Do not be afraid of anything that you are going to suffer. Indeed, the devil will throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will face an ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelations 2:10 NABRE
In the book of Revelations Jesus is speaking to a disciple through dream and mystic revelation. He addresses seven churches that have created communities of followers of Jesus. This church is Smyrna, a harbor city. It traded with Rome and has a Roman temple for the worship of Emperor Tiberius. Since Rome knows the Jewish religion as ancient, the people were not required to follow Roman religious practices, But the new Christian faith did not enjoy the same privilege and thus was persecuted. Even the Jewish citizens would turn in the Christian followers as a sort of revenge on the new religion. Jesus is warning the followers not to be afraid, a common phrase in scripture. It is difficult to control fear as it is mostly a reaction but Jesus means not to live in fear, overcome fear with courage. Seeking this courage in prayer and through the grace of God. Jesus does not paint a picture of all good and happiness, He lets them know there will be suffering, there will be persecution, and to think of it as a test. The time for suffering and prison will be short but it will be difficult. Jesus calls them to remain faithful their entire lives and receive a crown. In competitive games, like the Olympics the winner receives a crown. Jesus rewards a crown of eternal life, they will remain with Him eternally.
We are not persecuted like the first Christians or even Christians in non-Christian countries but we should still have courage. We should speak up for Christ and live so that we too can gain the crown of life.
Are you courageous? Do you live so all know whose you are?We are not persecuted like the first Christians or even Christians in non-Christian countries but we should still have courage. We should speak up for Christ and live so that we too can gain the crown of life. Click To Tweet
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