Bible Society of South Africa

Jesus expects from us … 8 June 2023

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

The Message to Smyrna

8“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

“This is the message from the one who is the first and the last, who died and lived again.

Revelation 2:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

When Jesus speaks to the faithful and to the churches, he does it from the position of conqueror over death. For the believers in those days, there was a very real possibility of being killed because of what they believed. The real threat of oppression and persecution runs like a thread through the whole story of Revelation.

As seen yesterday, Jesus points to many positive things that he observes in the lives of believers and churches, in spite of the difficult circumstances they had to face, yes, even the possibility of death. We are going to look at more of these positive things; they are just as important for us in 2023 as they were to the church in 90 AD. It is important to note that in spite of oppression and persecution, these churches held on to their faith.

In Pergamum, the circumstances for the church were so bad that Jesus said: “I know where you live, there where Satan has his throne.” (Revelation 2:13a) A believer called Antipas had already been killed, but in spite of this, the believers were still true to Jesus and did not abandon their faith in him.

In Thyatira, Jesus found a lot that is worth following, even for us today. Like in other churches, he found faith and perseverance, also love and service. These should be part of every congregation and every believer, in all circumstances.

Philadelphia is the last church where Jesus found things that are praiseworthy. “I know what you do; I know that you have little power; you have followed my teaching and have been faithful to me.” It is telling that the most important message is always that the church and her members, in spite of persecution, have kept true faith in Jesus.

We can just envision how well it will be with the church, her congregations and members in our country and in the world today, if we all could just keep true faith in Jesus.

Prayer: Please help me to always been faithful to you. Amen

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