Upper Subject: Cross and Crown
Inscription: “I Will Give Thee A Crown Of Life”
Donor: Wellington and Victoria Stevens Wallace
Maker/Date: Charles Hogeman, Easter, 1908
This verse is from Revelation 2:10. John is writing letters to 7 Churches – this is part of the letter to Smyrna.
There are three crowns specifically mentioned in the New Testament. They are the crown of righteousness, the crown of glory and the crown of life.
“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of 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 at all by the second death.”
The Christians in Smyrna must not be afraid. They are certain to suffer. *Satan will put some of them into prison. The testing is the work of God.
Prison in those days was not punishment. It was a place of waiting. People waited for a decision on their crimes. Whatever the result, they would only spend a short time in prison.
These troubles will last ten days. Ten days was the period of Daniel’s testing (Daniel 1:12-15). This may refer to the end of their suffering. It will last only for a short time. It will be a hard test but it will end. God speaks the last word (see James 1:12).
The Christian message was not popular in Smyrna. They did not approve of the Christian way of life, with its high standards. He asks them to be faithful even if they have to die.
The Crown of life is a reference to eternal life. The example is Christ who knew the pain of death but won the “victory over pain and death.”
The crown was not the crown that kings and queens wear but closer to the idea of a prize and a sign of victory which was appropriate for Smyrna which had famous sports games.