The Revelation of Jesus Christ #3 - Smyrna

Our text today is Revelation 2:8-11 - we're exploring & discussing what it means to be a witness for Christ in the context of the letter to the church at Smyrna.

If you're interested, here are a few of the notes I used for the background on Smyrna.

Background on Smyrna

· Wealthy & beautiful city – paved streets, gymnasium, library, tribute to Homer

o Temple designated for Mother Goddess

o Temple to Tiberius

o Significant Jewish presence

· Polycarp - Bishop of Smyrna – 70-155 A.D.

o Disciple of Apostle John, active with early church fathers

o Key figure – provides a bridge from apostles/disciples to 2nd century church of Christ-followers

§ John à Polycarp à Iranaeus

§ First recorded martyrdom outside of Bible

· Accusations: Romans – seeking to put an end toChristianity – a politically dangerous anti-Emperor cult, an Illegal religion of annoyance & violence

o Basic complaint - Caesar is Lord vs. Jesus is LORD

o Just say it, offer pinch of incense to the statue of Caesar

o “For 86 years I have served Christ. He has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme the One who saved me?”

o “The blood of the Christians is the seed of the Church”…Tertullian – Christian writer in 2nd century from Carthage – defender of the faith

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