Here are some websites and articles that give some information about the city of Smyrna.
These articles are available through UVF databases. You may need your MyValleyForge information to access them.
Here is some information about persecution of the church in modern times:
These books are available through Ebrary. You may need your My.ValleyForge information to access these books.
The Beautiful City
The Good Church
Has Your Greatest Fear Contaminated Your Genuine Goodness?
I. Looking at the Text: Revelation 2:8-11
A. Commission – v: 8
To the Angel of the Church in Smyrna
B. Character – v: 8
The specific commission in each of the 7 letters is followed by a description of the speaker, Jesus.
· He existed before and after
· He endured/triumphed through death to life
C. Commendation – v: 9
· I know your afflictions
· I know your poverty
· I know the slander of those who say they are Jews but are not
· I know they are the synagogue of Satan
· They are the only church with none
E. Call – v: 11
· What I say unto you, I say unto all
· Are you listening? Do you hear what I’m saying
F. Challenge – v: 11
· To him who overcomes
· Not to be hurt in the second death
II. Looking At Practical Lessons
· Ephesus: Has Your First Love Become Your Last Priority?
· Smyrna: Has Your Greatest Fear Contaminated Your Genuine Goodness?
A. Polycarp, “Eight and six years I have served him, and he never did me any injury; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior.”
B. Fear in Life
C. Four (4) Truths to Ponder About Suffering:
Do Not Be Afraid Because…
1. It is Inevitable
2. It is Painful
3. It is (Will Be) Minimal
4. It Will Be Fruitful
“If a man (or woman) harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all thinking, damages his personality and makes him a landlord to a ghost..” Lloyd Douglass
“The trouble is that we often die many times before death overtakes us.” Ghandi
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor Frankl
In the October 2010 issue of the Reader's Digest, there is an article entitled, "What's Your Greatest Fear?" That question was asked all over the world, and the results can be found at: http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/whats-your-greatest-fear-around-the-world-with-one-question/article185501.html
I have also attached this “Think About It” article of mine on “Fear Factor” published in our local newspaper, “The Phoenix” in November of 2004, which may also be of interest to you.
8"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
This article was originally printed in The Phoenix in November 2004.