Lucia's Blog: 2022-09-11
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Friday, September 16, 2022


"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."  
Revelation 2:10

The apostle John made a profound statement to the church at Smyrna in Revelation 2:10.  John’s inspired words to the church at Smyrna must compel Christians to be faithful to God in whatever they do. Sadly, God’s faithful servants are a minority in the church today.  We often forget that God commands that we serve Him heartily.  God wants us to be faithful unto death to receive our crown of life. Our faithfulness to God demands strong personal commitment.        

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."  (Colossians 3:23

God wants us to be committed in word and deed (Colossians 1:17).  Each Christian must set a goal and strive for personal commitment. Faithfulness to God demands a strong personal choice. Each Christian must choose to be faithful to be blessed by God.  God blesses our faithfulness. God blessed the people of Joshua's day because of their faithfulness.  Hear the words of Joshua 24:13-15
"I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 

You see, these people understood the need for personal choice, for they responded by saying, 
"The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!" (Joshua 24:24)   

Let us unite our voices with theirs and say, 
"Our God we will serve."


When we are baptized into Christ, we become Christians and begin walking in newness of life.  We begin a new life in which we must resolve to set aside or put to death those things that were part of our old way of life, the old man of sin (Romans 6:4; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:22).  As we start crucifying the old man of sin, living and pursuing our new life in Christ, we start an intimate relationship with our Savior and Lord, walking and following His footsteps.  Jesus expects this new man or new creation to be faithful unto death to obtain the reward He promised us, our crown of life (Revelation 2:10).  But to be faithful unto death, there are some big steps to Heaven we must consider.  

Our church friends teach that once one is saved, he can never be lost, no matter our sins.  They ignore and reject God’s exhortation given in Revelation 2:10 to Christians about remaining faithful until the end of our journey here on earth.  My question is, Why did Jesus, in His letter to the church at Smyrna, instruct those Christians to “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10) Jesus said to those brethren that if they remained faithful, despite their circumstances, especially persecution, He would give them “the crown of life” (eternal life, synonymous with salvation).  God will reward our faithfulness if we remain faithful unto death, even dying for our faith.  So why “faithful unto death” if we are already saved and cannot be lost?
  • Faithfulness to God demands complete obedience:
    • Obey:
The Lord wants us to conform and surrender our lives to His will alone (Jas. 4:7).  He likewise wants us to walk faithfully with Him, obeying His commands (1 John 1:7; Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21).

Jesus said, 
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus saves those who "obey" Him.  The Hebrew writer wrote, 
"Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:8-9

There is no salvation without obedience.  Obedience compels people to believe, repent, confess Christ, and be baptized into Christ (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10; Romans 6:1-5).  We are saved from our past sins and added to the church because of our obedience (Acts 2:47).  Only those who obey God have the right to wear the name "Christian." (Acts 11:26)

  • Faithfulness to God demands strong commitment and earnestness to put Him first in our hearts and lives:
    • Prioritize:
 The Lord wants us to put Christ and His church first and above everything else in our lives (Col. 1:18; Matt. 6:33).  He wants us to use the time God gives us to the best of our ability, for the days are evil.  So we must be careful how we spend our God-given time here on earth (Eph. 5:16).

God must be above everything else in our lives. It is not enough to obey the Gospel and become a Christian.  It is just the beginning of our commitment to living a life devoted to serving God daily.  To be His faithful followers, the Lord must be first in our hearts and lives. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) The Macedonians were an excellent example of faithfulness and devotion to God.   "They first gave themselves to the Lord." (2 Corinthians 8:5) God is satisfied only when He has "preeminence" in our hearts and lives.   Paul wrote, "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence." (Colossians 1:18) Thus, Christians must forsake all and resolve to serve God faithfully. 

"So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple."  (Luke 14:33)

  • Faithfulness demands an intense hunger and thirst for God’s Word:  
The Bible must be our "roadmap from earth to heaven." The Word of God is unique and powerful because it is God’s inspired Word.   
"And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by in­spiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:15-17

So, we must study God’s Word diligently, for it is our daily bread to nourish our souls to salvation.  Jesus said, 
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4

The Word of God tells us who God is and who we are. It stresses our responsibility toward God.  
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15

The right­eous delight in God's Law. 
"Blessed is the man Who walks not in the coun­sel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sin­ners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:1-2

The Word of God tells us how to become a Christian, a faithful follower, and live holy and righteously for Him daily. Without feeding on God's Word daily, we won’t grow to maturity and make it to Heaven. Thus we must study God’s Word daily and diligently to be approved by Him and receive our crown of life.  

    • Teach:

The Lord wants us to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word (the Gospel) to show and teach others the way to Heaven (Mark 16:15).  He wants us to grow in His Word to live a faithful life and show others how to live holy lives that would honor Him.  He also wants us to grow in His Word to answer those who are not in Christ their questions concerning His Kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 3:15).

