Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

The Church at Smyrna: No Rebuke, but Trouble Will Come, Part 2 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #304)



A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.

TEXT: Revelation 2:8-11:

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

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Jack Hyles said, “A tribulation gives you the opportunity to test a truth you have always believed.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “It’s not the imitation of Christ that you and I need, it’s an impartation of Christ that we need. We need Christ living in us the hope of glory.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “During Robert Haldane’s time, the Reformed churches of Switzerland were in decline. In 1810, several young men had united under the banner “La Societe desAmis” (“The Society of Friends”) as an evangelical response to the apparent spiritual apostasy in their church. Opposition by the clergy, most of whom adhered to Arian heresy, had been so strong that the group had disbanded in 1814. Some of the more committed members had left the Reformed Church and joined the Moravians.”

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While the church at Smyrna was being buffeted on all sides — by Satan, by the pagan Romans, and by the religious Jews — it would have been easy for them to feel as though they were all alone in their tribulation. That is why Jesus says, “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Jesus is not just talking about knowing something in an informational way. He knows what they are going through by experience. One of the best things that can happen to you when you are going through a hard time is to be comforted by someone who has experienced the same thing. They truly know how you feel and they are able to encourage you in a way that others cannot.

First, we see that Jesus knows the works of the church at Smyrna. He knows the good that they have done in the face of evil and persecution. Jesus healed people, fed people, and taught people the ways of God, all the while He was being slandered, criticized, and targeted for arrest and assassination. If you are doing good in the face of evil, Jesus knows what you are going through.

Second, Jesus knows the tribulation of the church at Smyrna. He knows the mocking, the beatings, and the killings that have been perpetrated against them because those very same things were perpetrated against Him. He knows what it feels like to face disdain and difficulty from people you are trying to show the way of salvation. If you have faced tribulation, Jesus knows what you are going through.

Third, Jesus knows the poverty of the church at Smyrna. The Bible tells us that Jesus had no place to lay his head on this earth. Throughout His ministry, He depended on the kindness of friends for his daily sustenance. This is significant because Jesus could have provided money, food, and a place to stay for Himself and His disciples through miraculous means. But He did not. He CHOSE to identify with the millions of impoverished Christians who would follow Him, many of whom become impoverished only because of their Christian witness.

After a year in which the most persecuted group of people in the world were once again Christians, these words of Jesus are especially relevant today. One organization has predicted that the persecution of Christians will get worse in 2017. Believers around the world need to be reminded that Jesus knows everything that they are going through because He has experienced it. He has not abandoned us. He has not forgotten us. He has suffered for us and with us. And that alone is a great encouragement.

Johnson Oatman wrote:

There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one! No, not one!
None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,
No, not one! No, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles,
He will guide till the day is done;
There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one! No, not one!

No friend like Him is so high and holy,
No, not one! No, not one!
And yet no friend is so meek and lowly,
No, not one! No, not one!

There’s not an hour that He is not near us,
No, not one! No, not one!
No night so dark but His love can cheer us,
No, not one! No, not one!

Did ever saint find this Friend forsake him?
No, not one! No, not one!
Or sinner find that He would not take him?
No, not one! No, not one!

Was e’er a gift like the Savior given?
No, not one! No, not one!
Will He refuse us a home in heaven?
No, not one! No, not one!

Let’s pray.

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES

Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

— Macarena in Argentina
Please heal her child who has down syndrome and pneumonia

— Daniel Zhen Khaw Tuan in Poland
For religious freedom in his country and for America

— Vicki
Please end the drought in Israel
For the peace of Jerusalem

— Nomthandazo
Deliver him from all devilish spirits

— Bisesango Kisose Sesa
Please take away all evil spirits and poverty and heal him of hypertension

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PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS

Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Church

Jennifer Richburg
Clay Allison
Theresa Barnett
Cathy Lollar
Kelly Perry
Kathy Sealy
Freda Souter
Bruce Watford
Gayle West
Sharon Jones

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PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS

1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

IDAHO STATE LEGISLATURE

Kelly Arthur Anthon
Steve Bair
Clifford R. Bayer
Bert Brackett
Cherie Buckner-Webb
Grant Burgoyne
Carl Crabtree
Bart M. Davis
Lori Den Hartog
Dan Foreman