Summary: God has called another church to the witness stand. He has declared and decreed that you are a storm survivor. Through heartache, pain, sickness, etc... you have survived because you held on to God's word, and because of His Grace and Mercy.
The Church on Trial Pt. 2
You will recall last week, we talked about the church at Ephesus; chapter 1 verses 1 – 7. And God convened a hearing and he indicted the church at Ephesus because according to the text they had left their first love. So he asked a question, and the question was “what does love have to do with it?” And the reality is that love has everything to do with it. If it didn’t he wouldn’t have stretched his arms, he wouldn’t have gave his feet, he wouldn’t have gave his head nor his back.
But today my brothers and sisters, he has convened another hearing. And the one thing we have to understand about the churches in the book of Revelation, is that these churches can be any church. As a matter of fact, let’s just put it on the table and be done with it, this actually represents us. I hope you can see yourself in the text, but
8) And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9) I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 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. He who has an ear let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes, would not be hurt at all by the second death.
I want to lift up the thought today if you will entitled, the church on trial. But I want to lift up a sub thought which is what we’re going to argue from today, and I want to lift as a sub thought, the verdict is storm survivor.
Here God is my brothers and sisters, he is arguing against the churches. Those that claim they represent him. Notice in the text, even on last week, that he was talking to people that claimed they have been called by him. But there is a problem, because if you will, when you look at the text, the first one he talks about at Ephesus, he says, listen I know you claim that you are a part of me, but your actions don’t represent me.
As a matter of fact, you have walked away from your first love. Things in the world are more important than I am. So the question was, “What does love have to do with it.” We found out that love has everything to do with it.
But today brothers and sisters, he is talking again to the church. Now last week, they were convicted and indicted. In this situation he convenes another court hearing, and now he is laying the evidence out and he has come to the conclusion based on service of the church at Smyrna that he has rendered a verdict and that verdict is that they are a storm survivor.
I looking for some people on today that can say, Pastor, I’m right there. I’m in a storm right now, I just got out of a storm, I’m headed into a storm, but I’ve decreed and declared that it doesn’t matter what comes my way, I shall survive.
Is there anybody here that can say, I’ve been through some stuff? Is there anybody who can say I’m in some stuff now? Is there anybody that can say I’m just getting out of stuff, but what we need to do is serve notice on the devil, that in spite of what I’ve gone through, am going through, and will go through, that God has decreed that I shall survive?
Is there anybody that believes by faith that whatever you are going through, that you are going to make it? Oh come on and tell your neighbor, I’m going to make it through this. As a matter of fact, we’re going to get through these thing because God is with us.
Storm survivors are a person that is telling the adversary, you can hit me with your best shot, but I’m still going to survive. A storm survivor is someone who has been through hell and back. And in spite of what Satan has attempted to do, you have still come out.
My brothers and sisters, a storm survivor is somebody that in spite of sickness, in spite of financial issues, in spite of relational issues, in spite of other issues, you are still coming out on the winning end.