  • Faithfulness to God demands strong self-discipline: 
"Discipline" is mostly forgotten and neglected in the church today.  There is minimal church discipline and self-discipline among many followers of Christ. Self-discipline must be learned and practiced. Paul wrote, 
"For this is the will of God, your sanctifi­cation: that you should abstain from sexual im­morality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified." (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6

Christians must not walk “according to the flesh, but according to the spirit." (Romans 8:1) Paul spoke of self-discipline, saying, 
"But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:27

Faithful and godly living demands discipline.

    • Separate:

The Lord wants Christians to set themselves apart from the ways of the world (Rom. 12:2; 1 Pet. 2:11).  He wants us to keep ourselves pure and live godly lives (1 Pet. 1:15-16; 1 John 2:15-17; Tit. 2:11-12).

  • Faithfulness to God requires strong and devoted service to Him: 
    • Serve:
The Lord wants us to look and think beyond ourselves (Phil. 2:3-4).  He also wants us to seek opportunities to serve others from the heart and to do good to them (Gal. 5:13; Gal. 6:10).  When we serve others with a loving heart, we also serve the Lord Himself (Col. 3:24; Rom. 12:10-11).

Christians must always be seeking opportuni­ties to serve.  Often these opportunities are right before our eyes. Paul declared, 

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:10

Jesus served others and commands us to follow His example of servitude.  He said, 
"And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40

We confess our faith and our service to our Lord with our actions.  Our faith must have works of righteousness.  Our faith, that is, our faithfulness, must be shown not just on Sunday morning but daily.  Our service to Him demonstrates our faithfulness to God.  James wrote, 

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."  (James 1:27)  

Each Christian must seek opportunities to serve God daily, remembering that even a "cup of cold water" given as an act of service or in the name of a disciple will have its reward (Matthew 10:42).

    • Work:

Faithfulness to God demands hard work.  The Lord wants us to be busy in His kingdom, remaining steadfast and bearing abundant fruit to His glory (1 Cor. 3:9).

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58)

  • Faithfulness to God demands constant and strong spiritual growth (maturity): 
    • Grow:

The Lord wants us to increase and develop our knowledge, faith, and trust in Him (2 Pet. 1:5-11; 3:18).  But to grow in these areas, we must first study His Word and pray daily (2 Tim. 2:15; Col. 4:2).

Peter declared,  

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen."  (2 Peter 3:18

Christians must grow to be able to discern between good and evil. 
"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:12-14

Spiri­tual growth must compel us to set our minds and hearts on things above this world. And though we still live in this world, Christ’s faithful followers must acknowledge that we are not of the world, for we must live for Christ alone.  Jesus declared, 
“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." (John 18:36)
Matthew records God's plan for spiritual growth in Matthew 16:24
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." 

Thus, Christians must set their mind on things above, not the things of this earth (Colossians 3:1).

  • Faithfulness to God demands Worship And Praise:
    • Worship:

The Lord wants us to worship and praise Him from our hearts (John 4:24; Matt. 4:10; Heb. 13:15; Eph. 5:19), especially on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:25).

  • Faithfulness to God demands Endurance:
    • Endure: 

The Lord wants Christians to persevere through their difficult times. Looking to Him as our example for strength (2 Tim. 2:3; Heb. 12:1-3).  He wants us also to press on and finish our race well to reach our eternal goal of Heaven (Phil. 3:14).

In Matthew, Jesus is quoted twice saying, 
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matt. 10:22; 24:13) 

Mark recorded that same statement (Mk. 13:13).  Jesus stressed the need to live a life of endurance to the end (being patient and faithful).  Moreover,  Luke recorded Jesus saying, 
“By your patience possess your souls.” (Lk. 21:19

So, if saved followers of Jesus cannot be lost, why did Jesus stress so much the need for patient faithfulness to obtain eternal life?

James also had this same sentiment when he wrote along this line: 
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (Jas. 1:12)  

James’ message matches those stated above.  James wrote to Christians when he referred to them as “My brethren” (1:1; 2:1; 3:1).  The “man who endures temptation” is a brother or sister in Christ who endures faithfully to the end, without succumbing to whatever temptations the devil throws at them.  We will receive the crown of life at the end of our lives if we endure faithfully.   That same basic thought is expressed in Jas. 1:25.  Thus, we Christians must continue to live by the Gospel of Christ and not be just a hearer but a doer of God’s Word to be blessed.  
“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

    • Aim:

The Lord wants us to fix our eyes on the glorious reward of Heaven (Matt. 6:20; Col. 3:1-4).  As we fix our eyes on our glorious reward of Heaven, we will find joy and hope, anticipating Jesus’ return to take us His children home with Him forever (Phil. 3:20-21; Tit. 2:13).

God commands us to “be faithful,” that is, true to Him, His Word, and His church, seeking and pleasing Him above all else!  


