02) Smyrna


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02) Smyrna

  1. 1. Compiled and Presented by: Letters to the Churches Dave Stewart 22 June, 2008 Las Cruces, NM #02 www.churchofchristmiranda.com Be Faithful Unto Death Revelation 2.8-11 Synopsis: The Christians in Smyrna were suffering. Jesus offers them comfort, not by dismissing their suffering or by saying it would end; rather He encourages them by reminding them to not fear and to be faithful unto death. When they do overcome, they will win the crown of life! “Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” “Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 File Number: 4530116: Copyright: Lukasz Laska: http://www.istockphoto.com/ file_closeup.php?id=4530116 3759763: Copyright: Sheryl Griffin: http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/concepts- and-ideas/emotions/3759763-daddy-s-comfort-series.php?id=3759763 File Number: 4224520: Copyright: Gemma Ivern: http://www.istockphoto.com/ file_closeup.php?id=4224520 http://www.imageafter.com/image.php? image=b3_exteriors018.JPG&size=full&download=no http://i26.tinypic.com/2narzgm.jpg http://www.doctormacro.info/Images/Stewart,%20James/Annex/Annex%20-%20Stewart, %20James%20(Mr.%20Smith%20Goes%20to%20Washington)_02.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Lorbeerkranz.png http://leadingfrombelow.blogspot.com/2007/12/church-that-brings-me-life.html
  2. 2. Be Faithful Unto Death Revelation 2.8-11 2
  3. 3. Aegean “Let Him Pergamum Sea Hear” Thyatira Smyrna G A L AT Sardis Philadelphia Ephesus A S I A Laodicea Patmos PA MP HY LIA LY C I A Rhodes Great Sea te (Mediterranean) 999 MANNA 0 3 Revelation 2:8-11 To the Church in Smyrna 8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 9 “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander [1] of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
  4. 4. Let Him Hear 4 These are the words of Christ... We need to listen to Him.
  5. 5. You’re hurting. 5 As God’s people, we are often opposed by the world, and we often find ourselves suffering because of our faith. We may not suffer precisely like the church in Smyrna, but the worlds of Jesus will help us in triumphing over the pain.
  6. 6. You want to go to Heaven. 6 I really do want to get to heaven, but it’s so difficult. How do I cope with the pain?
  7. 7. 7 Jesus’ words to the Christians who are suffering are unexpected... He does not say that it will all go away soon, or that things will soon get better; He says: do not fear and be faithful, and I’ll give you a crown of life.
  8. 8. Do not fear. 8
  9. 9. I know you are suffering. 9 Jesus knows they are suffering... He knows when we are suffering. Sometimes it helps us to know WHO is causing our suffering, the duration of our suffering and the purpose of our suffering.
  10. 10. I know you are suffering. 10 For the church in Smyrna, they suffered because of the Jews (not real Jews of course, but Jews in name only) Unseen to the Christians, but well known to Jesus, was the fact the the true source of their suffering was Satan!
  11. 11. I know you are suffering. 11 Their suffering is described first as “tribulation” Meaning: pressure, being crushed beneath a weight. Their pressure had two sources
  12. 12. I know you are suffering. e rty ov P 12 Poverty Not just poor, but they have nothing. Nothing at all! Economic oppression The others would not do business with the Christians They would neither by from them nor sell to them. They wouldn’t allow them to do business.
  13. 13. I know you are suffering. Sland rty er ve Po 13 And they used Slander... Speaking against the Christians, making false accusations. The Jews did this to Paul in Antioch (Ac. 13.50); Iconium (Ac. 14.2, 5); Lystra (Ac. 14.19) and Thessalonica (Ac. 17.5).
  14. 14. 14 Jesus also assured them their suffering would be brief: 10 days Most of us can handle suffering, if we know it won’t be long. If we know it will end soon. 10 days: a brief but certain period of time. It also helps if we compare the time with eternity...
  15. 15. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4.17 15
  16. 16. Do not fear! 16 Jesus remind them that they will be tested, but do not fear! Things are going to get worse... Don’t fear! How??? Tested is a complete trial. Fear is “to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away); to fear (that is hesitate) to do something (for fear of harm). First Trials help our faith to grow 1 Peter 1:6-9: In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith —more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. James 1:2-5: Count it all joy, my brothers, [1] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
  17. 17. Do not fear! “when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2.23 17 Jesus provides us with the right example...
  18. 18. Do not fear! “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. Acts 5.41 18 The disciples rejoiced.
  19. 19. Do not fear! “praying and singing hymns to God” Acts 16.25 19 Paul and Silas sang and prayed.
  20. 20. Be faithful. 20 Choose to be faithful despite the difficulties you face.
  21. 21. Be faithful! 21 “Trusty, faithful” Standing true to God no matter what one is threatened or who is doing the threatening. God is faithful to you! Proverbs 3:25-26: Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin [1] of the wicked, when it comes, 26 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Hebrews 13:5-6: Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Be faithful unto death... Not ‘as long as you live’ Rather ‘up to the point of dying’
  22. 22. Be faithful unto death. 22 Be faithful unto death... Not ‘as long as you live’ Rather ‘up to the point of dying’ Consider the example of S, M, & A: Daniel 3:14-18: Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” 16   Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
  23. 23. Be faithful! 23 What challenges our faithfulness... Is it busyness? Work? Running with the children?
  24. 24. 24 Is our faithfulness challenged by worldliness? Trying to keep up with the Jones’: materialism??? Trying to live like the world: immorality??? Drinking, dancing, speaking Will we be like Jesus or like the World?
  25. 25. The crown of life. 25
  26. 26. 26 For those who are in Christ, death is not the end... Ecclesiastes 12:7: and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Hebrews 9:27: And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
  27. 27. Who died and came to life. 27 Jesus is life. Revelation 2:8:  “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Revelation 1:18: and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. John 11:25-26: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. [1] Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:19: Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
  28. 28. Crown of life 28 The crown promised is not a “royal” crown; but a crown of victory, a crown of life. James 1:12: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 2 Timothy 4:8: Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. “Not hurt by the second death” In the final judgment, if we are faithful, we will be justified before our God and enjoy eternal life; not facing eternal suffering.
  29. 29. 29 1. Jesus knows what you are going through… He suffered too. (Philippians 3.10) Philippians 3:10: that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 2. No matter if things get better, stay the same or get worse… Jesus is there for you (Heb. 13.8). Trust the one who was persecuted, abandoned, crucified and raised for you. Welcome Him into your heart, not the fear. Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 3. Find Comfort in God (2 Corinthians 1.3-4). 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.