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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Smyrna: A Fragrant Offering Before the Lord

    
     While I've been away from my blog, I have been pursuing a bachelors in Biblical and Theological Studies.  As part of my work recently, we've been discussing the letters to the angels of the seven churches in the book of Revelation.  During a discussion board one of my classmates chose to discuss the church of Smyrna and below you will find an edited version of my reply.  I share this with the hope to do two things.  First, I hope to make you think about what true persecution looks like as I recently had a classmate refer to having their faith questioned as a matter of persecution.  Sadly, I believe that many who say they have a saving faith in Christ relate many petty things to an "environment of persecution" they feel they are under.... when, in truth, there is no such "environment" around them.  Secondly, I hope to encourage those who truly are undergoing persecution for their faith that the opposite of what the persecutors want will happen.
 
 

Smyrna, the persecuted church, is likely one that many today do not want to take a closer look at even though they received praise with no rebuke from Christ.  I think this has everything to do with the idea of persecution.  I believe a quote that would be useful in application to the church of Smyrna compared to today’s church is in the book, "The Book of Revelation Unlocking the Future."  Hindson, the author, said, “It is difficult, if not impossible, for most modern Christians to comprehend what it must be like to risk all you have for Christ.  Most of us struggle with concerns about public embarrassment or social rejection.  We know little or nothing about laying down our lives for the gospel.”[1]  This statement clearly speaks to our current struggle in the church today.

In reference to persecution, it occurred to me how perfect the name Smyrna was for the town/church.  According to Hindson, “Ancient Smyrna was named for a perfume
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