August 19, 2012 Wawasee Community Bible Church Milford, Indiana Pastor Josh Weiland
1:10 HOMEWORK Read Revelation 2:8-11. What was going good in the church in Smyrna?
WEEK 4: SMYRNA: FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH REVELATION 2:8-11
What did Jesus criticize them for?
The Church in Smyrna
What was the situation faced by the church in Smyrna?
COMMENDATION FROM JESUS: • Suffered for the Gospel. • Abject poverty — but Jesus says they are rich! • Continued to be faithful.
CRITICISM FROM JESUS: • None. The believers in Smyrna may not have enjoyed the favor of man, but they did have the favor of Jesus.
Jesus: “Be Faithful Unto Death—For I Give Life!”
What was Jesus’ promise to them? How/what have you suffered for Jesus and the sake of the Gospel? Read Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12; James 1:2-4; and 1 Peter 5:10. How does this compare with the expectations of most Christians in the West today? When you think about suffering for Jesus here in America, and/or hear other believers in Jesus talk about suffering for Jesus, what sorts of things come to mind?
THEME OF JESUS’ CHURCH CONQUERING In Rev. 2-3, Jesus offers promises to each church for those who conquer and endure to the end: EPHESUS (2:7): To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. SMYRNA (2:11): The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death. PERGAMUM (2:17): To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. THYATIRA (2:26-28): 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. SARDIS (3:5): The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. PHILADELPHIA (3:12): The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. LAODICEA (3:21): The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
It’s VITAL to remember that the only way we conquer is through Jesus. To put it plainly, if you do not trust Jesus Christ as Savior, you will not conquer in the end; and instead of eternal life, you will suffer God’s wrath in hell. REVELATION 12:11 (ESV): And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Read 2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 10:38; Mark 8:34; Luke 14:27; John 12:24; Romans 5:2–8; 8:17–18; Philippians 1:29; 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 4:5; and 1 Peter 1:6-7. When Jesus and others in the New Testament talk about suffering, what things come to mind? Read James 1:2, Romans 5:3, Matthew 5:10-12, and Hebrews 12:1-3. How do you think you might respond if you were put in a situation where you were truly persecuted for your faith? What is the “secret” to remaining faithful?