"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us…" -Ephesians 5:1-2
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. " - 1 Corinthians 1:18

The Church in Smyrna – Faithfulness in Persecution

Our Pastor, Elder Jonathan Cook, first commented on the parallel train of thought that Elder Hand and he seemed to be on this day – – that of the faithfulness of God’s people. He then continued in the Book of Revelation using Revelation 2:8-11 as his primary text, with additional support from Matthew 13:44, Romans 9:23, 1st Peter 5:4, Revelation 20, and various of other texts. Elder Cook again reviewed how Jesus is seen in the midst of, and actively engaged with, the seven candlesticks (the seven churches) and how each of the seven cities were at risk of losing their candlestick (church). Elder Cook emphasized that Jesus, in addressing the church at Smyrna, reveals the second of the specific expectations He has for them and for all His church throughout all time. (The first of these expectations, as revealed to the church at Ephesus, was their unequivocal devotion to Him.) Elder Cook stated that the second expectation revealed at Smyrna was faithfulness in persecution. Elder Cook further pointed out that though they already had been badly persecuted by the outside community, blasphemed by the Jews, and in poverty, Jesus warns them that their bad situation will become even worse, to the point of some being cast into prison or even being put to death. Elder Cook emphasized that with this warning Jesus also encourages the church at Smyrna to fear none of these things that would come, but to remain faithful until even death and He will give them a crown of life. He further emphasized that we too should expect to be criticized and mocked by our society or other religious orders for our beliefs and that it is important for us to remain steadfast and remain faithful to the Truth, which is Jesus Christ. Lastly, our Pastor taught that those whom have a hearing ear, and are thus capable of hearing what Jesus has said, can do so only because they have already been made alive and born of the Spirit of God.

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