This is a continuation of my series on the letters to the seven churches in Revelation and what they say to those involved in Christian apologetics.
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast 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. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’ (Revelation 2:8-11, NASB)
The first thing that I notice in this letter is the emphasis on the resurrection. There are plenty of theological and philosophical questions that do not have easy answers for. But the strongest case for the Christian apologist is the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. When apologists are being hit from every side, it is good to go back to the resurrection of Jesus and build on that solid foundation.
This letter also addresses attacks by the master of evil who is called both Satan and the devil. Satan means ‘accuser’ and devil means ‘slanderer.’ Taking a stand for Christian truth will lead to conflict. There will be plenty of accusations and slander thrown at the apologist. The challenge for the apologist is the same as that for the church at Smyrna, to stand strong in the face of opposition. It is always right to stand for the truth.
Do you believe that the resurrection is the most solid argument in Christian apologetics? Why or why not?
Have you faced opposition when you have attempted to stand up for Christian truth? What did it look like?