Summary: Revelation paints a portrait for us of how Jesus knows about what transpires in His churches and He reminds us that he will bless those who stay faithful to Him.
Sermon 3 – The Blessings of deeds done for Jesus Christ
Thesis: Revelation paints a portrait for us of how Jesus knows about what transpires in His churches and He reminds us that he will bless those who stay faithful to Him.
Introduction: A couple of weeks back we started our treasure hunt through the Book of Revelation. We have been searching for the blessings that are recorded in this treasure chest of Christ. Today we will look more in detail at two churches found in the early chapters of this wonderful vision. These two churches are the only two bodies of Christ that are not corrected for doing things wrong in their service to the Kingdom.
Key Verse Revelation 14:13 "Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes, " Says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
Revelation 2:8-11 Smyrna Church
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. 9I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do 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 the crown of life.11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
Revelation 3:7-13 Philadelphia Church
"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.
I. To the Church in Smyrna I see and know your pain. Revelation. 2:8-11
a. Historical background.
i. Smyrna was a beautiful city located on the coast about 40 miles north of Ephesus. It was one of the most prosperous cities in Asia. With typical Chamber of Commerce humility the city fathers called it "the pride of Asia." There was a hill named the Pagos which was located at the back of the city. On the crest of this hill were a number of pagan temples, forming a circle. The crest with all it’s temples resembled a crown when looking at it from a distance. The city received the name "the crown of Asia" as a result of it’s prosperity and it’s temple’s on the crest of the hill.
ii. The city was one of the major centers of emperor worship. The emperor temple had been erected in 26AD during the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Since the time of Christ many Christians were put to the test annually in claiming who was Lord. The Romans would charge others to say, "Caesar is Lord!" those who denied and said "Jesus is Lord" would face persecution from the Romans.
iii. The persecution they would face would be any one of the following: Fines, loss of Roman Citizenship and it’s rights, loss of property owned, loss of business owned, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, reputations destroyed, lies generated about them, hate crimes committed against them, families split apart, children taken away, abandoned by friends and family, imprisonment, stoning, whippings, beatings, bodily injury, and for some death.