Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


February 23, 2011

These seven letters, in Revelation, to the seven churches represent some diversity. The letter to Smyrna is one of the least considered by readers. Could it be that it focuses so much on suffering, and the cost of discipleship?


“These are the words of him who is First and the Last, who died and came to life again….Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.”                       -Revelation 2:8,10 TNIV

Historically, it’s been true that the persecuted and suffering churches have proven the strongest and most vital. Christ tells the believers in Smyrna that their faith will earn them a prison cell, maybe even worse. However, he also states “for ten days,” meaning there is a time limit to their suffering. God is the god who puts boundaries around the work of evil. The issue for the Smyrnans is to persevere.

And so it is for us to persevere; but in doing so, we must be faithful to the Lord of the church. My friends, that is our most important task today. It was true for the Smyrnans, and true for you and me. Faithfulness - our #1 and highest priority.


Dale Patterson