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

Jesus wrote those words of warning to the church in Smyrna, a first-century congregation that was about to suffer much for their faith in Christ. Should the church be prepared for a time of intense persecution today?

The answer is yes. The persecution of Christians around the world is part of a larger spiritual battle. Even in America, people have become tolerant of everything but Christianity. So be encouraged. The crown of life awaits those who are faithful to Jesus until death.

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“Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Romans 8:28 MSG