Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
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
It is Free