Waynesboro Church of the Brethren Newsletter
September 25, 2016
This week we will focus our attention on Revelation Chapter 2 on the city of Smyrna. The church in Smyrna was about 35 miles northwest of Ephesus. Smyrna was a newer church than Ephesus and their attention was a bit different than the other churches in Asia Minor. The church in Smyrna had to endure persecution. The city was more aligned to Rome than Ephesus and this blind patriotism caused the Smyrnans to see the Christian church in the city as a threat. In turn, members of the church were imprisoned, tortured, and killed. Jesus comforts them in verse 9 saying, “I know your afflictions and your poverty - yet you are rich!” Jesus certainly knew pain and persecution to the point of dying on the cross. The Lord is very pleased with the church in Smyrna because they have put their faith on the line. They will die for Jesus if necessary because Jesus died for them. There are many places in the world today like Smyrna. Places where the name of Jesus cannot be spoken. We generally don’t like to talk or think about it but we have brothers and sisters in Christ today who are paying a huge price for their faith in Jesus. Can we dare to put ourselves in their place? Jesus is pleased with the faith of the Smyrnans. In fact, He promised in verse 10 that He will, “give them life as a victor’s crown.” We should remember in prayerful admiration those in our faith who suffer for the cause of Jesus and we should also be thankful to early Christians like the Smyrnans for their enduring faith in the face of so much pain. As Christians in 2016, we certainly stand on the shoulders of giants.