Smyrna is a rich and prosperous trade city, yet it
is generally poor in the spiritual wealth which God provides through knowledge
of doctrine.The first city, Ephesus,
received a message of warning for the failure of those who were once positive,
but later misapplied their doctrine to life, and became negative, or
Here we have those who are not so prosperous, but
have to undergo the pressures and persecutions of life. This is an unfair world. Though the city was a wealthy one, its wealth
was not shared by many.The greater population
had to live in poverty.
Surrounded by many false teachings, many false
philosophies, we are exposed to the idea of want. The want for something
better.We see all the prosperity
around us and we have our doctrine, but that tremendous prosperity of the world
may not be dropping its crumbs in our lap, so the possibility of envy, or lust,
or coveting what others seem to be enjoying, is a very real distraction to us.
They have and we do not.Others are
having fun and we are not.Others are
going places, doing things, enjoying life, and we don’t seem to be able to get
onto that fun wagon.
We could get jealous and bitter that life has left
us behind.Why hasn’t God blessed
us?Which really means, Why aren’t we rich too?
The Church of Smyrna demonstrated spiritual
strength through suffering from persecution and poverty. It is primarily for this reason that Christ
has no complaint against this, the first of two churches (Philadelphia being the
Life is fraught with trials,
and odd as it may seem, the trials of life most often serve to strengthen ones
spiritual attributes, whereas prosperity has a tendency to diminish ones
Christ is the first and the last. The first from eternity
past, and the last meaning forever into the future. The letters to the churches continue from
Christ who is the focal point of our life, and of all of history.
‘Who was dead and has come to life,’ further
identifies Jesus Christ as the author and source of this letter.
This is the second letter, and the second reminder
of who the author is.
This is repetition, but there are many folks who
need to be reminded several times, in order for them to get the point of the
importance of this information.
Far too many people do not take their spiritual
life seriously, nor do they deem it as having any value.