Lesson 4 — Smyrna


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This is the fourth lesson of a series based on the book Letters From The Lamb. This lesson covers the second of the letters to the seven churches of Asia in Revelation, the letter to Smyrna

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  • If one is faithful, they receive the crown of life. There are two main words in the New Testament for crown. There is the word diadema, used 3 times in the New Testament, all in Revelation (12:3; 13:1; 19:12). It refers to a crown like a king would wear. The other word, stephanos, is used 18 times in the New Testament and usually refers to a wreath, like the laurels given to the winners of athletic contests in olden times. Historians tell us that Smyrnaeans were exceptionally fond of such crowns, with many of their coins exhibiting that symbol. Cicero scoffed at the Smyrnaean custom of giving a laurel wreath posthumously to distinguished citizens. While the community gave crowns to the dead, Jesus offers the crown of life. That is, life is the crown that is given. It’s not the crown that belongs to life, it is the crown that is made of life. Life is the crown. Die as a faithful witness, live on as a winner. The reward is not a wreath of laurels; it is life! The wreath that is given is life itself. The one who conquers, the one who gives his life for his faith, will not be hurt by the second death. How can he be? He already has the crown of life.
  • Lesson 4 — Smyrna

    1. 1. © 2009, www.lettersfromthelamb.com Smyrna
    2. 2. When the soldiers arrived at the house, the elderly man, Polycarp, received them as friends
    3. 3. He insisted that they be well fed while he spent an hour in prayer
    4. 4. What harm is there in saying Lord Caesar, and to sacrifice, and to save your life? I will not do what you advise On the way, Polycarp’s captors reasoned with him
    5. 5. The stadium in Smyrna was full when the governor tried Polycarp
    6. 6. Consider your age. Save yourself! Renounce Christ. Eighty and six years have I served him
    7. 7. Consider your age. Save yourself! Renounce Christ. and he never did me wrong
    8. 8. Consider your age. Save yourself! Renounce Christ. How can I now blaspheme my King who saved me?
    9. 9. Swear by the genius of Caesar If you are so vain as to think that I would swear by the genius of Caesar
    10. 10. Swear by the genius of Caesar hear my free confession:
    11. 11. Swear by the genius of Caesar hear my free confession: I am a Christian.
    12. 12. I will have you burned alive! You threaten fire that burns for a moment and is extinguished
    13. 13. I will have you burned alive! for you know nothing of the judgment to come
    14. 14. I will have you burned alive! and the fire of eternal punishment reserved for the wicked
    15. 15. Be faithful to the point of death
    16. 16. Smyrna <ul><li>Considered the most beautiful city in the province of Asia </li></ul><ul><li>Competed with Ephesus and Pergamum for the title of “first city” of Asia </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Izmir: over 3 million </li></ul><ul><li>Destroyed in 600 b.c.; rebuilt ±200 b.c. </li></ul><ul><li>Large colony of Jews; once contributed 10,000 denarii for beautification project in Smyrna </li></ul>
    18. 18. Smyrna <ul><li>Early on, Smyrna aligned herself with Rome </li></ul><ul><li>Free city </li></ul>
    19. 19. Revelation 2:8-11
    20. 20. <ul><li>The First and the Last </li></ul><ul><li>He who died and came back to life </li></ul><ul><li>“ I know…” </li></ul>From the Risen Christ
    21. 21. The Rich Poor Church <ul><li>The church had apparently suffered persecution already </li></ul><ul><li>They were poor, possibly because of the persecution </li></ul><ul><li>Yet Jesus says that this church is rich! </li></ul>
    22. 22. Satan’s Synagogue <ul><li>It seems that the Jews in Smyrna were especially hostile to Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>They took a leading role in Polycarp’s death </li></ul><ul><li>They even broke the Sabbath to “zealously” gather wood for his fire </li></ul>
    23. 23. The Coming Persecution <ul><li>The Christians were to be put in prison </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually a precursor to death </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This was to last 10 days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Probably figurative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A limited time of persecution </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. He Who Conquers <ul><li>Be faithful to the point of death </li></ul><ul><li>He who conquers shall not be hurt in the second death </li></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>We need to learn about true wealth </li></ul><ul><li>We need to learn about life and death </li></ul>
    26. 27. He who has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches