From Part Three, I ended it with a description of the Church of Ephesus, the legalistic church. This post is going to cover the church of Smyrna, the suffering church.
And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive: I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synogogue of Satan. Fear not those things which 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 faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death. Revelation 2:8-11 KJV.
The church of Smyrna, as with many churches in the first century and today suffered and still suffer heavy persecution from unbelievers. Churches in every nation, including the United States face persecution as individuals and as a group. This can range from rude remarks, all the way to beheadings, or worse.
When the seven year period known as the Tribulation comes, this will intensify. Tribulation saints (but not the church) will be here to face the brunt and the wrath of the one known as the Antichrist. In Smyrna, the time from arrest to execution was ten days, but the Lord promised them as He does us, to endure to the end and receive a crown of life. For me personally, this sounds like a win/win if I ever heard one. Our lives can and should be there to glorify the Lord, and what better way than give your life is this is required.