Summary: Smyrna was a Church that was under great persecution and uses this ti encourage us to endure sufferings.
The Bitterness of Smyrna
The Church of Ephesus represents the end of the apostolic age and was indicted for losing their love they once had for our Lord.
Reference: Rev. 2:7 Tree of life
Genesis 2:9 in the mist of the garden
Then: Genesis 3:22-24 Guarded by the Cherubims as man was droved out of the garden
Rev. 22:2, 14 It will be in the New Jerusalem
Point: The cross of Jesus the Christ has become that “Tree of Life” for all of mankind
One thing you will find common in each of these letter is the knowledge of the Lord concerning the activity of the churches “I know thy” is in every letter.
Mention: Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
The church in Smyrna is located 35 miles north of Ephesus along also a seaport which today is still active with a population of about 200,000 people.
There are three things about This Church I want to point out:
1. Their Social Status
Smyrna = myrrh, bitter
This church was under extreme persecution and poverty by the world’s standards!
“But thou art rich”
See: 2 Cor. 6:9-10 having nothing yet possessing all things
See: James 2:5 The poor of this world rich in faith
Mention: 2 Cor. 8:9 He became poor that I might be rich
Mention: Luke 12:21 He that layeth up treasure for himself is not rich toward God
See: Rev. 3:17 The church of the Laodiceans said they were rich, but God said otherwise.
The fact of the matter was they were rich in their good works!
2. Their Sufferings
We in America has not been confronted with the sufferings that exist in older civilizations such as China, Russia, Arab nations, and North Korea etc.., where many believers are dying for their faith in Christ.
“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer”
• The sufferings of Christians throughout history have mostly been at the hand of religionists.
Point: It was the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Romans Empire in the first century
• Satan is the author of such sufferings
“The synagogue of Satan”
Mention: 2 Cor. 11:14-15
Vs.10 Some will be cast into prison
There are an estimated 50 to 70 thousand Christians in prison in North Korea
“Ye shall have tribulation ten days” This is figurative to a limited period of time
Mention: 1 Peter 1:6 suffering is for a season, 2 Cor. 4:17 But for a moment
3. The Second Death
Vs.11 He that overcometh shalt not be hurt of the second death
See: Vs.10 Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life
This crown is given to every faithful Christian!
See: James 1:12 Those that endures temptation
See: Rev. 4:4, 10 Those with their crowns and what is done with them
What is the second death? Hebrews 9:27 We are all appointed to die, but afterwards a judgment.
See: Rev. 20:6, 14 This is the eternal state of the wicked