Posted by: StrongStakes | March 14, 2013

Smyrna: A Persecuted Church


We have several unfinished questions remaining to be discussed as we take an even closer look at the persecuted believers in Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11).  I have added some biblical cross references that will aid your study.

  • How can Jesus say of the Smyrnan believers, “but you are rich”?  In what ways?  (Matthew 6:19-21;  Luke 12:13-21ff;  2 Corinthians 6:10; 8:9;  2 Timothy 6:17-19;  James 2:1-5, 14-17)
  • Why are Jews in Smyrna called “a synagogue of Satan”?  Can you find a biblical parallel to this accusation?  (Hint: think Jesus in John’s Gospel)
  • What are the two commands that Jesus issues to the believers in Smyrna?
  • Define the “crown of life.”  (1 Corinthians 9:24-25;  2 Timothy 2:5;  Hebrews 12:1-2;  James 1:12)
  • What is promised to the “overcomer”?  What is NOT promised?
  • Define the “second death.”  (Rev. 20:14; 21:8;  Daniel 12:2;  Matt. 10:28;  John 5:25-29;  1 Peter 4:12-19)

Another way to prepare yourself for Monday night’s study is to peruse two websites that I have added to the “Worth Visiting” column of links on the right side of this page:  International Christian Concern and Open Doors.  These will open up our eyes to the plight of persecuted brothers and sisters in other parts of our world today.

In case we finish our study of Smyrna early (doubtful) … you may want to download and print a handout on the Message to Pergamum.

By the way, excursus means “a detailed discussion of some point in a book” … “a digression” … the word originates from Latin, meaning literally, “a running out, sally, digression.”   😉

Continue to pray for each other and the host of requests shared the past few Monday nights.

Rick M. will bring the dessert, so show up by 7 pm to enjoy that!  The study will begin soon after that.


~ tr


  1. Thanks for sharing that photo…I can still hear the constant roar of our Lord through my Silence & Solitude…That morning I wrote, in part, “I am on guard by the power surrounding me, a bit nervous or intimidated, in awe. Much like my love and respect for my God…Pressing on for Christ. 🙂

  2. Tim, another good study. Thank you so much for your commitment to OC Bereans. It’s making a difference!

    Here’s the Lenten Devotional from Concordia University that you read to the men. It speaks to the importance of our weekly meetings.

    A Message from the Campus Pastor

    Daily Lenten Devotion

    Day 34: Monday, March 18th Matthew 23:1-22

    “You have one teacher.” In a world where there are so many experts on any topic and any issue, for Christians there is only one authoritative teacher – Christ. In a time where everyone has an opinion and every opinion is viewed as having personal validity and therefore “truth”, for Christians there is only one authoritative teacher – Christ. In a world where we are bombarded with a confluence of voices and messages, for Christians there is only one authoritative teacher – Christ.

    As disciples of Jesus it can be so difficult and exhausting to wade through it all in order to cling only to the authoritative teaching of Christ. We are not alone in this struggle. This has been the difficulty of all disciples of Christ. This is exactly why some of those earliest disciples wrote things like, “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another all the more.” (Hebrews 10:23-25) Christ encourages us to be gathered to hear His word so that through the preaching of pastors, the examination of Scripture and conversations with brothers and sisters in Christ He would be able to teach, instruct, and encourage us in faith.

    Prayer: Christ, be my teacher in age as in youth, drifting or doubting, for You are the truth. Grant me to trust You; though shifting as sand, doubt cannot daunt me; for in You I stand. Amen

    Prayer adapted from the words of Timothy Dudley-Smith.

    *You can always see all the daily devotions online:

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