Summary: The amazing riches in a church with nothing but all that Jesus wants for them.
Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Tim 3:12
1 Pet 4:12 Jn 16:33
The second Church that received a letter from Jesus by the hand of John was Smyrna. In this letter there is not one word of complaint but all praise. It was also about comfort. This was a word of encouragement at a time of discouragement. A letter of challenge.
2:8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
2:9 `I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
2:10 `Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
2:11 `He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'
THE PATIENT: 2:8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
When this Church was founded no is sure. This is the only time the Church at Smyrna is mentioned in the Bible. It is commonly believed that Paul organized this Church while on his third missionary journey. At one time, one of the most famous name’s in early Church history, Polycarp served as pastor of the Church.
Smyrna was a city that was about 40 miles northwest of the city of Ephesus. / about Distance from Vista to S.D
It was a Wealthy Seaport city, second in wealth and prominence only to Ephesus. in all of Asia Minor
QUOTE: WILLIAM BARCLAY - Of all the cities of Asia, Smyrna was the loveliest. Men called it the ornament of Asia, the crown of Asia and the flower of Asia. Also known as / the city of life & strength
Smyrna had been a Greek colony as far back as 1000 B.C. Around 600 B.C. it was invaded and destroyed by the Lydeans and for 400 years there was no city there at all. Then around 200 B.C. Alexander the Great had it rebuilt and repopulated. It was built with streets that were broad, straight, sweeping, and beautifully paved. The city had experienced death and had literally been brought back to life.
In A.D. 26 – all the cities in Asia Minor competed for the Privilege of erecting a temple in the honor of the Emperor Tiberias …
Smyrna won(lost spiritually) the competition & became the Center for Emperor Worship during that time ( Declare Caesar Lord & God
The name Smyrna means “bitter.” It comes from the word “myrrh,” which speaks of the fragrance or perfume that comes from myrrh being beaten or crushed. The name is a fitting one for the Church for this was a Church that experienced bitter times.
MYRRH was an embalming spice used in biblical times.
The thing that is very interesting about this burial spice is that it MUST BE CRUSHED in order to give off its aroma.
THE PHYSICIAN: 2:8 "…..The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
THE POSITIVE: 2:9 `I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
There’s a story about the great evangelist, John Wesley, who one day was riding on his horse through some open fields. As he was riding, he was talking to the Lord, and he said, “Lord have I backslidden? Its been two weeks since I’ve been persecuted
(Note that he saw a direct connection between the quality of his walk and the absence of persecution.)
He got down off of his horse to pray and to seek God for whether or not something was wrong in his heart between him and the Lord, since there was this absence of persecution in his life.
As he was praying, there was a farmer behind a hedge who recognized him as Wesley the Evangelist and he picked up a stone and threw it at him. Wesley said, “Thank you Lord.”
The Lord used three words to describe the fierceness of their persecution.
“Tribulation” The word used gives insight into the severity of their persecution.
The word was sometimes used to describe a man being tortured to death by slowly being crushed by a huge boulder being laid upon him. The word was sometimes used to describe the crushing of wheat under a millstone. The word was used of a Roman whip such as was used on Jesus.