The Second Letter: To the Church in Smyrna
Series: The Divine Perspective
Sermon Title: The Second Letter: To the Church in Smyrna
Proposition Statement: When His church suffers, Jesus speaks. When the church suffers, it is time to listen.
Introduction: In Revelation 2:8-11, Jesus speaks to the suffering church in Smyrna. Seeing their current and future trials, Jesus encourages them (and us) not to fear, but rather remain faithful and hope-filled. In this way, our suffering well helps us to trust God and to know Him more intimately.
Point 1: Do Not Fear
The tribulation experienced by the church in Smyrna—caused by strong disagreements between them and the compromising Jews and the ruling Romans—tempted these Christians to fear for their lives. Jesus speaks into this context. He commands believers to rest in the primary truth that He is with them rather than their own feelings of fear.
Point 2: Remain Faithful
Jesus urges the church to “be faithful unto death” (v. 10), for He Himself has walked the same suffering path. Trials may change us for better or for worse. Either we exist to avoid pain, or we exist to know God, even if it hurts.
Suffering tests us in three ways: by adjusting our perspective on ourselves, changing the way we view God’s gifts, and strengthening our relationship with Him.
Point 3: Hope for the Crown of Life
Jesus offers believers an amazing, powerful hope that produces unusual strength and happiness even in the face of trials. The crown of life (v. 10)—that is, life with God in a new heaven and a new earth—is a potent motivator for the church.
Conclusion: Are your trials speaking louder than Jesus? If so, be quiet and listen to His words of life.