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Sermons

The Church at Smyrna

June 29, 2014 Speaker: Series: What Would Jesus Say to the Church?

Topic: General Verse: Revelation 2:8–2:11

WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY TO THE CHURCH?

“The Church at Smyrna”

Pastor Brandon Hovey | 06.29.2014

CHURCH AT SMYRNA

8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 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 life as your victor’s crown. 11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Revelation 2:8-11)

Background

• The City of Smyrna was a beautiful port city in modern-day Izmir, Turkey

• The city was filled with Roman culture, pagan temples, and rich and powerful individuals • The church in Smyrna probably was the result of Paul’s ministry at Ephesus (Acts 19:10)

The Situation at Smyrna

• The Problem: The church was experiencing “affliction” (literally: crushed by troubles) and “poverty” (literally: complete destitution and grinding poverty”)

• Why were they experiencing these things? Because of two opponents:

1.  Jewish Opponents. I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (v. 9b)

2.   Satanic Opponents: …[they] are a synagogue of Satan. “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.” (v. 10)

The Big Question

How is this church called to respond in the fact of afflictions and poverty? How does Jesus ask us to respond to when we face trails and tribulations? How are we called to react in the midst of difficult marriages, empty bank accounts, strained friendships, and enemies at work?

BE FAITHFUL

What’s Faithfulness All About?

• Definition: Faithfulness is applied faith.

a. The Point of this Book: The book of Revelation was written to the churches in Asia Minor and today would remain faithful / loyal to Christ. (Revelation 1:3; 13:10; 22:12)

b.  How? John of Patmos call on the church in Smyrna they can be faithful by clinging to who Jesus is and what he has promised. In particular, there are four promises (or reasons) that can enable them & us to be faithful to God.

FOUR REASONS YOU CAN BE FAITHFUL

1. Jesus is Your Supreme Lord

“These are the words of him who is the First and the Last.” (v.8)

NOTES:

2. Jesus Died and Came to Life for You

“These are the words of him who died and came to life again.” (2:8c)

NOTES:

3. Jesus Knows Your Situation

I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (v. 9)

NOTES:

4. Jesus Will Reward You

Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death. (v. 10)

NOTES:

How is Jesus calling you to be loyal to him and faithful to your calling?

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