Will the Christians in America suffer persecution before the blessed hope?
Before it is over, will America be guilty of the blood of martyrs, also?
We all like to consider ourselves as Philadelphian Christians, and in a Philadelphian church.
However, most of us American Christians, in a week, take in more hours of TV or videos, then we do the word of God.
We are more like the world, than we are like Christians of years ago.
We have more likely become Laodicean Christians, and may be in Laodicean churches.
If so, the way to go from Laodicea to Philadelphia, may not simply be by our "manning-up" on our own & changing ourselves.
We may need Jesus to take us there, and he may do so by way of Smyrna.
That fellow in Corinth was pretty messed up.
For the church's good, and for that man's own good, he was disciplined.
I Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Then Jesus worked in that man's life, through that suffering, and he was to be restored to fellowship:
II Corinthians 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
Jesus told the Laodiceans to buy of him gold tried in the fire:
Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
That seems to be in accordance with:
I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
So, what if that fiery trial involves suffering?
I Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
And what if that suffering comes by way of persecution, like it didfor those Christians in Smyrna?
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
So, perhaps when we Laodiceans, because of our carnal worldliness, are spewed out of the Lord's mouth, it isn't to be sent to hell.
But rather to be turned over to Satan for the destruction of our flesh, like the man from Corinth was, so that we can go through the fire.
Then we may, like Job, who also the LORD allowed Satan to hurt, come forth different:
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.