2011-08-18 - Persistence
Rev 2:10 Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life. (AMP)
This is a tough one. This is not one of the most often quoted, beloved scriptures. There may be a day in the future where it is held on to dearly by those who suffer the kind of affliction that is described in this verse.
There will be a day in the future, no way of knowing exactly when it will come, when being a follower of Christ will be a crime, or maybe considered a form of mental illness. There are places where people who name the name of Christ as their Savior are persecuted and martyred daily. Unless the church is removed at the very beginning of the great tribulation we who believe may suffer this globally, possibly even sponsored by governments or a unified government. I don't see it tomorrow, or next week. Look in the recent news and it becomes not nearly so far fetched as it may sound.
Does it sound horrible?
If you know Jesus is your Savior, and you know that you know that you know in your heart of hearts beyond a shadow of doubt that He is the one who holds your future, be encouraged.
Matt 10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (NASB)
Do not suffer the terrified fear of physical death, but hold to the reverent fear of the one Who can save us from the second death and has promised the crown of life to those who will persevere. "Fear nothing ...", also translated "Do not fear ..." (NASB) in this found 57 times through that translation. The text associated with that phrase is always seasoned with encouragement. Persecution for most of us today is far simpler. But how we deal with it can be an example of hope to those who live around us.
Fear not. Be encouraged. Selah.
Grace & Peace,