Summary: The second in a series of seven messages dealing with the seven chuches of Asia Minor, specifically Smyrna
Sermon By: Dr. Todd Morris
Title: The Rich Little Poor Church (Seven Churches #2)
Text: Revelation 2:8-11
Date: May 21, 2006
Intro. The city of Smyrna was about 35 miles from Ephesus. It was a city of about 100,000 people in John’s day. It was called the, “Crown City,” and the Flower of Asia.” Its motto was, “First in Asia in Size and Beauty.”
Prophetically the church at Smyrna represents the horrible persecution inflicted on the church by the emperors between 100 and 312 AD. Practically and personally there is a word here for everyone who ever has or ever will suffer for Jesus’ sake.
Let’s look at our Lord’s words to this struggling little congregation to find the encouragement that we need to be able to stand when all else is against us.
I SMYRNA WAS A CRUSHED CHURCH (9B-10A)
A. They Faced Persecution – The word “Tribulation” literally means “pressure.” It is the word that was used in that day to refer to crushing an object under the weight of heavy stones. This church was paying the price for their allegiance to Jesus.
B. They Faced Poverty – The word means “absolute destitution.” They had none of the world’s goods because of their relationship with Jesus. They were denied jobs. Yet every day they had to pass ornate pagan temples, imagine how Satan mocked them telling them that if they would renounce Jesus that they could prosper.
C. They Faced Prison – In verse 10 Jesus told them that there was more trouble ahead, and surely there was. In short order the Romans would begin imprisoning people for be Christians.
II SMYRNA WAS A CONSISTENT CHURCH (9A)
A. They Had A Positive Testimony – The Lord had no rebuke for this church.
B. They Had A Powerful Testimony – Jesus said to them, “I know thy works.” The word “works” refers to that which occupies one’s life.” In spite of all the wickedness around them, and in spite of all the tribulation that they were put through, they continued to be a light for Jesus in the darkness of the world.
III SMYRNA WAS A COMFORTED CHURCH (8-11)
A. They Had The Interest of Heaven – “I know thy works.” The Lord of Glory had taken a personal interest in them.
B. They Had The Involvement of Heaven – Jesus comes to them as “The first and the last, He that were dead and is alive.” He is telling them that He knows what they face, that He has been there, and through their suffering they are identified with His suffering and with Him personally.
C. They Had Their Investment In Heaven – “I know thy poverty, but thou art rich.” What they lacked in this world God would make up for in Heaven.
D. They Had Their Inheritance In Heaven – Their faithfulness had purchased for them a great inheritance in Heaven. They may endure what seemed like Hell here on earth for a season, but there was coming a day when they would receive their inheritance in Heaven.
Conclusion: Church it might get bad down here before we leave this world. There may be trials and tribulations that we can’t imagine. There may be pain and persecution. But at the end of the road I want you to know that I’m going home to be with Jesus!
So press on my brother! Press on my sister! It won’t be very long and we will leave this world behind and will enter the precious land of song!