Sunday, July 23, 2017


July 24, 2017
Revelation 2:9 5:14  ". . . I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan."

The city of Smyrna was in Asia minor, but part of the Roman empire in the life and time of Jesus, now in modern day Turkey. Jesus had a distinct message for the Christian church there. As instructed to John, the messages to each church in Revelation had a compliment, a criticism, and a charge. He had little or no criticism to the church in Smyrna, though, except that they were being swayed by the supposed religious elite. The religious elite were original Jews, and many of those in the church of Smyrna were converts, Gentiles not under the original Hebrew covenant. Jesus wanted to encourage the church, His lamp to the world, that they should pay no head to the simple minded humans possibly among there own body of believers who were looking down on them.

Those new to the faith in Jesus Christ are just as valuable and just as critical to the Lord's master plans as those who have been in the Church their whole lives. And those who have been in Church their whole lives often put themselves at a disadvantage by becoming complacent Christian snobs. The Lord has something to say to those religious snobs; He calls them the church of Satan. Those are his words, not mine. Those that are condescending to the young in faith, to the believer who is trying and learning and may not come from the perfect Christian pedigree, are working for Satan. The Lord cares about sincerity of heart, dedication to Him, and a constant daily effort of renewal and forgiveness. The Lord cares nothing for religious piety or elitism.

Those young in the faith need coaching and encouragement. Jesus gave them just such encouragement, He told them they were on the right path even though that the path might get difficult. He told them to hold fast because there will always be trouble and persecution and suffering for those who are true Christians. He warned them that the Christian faith wasn't easy, and it would be filled with those who would try to destroy them or convince them their faith is worthless and crazy and wrong. Today, we have the same problem. We have millions of people who call themselves Christian, yet their faith is still in the world and they live and act like the rest of the world. These social Christians know nothing about persecution or condemnation from the world because they are in and of the world themselves. Many of these aren't real Christians and unfortunately they are also part of Satan's church. Calling oneself a Christ follower yet possessing none of His traits or characteristics or partaking in His suffering is not true Christianity.

Jesus said if you wanted to partake of Him, then you'd join Him in persecution from the world, no matter how new to the faith. Those simple minded humans, even the ones inside the church walls, you are to have nothing to do with them and let their words of criticism roll off you like water off a duck's back. The Lord knows what you are going through and knows about your difficulty and suffering. It will not be for nothing, as the Lord promises you the victor's crown if you can hold up under it, enduring it to the end. Be encouraged, and if you experience hardship on account of His name, then know you are actually doing something right.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:   Matt 10:22, Acts 5:41, 2 Cor 12:10, 1 Peter 3:14, 1 Peter 4:12-13, Revelation 1 & 2

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