Christ Speaks to Seven Churches in Asia Minor


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Polycarp, a martyr was at one time the pastor of the Smyrna church. From history we have the record of Polycarp who was burned at the stake in 155 A.D. The account of his martyrdom gives us a picture of probably what occurred early in John’s day. Polycarp was brought before the Roman governor and charged with atheism, which meant he was charged with not worshiping the Roman Emperor as God. The same evil principle is presently today attacking the believers and congregations. The world accuses Christians of atheism, that is not worshiping the God of Secular Humanism, evolution, or manmade humanistic "Christianity," or any of the many religions and cults man has invented.
The Roman custom in the First Century was to ask the prisoner to recant his belief in Christ three times and if he refused the sentence he was put to death. It was the practice of the Romans to offer the accused a chance to recant save his life.4 When asked by the local magistrate to recant Polycarp`s reply was, "For 86 years I have been His servant and He has never done me wrong; how can I blaspheme my King who saved me?" The Romans governor=s angry response was a warning: "I'll have you destroyed by fire!" Polycarp replied to him, “The fire you threaten me with burns for a time and is soon extinguished. There is a fire you know nothing about - the fire to come and of eternal punishment; the fire reserved for the ungodly. But why do you what you will with me." The governor was amazed, but sent a crier into the arena to cry "Polycarp has confessed to being a Christian!" The mob angrily cried that he be burnt at the stake and Polycarp, thanking God for the privilege, walked to the stake and was burned alive! A true faith will produce a true love of God and a true love will produce sacrifice even to the point of death.
Such was the character and love of Christ of the pastor and members of the church at Smyrna. They loved Christ who He had died for them and they in turn gave their lives for their Savior.

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