At first I thought of titling this post, “Strength through Tribulation and Persecution.” But it is more than that. Every trial we go through, every time we are persecuted, every struggle, God is with us and we grow spiritually and become a better person and we have an opportunity to help others in similar situations. He is always there whether we realize it or not. As a believer, we need to realize we will go through trials. There is a cost to following Jesus. But it does not compare to the blessings and the reward we will receive by knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. As the last of the series on “I am Saved…Now What Do I Do?” I want to prepare my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, in particular those who are young believers of things they may face while giving words of encouragement that it is all worth it. I also want to start this discussion by making it clear that what we do does not determine our salvation. It is what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Our sins are forgiven because of Him. We just need to accept that gift of grace He has given us. What we do is a result of that salvation. When we are saved, there will be a change in our hearts, our lives and our actions. The blessings are tremendous, but that does not mean things will be easy. It just means it will be worth it. Continue reading “Cost and Blessing of Following Jesus”
The second church Jesus writes to is in Smyrna, the persecuted church. We are not there yet, but the direction our country has been heading may lead to this one day. We need to be ready and never waiver in our faith. We need to pray for those who are being persecuted. Many Christians around the world are being imprisoned or killed for their faith and we need to keep them in prayer. Paul says to pray for all the saints. Also we need to beware of some so called Christian churches who give in to Satan’s lies and ignoring some of the scripture to be at peace with today’s culture. It is better to be at peace with God than man. If your church accepts any tradition of man that is contrary to what God’s word says, run from it! God’s truth does not change. The Bible warns of many false teachers and false prophets. Know what the Bible says and always test what others says by God’s word, nothing else. Let us be the church that overcomes and receive the crown of life to lay at Jesus’ feet when we are in heaven. He gave us life. He gave us victory over the second death. If we believe in Him and follow Him, we have that hope. Without Christ, there is no hope, but only torment. But, through Him, there will be no more tears or sorrow, but eternal life in God’s presence. How awesome that will be!
“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. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
“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.”‘