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Remain Faithful Until Death…I will Give You the Crown of Life
“Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). With this statement, John tells us of Jesus’ eternal faithfulness toward us. Faithfulness is the foundation of all good relationships. If we are to be in relationship with him, we are to remain faithful to him throughout the trials and tribulations of this life. If we do, in his faithfulness toward us, he will crown us with eternal life. We will be in relationship with him forever. Christ, the first and the last, who once died and came to life, says to the Church, to us, that he sees our suffering and our poverty. He knows those who slander us for following him and tells us not to fear them, or any other kind of suffering that comes our way because of our love for him. He tells us that we will suffer for his name at times and that we will be tested in our faith. Though our suffering here may be difficult, he tells us it will not last long. For, if we remain faithful to him through it all until death, if we put our whole trust in him, he will not abandon us. Rather, he will give us life, life eternal, in the joyful realm of his heavenly kingdom. We will not be harmed by what John calls the “second death,” that is, final damnation. Those of us who have lived long enough in the practice of this faith know that it is not easy. We may have encountered truly negative experiences because of our faith in Jesus Christ. And we also know that as long as we are alive there will be the constant struggle with internal temptations, as well as the potential of external threats of…