Summary of passage: John’s letter to the church in Smyrna says Jesus knows their afflictions and poverty and knows of the false prophets. He says they will suffer but encourages them to be faithful and they will earn the crown of life (eternal life).
13a) Death, torture, death
b) Death, torture, death
14a) Because it is just the body that suffers, not the soul. The soul is what lives on in heaven–which is what matters. All believers in Christ go to heaven. There is nothing to fear in Christ.
b) Knowing there is something beyond this realm gives hope and faith in suffering. Our suffering turns others towards Him as we are living examples of faith. Jesus himself suffered as we are called to do as well.
15) Personal Question. My answer: We had this question last year as well. I have not suffered anywhere remotely close to the first century Christians and living in the US has sheltered me from suffering physically. I personally have not suffered in any life-impacting way.
Conclusions: Not sure how any of these questions relate to the passage directly; they are extrapolations to Jesus.
End Notes: See previous POST for commentary.
Conclusions to Lesson 4: We focused in on the first two letters John wrote to the churches of Ephesus and Smyrna. We saw the major difference between the two is Ephesus was rebuked for turning from Christ; whereas, Smyrna was only encouraged and praised for its suffering for Christ.
A lot of repetition in questions from last year. I suppose BSF asks these every year but it stands out to me this year.
I have also come to realize as I grow in Christ and as my knowledge grows these questions seem repetitive to me because I have answered them before and I know them. I know more of the Bible and God’s Word and to me it’s easy because I do know it. I’m trying to keep that in mind that BSF is appealing to all wherever their walk is with Christ so some questions will be repetitive and redundant to some of us but not others.