Thoughts On Revelation (3)
The short letter to the church in Smyrna is addressed to a group of believers in the midst of tribulation and poverty. The Jewish synagogue in Smyrna was composed of Jews who had refused the message concerning the coming of the Messiah. Though they professed to worship God, their opposition to Christians showed that they were in fact under the power of satanic darkness. The church was facing such hostility that imprisonment and possible death was in their future. It was perhaps for that reason Jesus identifies Himself as, “…the First and the Last, who was dead and came to life.” His words were to encourage them with the assurance that even death could not separate them from the One who had conquered death.
Jesus tells those believers to not fear the things that will soon come upon them How often upon the pages of Holy Scripture we find those reassuring words. In a world that promises tribulation Jesus provides His followers providential protection. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) Those words from Jesus, spoken long ago, still echo through the ages, bringing confidence in times of fear and doubt.
Our Lord’s words to the church at Smyrna serve to remind us today of eternal values and a heavenly outlook. “It is not all of life to live, nor all of death to die. There is another life far more worthy of the Name; and there is another death for more terrible than the common death.” I do not recall where I found that quote, but its truth is sobering and profound. May we learn to not fear tribulation, but rather live with confidence in the faithfulness of our ever faithful Father in heaven.
– Terry A. Morrison