MONDAY, August 16
Scripture: Revelation 2:8-10
Did Jesus expect the church to stand against the counterfeits? In Smyrna He said, “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” Again Jesus addresses the church and the counterfeit who was coming against them. The penalty for blasphemy was death. The actions of the counterfeit were bringing persecution to the real. Throughout scripture counterfeits always persecute the real. What are we to do in such a case? Jesus counsels Smyrna to hear and do what the Spirit says and you will be an overcomer. And He told them they would not be hurt by the second death. The attitude Jesus counseled the church to take is a little bit different than the one we have today. They were to represent Him and they were not to fear death. Where does the church stand on that issue? When is the last time we heard a message on martyrdom? Could we have stayed at this church with Jesus telling the leader to preach martyrdom?