This week we continue our new sermon series ‘The seven churches of Revelation’. Preaching from Nathan Gordon. Service led by Beverley Sills.
This service also includes baptism
1) Because the Gospel is an offensive message – v8
Verse 8 is a direct reference to Jesus Christ, and the Church in Smyrna who proclaimed salvation in Jesus’ Name alone would face persecution for the exclusive nature of the Gospel message.
The following scriptures highlight the cause and effects of the Gospel message throughout the New Testament.
John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Acts 4:12 – And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
1 Cor 1:18 – For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Gal 5:11– But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.
2 Timothy 3:12 – Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
2) Because of the works of Satan – v9-10
The Devil is the chief antagonist of the Christian Church and hates everything the church stands for. It is the primary mission of the enemy to sow discord and division through schemes and tactics like persecution to halt the progress of the church.
1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
The limited power of Satan – see Job 2:2-7
Satan’s deceptive works will come to an end!
Rev 20:10 – And the Devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
3) Because of the pending testimonies of God’s power – v11
Even in the extreme case of having to face Martyrdom for the Christian faith, nothing can separate us from God’s love and the blood of Jesus enables us to be overcomers of satan and persecution.
Jesus encouraged the church in Smyrna to be faithful until – DEATH! don’t quit until the end.
The Christian will not face the second death – a reference to the final judgment of the wicked according to Rev 20:6, 14, 21:8
1 John 5:4
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1) Read verse 8 and discuss the character qualities of Jesus (The First and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this….) Why is this verse important for people who face persecution?
2) Sermon point one looks at the offensive nature of the Gospel message. Discuss why people may find the Gospel an offence?
3) Discuss the relevance of verse 9 in today’s current climate of financial hardship and inflation?
4) In what ways do you see Satan at work trying to halt the progress of the church in 2022?
5) What would it look like if a persecuted believer is faithful? What does unfaithfulness look like?
Sermon Title: Why do Christians face persecution?
Bible Reading: Rev 2:8-11 (Smyrna)
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Beverley Sills