Revelation 2:10

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Read all of Revelation Chapter 2 here

We have seen  that this church has already suffered substantially for their faith; in fact, they had gotten a double dose of persecution. They were being persecuted by the Roman government for staying true to the Faith, as well as some claiming to be among God’s chosen people, the Jews. Life had not been easy thus far for the church at Smyrna.

Jesus did not have an admonition, or negative words for this church; He did, however have a very solemn and honest warning. Unfortunately, more and possibly worse was to come.

What is coming? Well, more tribulation is coming. Our passage teaches us that some will be jailed, and tried, possibly for exercising their faith. Let’s talk quickly about this period of ten days . Some assign very symbolic meaning to this in terms of it representing perhaps ten phases of persecution under the Romans yet to come; some say it could represent some undermined amount of time, perhaps even ten years; others say it literally means ten days.  There is some credence to the idea that in other places, ten days was simply a “short time.”, signifying that this persecution would be intense yet short lived. Who knows, really?

We can absolutely conclude, however, that more was coming for these believers.  God has told them it is coming; but more importantly, He has basically told them, “Do not be afraid!” They need not fear this upcoming persecution, because what awaits them in Heaven with their Savior someday is far more wonderful than anything they face here could be bad. They will receive “The crown of life.” Note the similar reference to this crown in James 1:12. Just a quick note; there is nothing in this passage which would cause us to teach that the Crown of Life represents a gift of Salvation. In other words, this church is not being taught that if they persevere through the trials they would be rewarded with eternal life. This gift is only for those who have accepted God’s gracious gift of salvation, and will then be rewarded for their perseverance, which they are capable of because of the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

What’s the application for our discussion on revival here anyway? Seems an odd connection, really. Here is what I saw.

If we do what we are supposed to be doing in our world and our communities, we will suffer. If we are living live on easy street, then we may need reviving.

If we do what we are supposed to do, then God will take are of us, protect us, and ultimately reward us.

So. let’s get busy. God told Smyrna they could handle it, and He is telling us that as well.