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 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #305)



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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A.W. Pink said, “Troubled soul, the ‘much tribulation’ will soon be over, and as you enter the ‘kingdom of God’ you shall then see, no longer ‘through a glass darkly’ but in the unshadowed sunlight of the Divine presence, that ‘all things’ did ‘work together’ for your personal and eternal good.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there’s something wrong!”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The commitment to the Scriptures of Swiss reformers such as Zwingli and Calvin was almost nonexistent in Robert Haldane’s day. It was not uncommon for ministerial students to complete their course of training and never actually read the Bible through even once. One student testified, ‘During the four years I attended the theological teachers of Geneva, I did not, as part of my studies, read one single chapter of the Word of God, except a few Psalms and chapters I needed to read to learn Hebrew, and I did not receive one single lesson of exegesis of the Old or New Testament.’”

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After Jesus comforts the Church at Smyrna, letting them know that He has experienced all that they are going through, He gives them two commands.

The first command is “fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.” Jesus has told His church that suffering is coming. It will come in the form of some being cast into prison and some being put on trial because of their faith. These can be scary propositions under a brutal, anti-Christian government. But Jesus says the Church should not be afraid. Fearlessness in the life of a Christian is an indicator that his focus is in the right place; his focus is on God, not on the persecution, the opposition, or the circumstances. If we look around us, we will find plenty of reasons to be afraid. But if we keep our focus on God, we will be reminded that He is greater than any suffering, persecution, or tribulation that we face.

Vance Havner said, “The ‘tribulation’ here spoken of by Christ does not mean the common trials to which all flesh is heir. Some dear souls think they are bearing their cross every time they have a headache. The tribulation mentioned here is trouble they would not have had if they had not been Christians.”

Not only ought we to fear not in the midst of tribulation, but we ought to “be faithful even unto death.” This command comes immediately after Jesus’ statement that the church at Smyrna would “have tribulation ten days.” Whether this is a literal ten days of twenty-four hours or a symbol of some other length of time we do not know. The point for us today is that “trouble don’t last always.” God has an appointed time to bring us out of our persecution and tribulation. A common expression is, “All good things must come to an end.” Well, all bad things must come to an end as well. We can be faithful in tribulation because we know that God will certainly see us through the tribulation and bring us out of the tribulation. We may not see the end, but God always sees the end from the beginning.

When we are tempted to give in to discouragement during persecution and tribulation, we must remember to keep our focus on God because then we will not be afraid. We must also strive to be faithful to the end of our trouble — even if that end is death. Remembering that God will bring us through no matter the outcome will help us stay focused, fearless, and faithful during tribulation and persecution.

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.

Revival Prayer List

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