How wonderful it would be if our church received an encouraging letter from Jesus, especially if it contained no criticism. Jesus has no censure for the church in Smyrna but reveals His deep compassion for a people who are faithful to the Lord and suffering persecution as a result. It is difficult for many of us to imagine what it really is to suffer for the Lord. Yet this letter indicates all Christians should be willing to suffer for Christ. Suffering may take many forms. As this article was being written, I received an e-mail describing horrific persecution of Christians …
Dr. Paul D. Gardner is senior pastor of Christ Church Presbyterian in Atlanta, Georgia, and is author of Revelation: The Passion and Protection of Christ.