From the Pastor’s Pen

Final Thoughts on Revelation 2:10

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw 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.           NKJV

What a great promise from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians, there are three lessons we need to take to heart as we enter into this New Year.

First, we do not need to be afraid of what the New Year will bring. Many times over, the Lord has promised us in His word that He will be with us no matter in what circumstances we may find ourselves (Deut. 31:6, Josh. 1:9, I Chron. 28:20, Matt. 28:20), and He will enable us to carry out His plan for our lives no matter how daunting those circumstances may seem (Isa. 41:13, Heb. 13:5-6, Eph. 2:10, Phil. 4:13). In addition, the Lord has promised to meet all of our needs (Phil. 4:19), and to work all our circumstances out in the way that is best for us individually (Rom. 8:28).

Second, we need to be faithful in our service and obedience to the Lord no matter what the New Year will bring. Since Satan, who is the prince of this world, and unbelievers both hate Christians (Eph. 6:12, John 15:18-20, I Jn. 3:13), the Christian life often brings persecution and suffering. The Christians at Smyrna were persecuted, arrested, thrown into prison, tortured, and murdered, yet they were faithful unto death; and as a result, the Lord will give them the crown of life. Likewise, if we are faithful unto death, the Lord will richly reward us for our service to Him (Rom. 2:6-7, Rom. 8:18, I Cor. 15:58, II Tim. 2:12, Heb. 10:36, Jas. 1:12).

Third, we need to live each day of the New Year as though Jesus was coming that day. The crowns promised to Christians will be given at the rapture when we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air and are taken to heaven (II Tim. 4:8, I Pet. 5:4, Rev. 4:10). We do not know when Jesus will appear (Matt. 24:42,44; Mk. 13:35-36; Rev. 3:11, 22:12), so for this New Year we need to purpose in our hearts to live every moment of every day as though the Lord were coming at that moment, so that we will not be caught unaware and ashamed before Him at His coming (I Jn. 2:28).

Are you ready if Jesus comes today? Have you truly repented of your sins and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If so, are you living a life of faithful obedience and service to Him? Or would you be ashamed at His coming?

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