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Dear Smyrna: Keep on Keeping on (2 of 7)
Ken D. Trivette
In our Lord's second letter we are introduced to the Church at Smyrna. The letter the Church at Smyrna received was one of commendation. It is interesting that in this letter there is not one word of complaint but all praise.It was also a letter of comfort. As we shall see, this Church needed an assuring word. This letter from Jesus was a word of encouragement at a time of discouragement. It was also a letter of challenge. The Lord admonished them to ''Keep on keeping on!''
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. History tell us that at one time, one of the most famous name's in early Church history, Polycarp, served as pastor of the Church.
Let's notice the letter Jesus sent to the Church at Smyrna and His encouragement for them to keep on keeping on.
1. THE CHURCH'S REPROACH FOR CHRIST!
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. The name served as more than designation of where they lived. It was a description of how they lived.
A. The Fierce Persecution Of The Church.
This was a Church that was under attack. They were daily persecuted. The Lord used three words to describe the fierceness of their persecution. First he described the conditions of their persecution. Jesus spoke of their ''tribulation'' (Vs.9). The word Jesus used gives insight into the severity and conditions 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 mills ...
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