smyrna occupied a most attractive site in Asia Minor, it was known as the ’lovely Smyrna, the crown of Ionia, the ornament of Asia’. Yet behind that great beauty there lurked evil, the satanic opposition to Christ in the whole of Asia.
The Jews there rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. They refused to acknowledge Him as Messiah and Savior. Jesus says they are members of a synagogue but it isn’t the synagogue of God, it’s a synagogue of Satan.
The thing for us to notice here is that whatever the outward appearances of beauty and attractiveness might be, we’ve got to face the reality that outward appearances matter very little. We live in a world that is, generally speaking, against Christ.