Revelation 2:8, “The words of the First and the Last, who died and came to life…’Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.'”
The Church follows after and fellowships with her Lord–through suffering into glory.
God give us grace to endure to the end.
What I was considering as I was reading the letters of Christ to the churches this morning is the way His introductory title applies to what He has to say to the church.
For instance, to Thyatira He introduces Himself as the one who “has eyes like a flame of fire,” and then he goes on in the letter to affirm that He “searches mind and heart.” So, His title anticipates His emphases in the letters….
For the letter to Smyrna, His title as the One who “died and came to life,” anticipates His call to the church there to endure unto death and thus receive the crown of life. The One who has Himself died and overcome now calls us to follow that same path. But it’s not a simple following….SINCE He died and rose, He is also the one with whom we have fellowship in the midst of our death (our final physical death and the long physical death of life in a fallen world) and in whom we have invincible assurance of resurrection.