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Revelation 2:10





10 Fear [phobeo] none [medeis] of those things which [hos] thou shalt [mello] suffer: [pascho] behold, [idou] the devil [diabolos] shall [mello] cast [ballo] some of [ek] you [humon] into [eis] prison, [phulake] that [hina] ye may be tried; [peirazo] and [kai] ye shall have [echo] tribulation [thlipsis] ten [deka] days: [hemera] be thou [ginomai] faithful [pistos] unto [achri] death, [thanatos] and [kai] I will give [didomi] thee [soi] a crown [stephanos] of life. [zoe]    KJV-Interlinear



10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. NASB



Now remember, that this letter although it is addressed to the Church of Smyrna, is actually addressed to all believers of our Church Age, and even beyond.


In reading all of these letters, we will see several behavior patterns of believers that will generally characterize Christians during our dispensation.


It is true that there were Christians in Smyrna who had a difficult life, but there will always be Christians in history, who will live difficult lives, and of whom will stick with their faith no matter what.


This is the commendation which Christ has and will, give to those who endure.


Here Christ warns that there is going to be more hardship coming and that each believer should be ready for it.  Some believers will go through adversity, more so than others, and to those who will be forced to endure the extremes of life, here is the promise from Christ.  It will be brief.


Regardless of how long you have to live under adversity, it will be brief when compared to all of eternity in heaven.


The ten days, are not defined, and not identified, therefore they become an expression for something.


And there will be folks who will try to define them as a literal ten days, which falls apart when folks suffer for longer periods.Or, there will be those who will try to identify the ten days with some historical series of events, however, there will always be more than ten of any given series, and if not in the past, then one still has to contend with the future of which we know nothing.


Ten usually represents a rounded total.  It does not refer to an actual completeness, but an expression suggesting a completeness.  The number ten arose often in the scriptures.  For example:


The 10 antediluvian patriarchs, Gen 5, the 10 righteous men who would have saved Sodom, Gen 18:32, the 10 plagues of Egypt; the 10 commandments, Ex 20:2-17, Deut 5:6-21, the 10 servants of Gideon, Judg 6:27, the 10 elders who accompanied Boaz, Ruth 4:2, the 10 virgins of the parable, Matt 25:1, the 10 pieces of silver, Luke 15:8, the 10 servants entrusted with 10 pounds, Luke 19:13, the most capable of whom was placed over 10 cities, Luke 19:17.


Sometimes the number is exact and sometimes it is only a representative expression.And in our passage, it is an expression of brevity since suffering will obviously go on and on and on for many people, therefore the number cannot represent an exact timeframe, but that whatever suffering is imposed, it will be brief, just as this life is brief when compared with all of eternity.  Our earthly life has been compare with a morning mist.Here for a short time and then gone, even though many folks live for many decades.  The expression is one of brevity.


Christ gives us hope, that no matter what your suffering may be in life, do not be afraid.  Why?  Because there is nothing and no one in this world, that can do anything to you, that will remove you from the protective hand of Christ.


The Bible identifies five crowns - the Everlasting Crown (Victory) in 1 Cor 9:25, Crown of the Soul Winner in Phil 4:1 and 1 Thes 2:19, Crown of Righteousness in 2 Tim 4:8, Crown of Life in Jas 1:12 and Rev 2:10, and the Crown of Glory in 1 Peter 5:4.


Here, as in the other listings, crowns are special recognitions for special circumstances.  When believers are forced to suffer in life, even suffering unto death, and they maintain their faith, then that is due its own special reward recognition in heaven.


Here, we honor our soldiers who have fallen in time of war, and that is probably as close to an example as we can get in this case.Only in heaven the actual believer will receive the honor and the reward, whereas all we can do here on earth is honor their names in memory.


One last thing to remember.  Christ is giving all of this information to John.  Christ knows that this book will be written and the total nature of this book, and Christ knows everyone who will be reading this book not only in our dispensation, but in the Tribulation yet to come.


Therefore, it is being written for those who will read it, and especially for those who will go through life under circumstances of extreme suffering, as in the case of this letter to Smyrna.


Life and history did not end when John wrote this book, nor just a few years after he wrote it.  History has continued on for many centuries.  And history will continue on for who knows how long.


People will face situations of suffering, and especially those who will be living during the most difficult period in all of history, the Tribulation.So there is a need for hope, and here Christ offers it, the Crown of Life.


The suffering will be brief and when it is all said and done, those who endure and hold on to their faith, will receive a very special recognition and reward.Rewards given in heaven are more than words of thanks, but blessings beyond imagination.Therefore, the reward given is far, far greater than the suffering incurred.



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