1. The New Testament contains a
tremendous amount of information that was written "about" as well as
"to" various congregations in the first century.
2. By "rightly dividing"
this information we can know the Lord's will for His church today.
3. This lesson is a study of the
message that the Lord sent to the congregation in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11).
4. We learn from this message that
the Lord requires His church to "be faithful." Discussion:
THE INTRODUCTION TO
A. (vs.8a) This message was
addressed to "the angel [messenger]
of the church in Smyrna."
B. (vs.8b) Although John wrote this
message, it was actually spoken by the Lord who described Himself as "the first and the last, which was dead,
and is alive."
1. Jesus endured cruel treatment
when He was killed.
2. However, He persevered, He faced
death, and He overcame it.
C. In the introduction to this
message to the church in Smyrna, Christ let this congregation know that He was
familiar with ill treatment.
KNEW THIS CHURCH'S
A. He knew:
1. this church's "works"
2. this church's "tribulation" [trials]
3. this church's "poverty"
a. From a financial standpoint, this
church was poor.
b. From a spiritual standpoint, this
church was rich.
c. Contrast this with the church in
4. that this church was being
blasphemed by followers of Satan who are also mentioned in the message to the
church in Philadelphia (3:9).
B. In addition to knowing what this
congregation was going through, Jesus was able to empathize with it (1 Peter
C. After He informed the
congregation in Smyrna that He knew what it was going through, . . .
EXHORTED THIS CHURCH
TO REMAIN FAITHFUL
A. It is interesting that the Lord
did not remove this church's trials.
B. Let us notice what He did.
1. The Lord told this church not to "fear" the things it would
a. This church was already facing
b. There would be additional trials
-- the devil would cast some of them into prison.
2. The Lord told this church that
its tribulation would last "ten
days" [a relatively short time].
3. The Lord encouraged this church
by promising "a crown of life"
to those who remained faithful (James 1:12).
4. The Lord also promised that those
who overcame would not be hurt by "the
second death" (21:8).
A. The Lord wants us to listen to
this message (vs.11a).
B. The church in Smyrna suffered as
a result of doing the Lord's will -- His people can expect the same today (2
C. The Lord still offers
encouragement to His followers who face persecution.
1. 1 Corinthians 10:13
2. Hebrews 13:5-6
D. The Lord will bless those who
remain true to Him (Matthew 25:21).