It’s been over two thousand years since Jesus was here. Yet, there are millions upon millions who have followed Jesus as Pastor Josh does now. Jesus left behind a legacy. He told those who believed on him they would have everlasting life. True followers get in and dig into the Bible as though they were mining for something precious. And they are. It’s called salvation, grace, being more like Christ, witnessing to others, and loving and being loved by God.
Jesus is the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive (Revelation 2:8). This is the opening of the letter to the church at Smyrna. So interesting. Smyrna was destroyed around 600 B.C. and then rebuilt in 200 B.C. Smyrna had once been dead and was alive again. The name of the town itself is from the perfume myrrh. It’s a perfume used for burials. The wise men brought myrrh to baby Jesus. Myrrh was the spice brought by Nicodemus to the burial of Jesus (John 19:38-40).
The church in Smyrna had endured tribulation and poverty but Jesus tells them they are rich, rich spiritually, poor by the world’s standards. He tells them to hang on. He knows they have troubles coming. They’ll be persecuted. Some will be thrown into prison. “Fear none of those things which you shall suffer…you shall have tribulation ten days: be faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)
Pastor Josh dubbed Smyrna with the 4 T’s—tribulation, testing, tempting, and trials. The church was being attacked by the devil. It’s a message that was good then and is still good for today. Verse 11 tells the churches to listen, if you have an ear, then hear with it. The message is for all. Those who overcome will not take part in the second death—eternal separation from God.