The Book of Revelation was written during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Domitian.  He persecuted the church for about 10 years after Nero.  The church was under extreme distress because of the persecution they had to endure.  The persecution included the slaughter of thousands of Christians, even the apostle John himself, who was exiled to the Island of Patmos.  While John was on that island, he wrote, 
"I was in the spirit on the Lord's Day."  

John saw some marvelous visions or revelations he shared with the brethren who were being persecuted to give them the hope of eternal life.  

The church in Smyrna was a group of suffering Christians and was one of only two churches the Lord had nothing bad to say against.  Some of these persecuted brethren suffered imprisonment and poverty.  Domitian, the Roman Emperor of that time, had thousands of Christians killed because they confessed their faith in Jesus Christ.  

The Lord spoke through John, urging these brethren to "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Revelation 2:10)

The Lord knew the works and tribulations of the church in Smyrna.  He knew they were suffering and enduring saints.  Our Lord knows our fears, infirmities, and the trials we face because He experienced the same thing at the hands of Satan.  He had been there!  (Hebrews 4:15)

The Lord tells them to "be faithful unto death." And, He will give them "a crown of life."

We must acknowledge that though this letter was written to them, we can still apply those same principles to our lives.  What will happen if we aren't faithful unto death? There will not be a crown of life for us!

In Roman culture, this crown of life, the Stephanos Crown of Life, represented the Crown of Victory. They understood what He meant.  The Lord wants us to not only be suffering saints but enduring saints.  He gave these brethren hope and gives us that same hope today.  He declared that those who overcome shall not be hurt by the second death. Suffering saints who endure win! Those suffering and enduring saints who overcome until the end will not gain just a crown but will go to Heaven forever.

How do we endure? By having our sins washed away. God washes away sin from our metaphysical body. He adds us to His church, and we become Christians.  When Christians are faithful unto death, we overcome and receive a crown of life.  Thus we must continue being steadfast and faithful unto death.  It is the only road to victory!  Faithfulness to God is not just showing up and warming a pew on Sunday.  Faithfulness is obedient faith that dies to sin and walks in newness of life.  Since we are baptized into Jesus’ death, we must repent of sins and die to sins.  Our dead body of sin must be buried. We are buried in water baptism so that our souls can come in contact with the blood of Jesus. God requires obedience to save us from the death of sin.  
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”  (Romans 6:1-4)

In Peter’s second letter, he gives the same instruction.  By the way, Peter is writing to Christians, “those who have obtained like precious faith with us…” (2 Pet. 1:1).  He instructs these Christians, saying, 
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election (their eternal salvation) sure….” 

He goes on to say, 
“For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 1:10-11)  

The phrase “for so” carries the meaning “as a result of.”  You see, the diligent faithfulness of these Christians would result in their being given a home in Heaven.  

Someone might ask, 
What of John, writing about a brother in Christ committing a sin “leading to death” (1 Jn. 5:16)

Do you remember what John stated earlier?  He stated, 
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn. 1:9)  

Here, the word “if” is conditional.  
What if a Christian, having sinned, does not confess his sins?  

Paul declared, 
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23).

Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, has also warned us to be sober and vigilant, 
“Because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8)  


But how can the devil “devour” a saved Christian if that Christian cannot be lost once he is saved?  

The warning is that a Christian can lose his/her salvation if they do not remain diligently faithful.  That is why Jesus stressed to be  “faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10)  

In Hebrews 12:1, we are admonished to run our race of faith with endurance.  God expects us to run this race to the end (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Baptism is the beginning of a life lived in faithfulness or loyalty. We know and believe that God is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  We also believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 20:30, 31).  We believe that salvation from sin is available to men by the power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16).

Because of the preaching of the Gospel, we believe our faithfulness must become the most vital and abiding pursuit of our lives. We must love God above any person or thing.   Consider the words of Jesus to the church in Smyrna: 
“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.” (Revelation 2:10

The context of this statement shows that our faithfulness is literally a matter of life or death.  

Therefore, each Christian must resolve to remain faithful to God until death despite persecution and death.  We must also examine our faith and evaluate everything we have been taught, every aspect of our lives to be approved by God.  We must believe that God has prepared a home for the faithful and that a crown is waiting for those who finish the race well. Faithfulness to God is vital to running the race set before us to the end.  God provides the strength to endure, get up and keep running.  Because of God’s love and sacrifice, we can live in faithfulness to Him despite Satan’s most horrifying taunts or enticing allurements, and we must if we want to receive our crown and go to Heaven.

The crown of life makes it all worth it! 

May we remain faithful to the very end.  May we keep our focus on the crown of life and Heaven. May we always remember that this world is not our home and we are just passing through.   May we set our minds on things above (Col. 3:2).  May we keep our eyes upon Heaven, for one day, all who are in Christ will be glorified with Him for all eternity!