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Summary: Unwaveringly keep the faith.

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STEADY AS SHE GOES

Revelation 2.8-11

S: Suffering

C: Faithfulness

Th: God Speaks to the Church

Pr: UNWAVERINGLY KEEP THE FAITH.

CV: We will passionately pursue full devotion to Jesus Christ.

I. THE CORRESPONDENT

II. THE CHURCH

III. THE COMMENDATION

IV. THE COMMAND

V. THE COUNSEL

PA: How is the change to be observed?

• Understand that how you endure hardship is more important than what hardship you endure.

• Faithfully finish the race of life.

Version: ESV

RMBC 1 February 09 AM

INTRODUCTION:

Do people know the truth about you?

ILL Persecution (S)

There is a story of a professing Christian who got a job in a lumber camp that had the reputation of being very unfriendly toward Christians. A friend, hearing that the man had been hired, said to him, "If those lumberjacks ever find out you’re a Christian, you’re going to be in for a hard time!"

The man responded, "I know it, but I really need the job!" The next morning he left for the camp. After a year had passed, he decided to come home for a visit. While in town, he met the friend who had predicted the ridicule and persecution he would receive from the other lumberjacks.

"Well, how did it go!" asked the friend. "Did they give you a hard time because you’re a Christian`?"

"Oh, no, not at all," the man replied. "They didn’t give me a bit of trouble - they never even found out!"

That’s not a good sign, is it?

For the Christian, complete silence is not an option.

For the Christian, being exactly like those around us is not a priority.

Take that personal for a moment…

If Jesus was to speak directly to you right now, would He be happy with the testimony of your faith to those round and about you?

What would He say?

You see, the most important person to speak into our lives is Jesus.

And He is speaking!

OUR STUDY:

Our theme for our messages in Revelation is “God Speaks to the Church.”

And that reflects a truth for us…

God is speaking to the church.

The question is, of course, are we listening?

In Revelation 2.8-11, He speaks this…

And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: “The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 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. 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.”

I. THE CORRESPONDENT

Jesus scrutinizes and assesses the church.

Jesus is visiting the church in Smyrna and He is inspecting it.

He is checking them out.

He is seeing what they are up to, giving them a thorough examination.

He is evaluating whether it is the kind of church that is worth His connection.

And…

He speaks with authority as the Incarnate Lord.

He is the First and the Last.

He is the one who died, but was victorious over death.

He comes as the glorified and exalted Lord.

He is nothing less than the Lord Jesus Christ.

II. THE CHURCH

He now comes to the church in Smyrna.

This is the second of the seven churches Jesus comes to speak to specifically.

Last week, we were to the south of Smynra, in Ephesus.

Smyrna was another seaport, a competitor to Ephesus, and was a wealthy city.

Interestingly, of the seven cities, it is the only one that still exists.

Smyrna is today’s Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey.

Smyrna had a strong allegiance to Rome.

It was a hotbed of emperor worship and had a temple dedicated to Emperor Tiberius.

As Jesus comes to speak to the church in Smyrna, there is no word of rebuke.

For…

The church in Smyrna was fragrant.

Smyrna was named after the myrrh tree, which was beat into a resin that was a perfume for the living and used to embalm the dead.

The church here was fragrant to God because they refused to compromise and say Caesar is Lord.

Their endurance was worship that rose up before God as something sweet and beautiful.

III. THE COMMENDATION

They had not compromised.

Remember…

They were living under the authority of Emperor Domitian who has sent the apostle John into exile to die on Patmos.

These were dangerous times, as it became a capital offense to refuse to offer the yearly sacrifice to the emperor.

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