Two years ago I heard the words “you have cancer.” Nothing changes this life like hearing those words. I personally had to look death in the face, just in case the prescribed treatments did not work. As I had to, so does the church at Smyrna. To be told that you have a “satan synagogue” is like saying you have cancer in your congregation and oh by the way the cancer of the souls of others will cause you persecution. But don’t be afraid, if you endure you will receive the crown of life. Wow that is a total heavy!!
My revelation is just as chemotherapy killed my cancer, so can Christ be the chemotherapy for the church as well as our souls, and in the end we, as I, will be given a new life; one much richer than the one previous. But before that point, there is a whole lot of side effects from the treatment; the faith building during the getting of the crown is one that can be difficult and arduous; one that will test you and will cause you to suffer persecution (verse 10), both from self and others. But Verse 11 states if we get it right we don’t have to be hurt by the second death (the one that happens after this physical death). In theory this sounds great but in our humanity it is so difficult. May we, as a wise lead pastor recently said, learn to “suffer well.”