A Bit of Background Concerning the Church At Smyrna:
- A port city located about 35 miles north of Ephesus. Current location is known as Izmir, Turkey.
- A disciple of the apostle John served as pastor there until he was martyred around 155 AD.
- A city of obvious wealth, known for its resorts, spas, and market places (Hunter, 29). First-hand geographical accounts in the first century describe Smyrna as “a beautiful city”.
- We are not told in the Bible how the church came to exist in the city, many assume the gospel spread there from Ephesus.
- The normal pattern for the letter given to each of the churches includes a: Commendation, Correction, Consequence of unheeded correction, and Conquering Promise. The church at Smyrna is one of two churches (along with Philadelphia) not given a Correction/Consequence.
- This is also the shortest of the 7 letters.
Continue reading “What Happens Next? Revelation 2:8-11, to the church at Smyrna”
12:7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
To prevent such spiritual pride from welling up in Paul, he was given a thorn in the flesh.
“to keep me from being conceited” – On the bright side, Paul fully understands the purpose of this “thorn” in his life. It was designed to keep him humbly dependent upon God’s grace as he lived and ministered under the gospel. The word conceited implies that that Paul might view himself as better than others, or that he might look down on others because they had not received the same spiritual experience he had.
Continue reading “Seeing Grace in the Every Day. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10”
Why do bad things happen to good people?
The story of Job is one of the Bible’s oldest stories. Scholars believe he lived back during the time of the patriarchs. Although we are uncertain about an exact dating of this account.
Since man’s beginning we have all struggled with the idea of suffering. You see a glimpse of this in Genesis 4:13 where, after Cain killed his brother, he claims his punishment is “too great to bear.”
Fortunately, the Bible is not silent when it comes to suffering. The book of Job wrestles with the idea of suffering. Here are some biblical principles we can see as we look into this story.
Continue reading “Suffering and God’s Presence”