Be Ready to Listen

This week as we approach the end of days, you can find hope as you experience Christ’s comfort!

 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
—Revelation 2:11

In our journey through the Book of Books we have seen Jesus in so many wondrous ways! For instance, we’ve seen that Jesus has a voice “as the sound of many waters” (Revelation 1:15). But did you know that He also speaks in a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12)? Have you heard Him as He has spoken from the pages of His Book? Through His Word, He speaks to all who have the spiritual ears to hear Him. Are your ears tuned in to Jesus?

Last week we saw that the Ephesian period, dating directly from the apostles (A.D. 30–60), was a time of warmth and love and labor for Christ. In Ephesus the true believers had an abundant life (Revelation 2:7), an overflowing life (John 7:38), and an extraordinary life (John 10:10). Defection, however, began by the gradual cooling of the love of some, the false professions of others, and the incoming of undue exaltations of the clergy and church offices.

This week we will now study the second period of church history, the Smyrna period (A.D. 60–303). These saints lived during an era of martyrdom, which kept them basically pure due to the persecution they suffered. As true believers they had an indestructible life (Revelation 2:11).

The saints in Smyrna were faithful unto death, which was a sweet savor unto God. Unless Christ returns soon, we all must face the inevitability of our own death. We can learn how to die in a godly manner from these models: Jacob died trusting the promises of God (Genesis 47:29); Joseph died pointing to the faithfulness of God (Genesis 50:24); David died exhorting his family to follow God (1 Kings 2:1-4); Stephen died praising God (Acts 7:59-60); Peter died reminding the saints about the Word of God (2 Peter 1:12-15); Paul died finishing the plan of God (2 Timothy 4:6-8); and our Lord Jesus Christ died pointing the way for another to come to God (Luke 23:43).

Have you planned for the spiritual aspects of your death? So many only get the funeral arrangements and their life insurance in order, yet there is so much more to plan and prepare for as a Christian. Are you ready to honor Him in life as well as in death? Are you hoping in Jesus?

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