Following Jesus 93

Revelation 2:8-11. “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘the words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
What is a living church? Vs. vs.8-9. A living church is one which believes in Jesus Christ of the gospel. Vs. 8. 
Consequently, a living church perseveres in tribulations. Vs. 9. Jesus is aware when His followers encounters tribulation. Tribulation is oppression and affliction or trouble involving direct suffering because of a commitment to the Gospel. This may result in financial poverty and slander. It may even come from those who say they believe in God, but whose actions speak otherwise. 
While in the midst of persecution and tribulation, a living church becomes a God-pleasing church, vs. 10-11. How? A God-pleasing church does not fear troubling circumstances. Vs. 10a. Even when it is about suffer, and even facing imprisonment, followers of Jesus will not fear. Why? Because true followers of Jesus know that these trials are testing’s from God for the purpose of godliness. 
Jesus said to Peter in Luke 22:31-33. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:31-34 ESV)
Testings’ and trials may last for a brief period of time (And for ten days you will have tribulation). Through it all, God-pleasers are obedient regardless of troubling circumstances. They are faithful unto death. 
Consequentially, they evidence the eternal and covenantal relationship they have with God through Jesus Christ. They receive the fullness of salvation Jesus promised and which he compares to a crown or a victor’s reward. They do not fear death and hell.

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