Wednesday, February 28, 2007

For Crying Out Loud (01-25-07)

In the book of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are what they call a double fulfilling prophecy. One in that it speaks to actual churches and two that each church symbolizes or represents an age of the church. Emphasis being the early church full of eyewitnesses. This church died off about 70 A.D. and the next stage of history was to unfold. Smyrna was the persecuted church, which no longer had first hand knowledge but had to believe the reports. I want to discuss this church because they suffered as we are. Perhaps we can gain some strength from their example. The scripture said Christ was perfected through suffering. How much more ourselves? Rome was on decline and strange new leaders as Nero and Caligula were in charge. Christians became the scapegoats to much of their insanity. Now weakened by the loss of the apostles you would think this church would diminish under the pressure. Historically it grew at a rapid rate, alarming to the enemy. Smyrna means to have the joy wrung out of you. Today at my wife’s visit I had this same sense. You begin to ask God questions like how long, when, can’t you save, don’t you see or hear me? Like a ligament that must be stretched by a constant pressure I am seeking the recoil of relief and yet it never comes. I reason with God that even He as Lord of the Sabbath took His rest. To now avail, my suffering continues. If you find yourself here with me try and find the comfort I did in looking at Smyrna. Christians were sport for lions, gladiators, used as streetlamp torches etc. It was hard times multiplied. Yet they grew! Some of the best debate came during this time and many heresies were exposed. Christ honored them in His text by offering no derogatory comments concerning them. This is not true of the others except Philadelphia in smaller degree. I want to be known as a follower of Christ growing into no derogatory critique. What I don’t want is Smyrna. Well I have it and I have it big. Suffering is on all fronts without relief and my hands and my prayers appear useless. This is the ripe environment that threatens my trust or calls me to duplicate history and grow into sound doctrine while pleasing my Lord. What will you do? Is Smyrna a sufficient witness for you? It is for me. Though my tears flow, my pain continues unabated, and my joy gets wrung out yet will I praise Him. Smyrna was not the great church in human accomplishment but supreme in the spirit. I’m not great and maybe you’re not but as their testimony can encourage 2000 years later just maybe God can use us. Behind all my suffering this sole thought makes me smile. May God Bless us all as He did Smyrna. AMEN!

5 comments:

son of a prophet said...

smyrna-the persecuted church


philadelphia-the only church that all true beleivers can belong to

this church does not have a building, a 501c exemption or a regular meeting time and place.



these were the true christians of the day. what makes any of us think that today its different?

all that we have and want in todays world has nthing to do with salvation, as i have always said.

having money, getting a good job, supporting you family and saving for kids college etc. etc.

did the early christians have these things? NO!

any why?

again becasue these are the things of the "world" which god hates but which all of us, myself included have come to love.


"love of the world is enmity to god"

i am not exempt, i just know what perfetion is.

there are many things in the world that i love, and know that little by little, through suffering, god is going to wring that love out of me until i am a useless heap, and then He can use me.


its not what i really want, but what i know will happen.

thats what those early christians whent through. they were too busy suffering to worry about how they were going to save moeny for their childersn college fund or what color chariot (suv) to buy.

no, they knew that they had no future on this planet but to suffer 24/7 and do gods will.

the amazing thing at that time must have been that becasue the alternative was physical death, that they were very glad to be able to suffer.

what a thought that is, huh??

son of a prophet said...

"philadelphia-the only church that all true beleivers can belong to


(in todays world)

son of a prophet said...

see, because todays "church" is not technically being persecuted since emperor constnatine made false chrisitanity the accepted religion, the only way god can make us do His will is thru suffering.

the second he lets up on the "brakes" our mind drifts to worldly things.


"i want to do this, i want to do that"

when i get my money, i gonna buy boat or a brand new mercedse benz


i gonna take a vacation to hawaii or

i gonna (fill-in)


thinkging of doing gods will?

NOT!


but try thingking of these thngs when you suffering....

very sick with flu

severely break you arm or leg

had a massive heart attack

cancer

etc.



wanna bet you clearly focused on god now??


wanna bet you not thinkging of you vacation, or car or boat?

you betcha you not.

just like the early chirtians didnt either.....

same deal.

tcob247 said...

Dear Mr. High Intellect

Your suffering is self imposed

mogel said...

Tycob: If his suffering is self imposed, does that mean he can immediately unimpose it himself if it's all his doing? Or are there other forces involved here? Are you telling only part of the story as usual?