Slides Notes - Penge Baptist Church

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A PERSECUTED CHURCH –
THE CHURCH OF SMYRNA
Penge Baptist Church
3rd November 2013
Revelation 2:8-11
• To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are
the words of him who is the First and the Last, who
died and came to life again. I know your afflictions
and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander
of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a
synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are
about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of
you in prison to test you, and you will suffer
persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point
of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who
has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the
churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by
the second death.
Where was Smyrna?
• Edge of Asia Minor
(now Turkey)
• Rich trading port
• Loyal to emperor
• Large Jewish
community
• Destroyed and
rebuilt
Comforting words of Christ
• These are the words of him who is the First
and the Last, who died and came to life
again. I know your afflictions and your
poverty—yet you are rich! I know the
slander of those who say they are Jews and
are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
(Revelation 2:8-9)
The trial ahead
• Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I
tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to
test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten
days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I
will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
• There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives
out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1
John 4:18)
The promise of eternity
• He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches. He who
overcomes will not be hurt at all by the
second death. (Revelation 2:11)
Children suffer persecution too
• When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to
Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his
mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for
Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” he got up,
took the child and his mother during the night and left for
Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod…..When
Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he
was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in
Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and
under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the
Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah
was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and
great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and
refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”tthew
2:13-16)_
• A large number of people followed him, including
women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus
turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem,
do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for
your children. For the time will come when you
will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the
wombs that never bore and the breasts that never
nursed!’ Then “ ‘they will say to the mountains,
“Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ For if
men do these things when the tree is green, what
will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:27-31)
Mariam Ashraf Messeiha
(8) was shot dead in a
church attack in Egypt
These five siblings lost
their parents in a church
bombing in Pakistan
Key points
• Only church not to be criticised
• Poverty unlike others
• Actual persecution highlighted – from
outside (other religions)
• Role of Satan
• Huge inspiration to the persecuted church of
today
Texts to reflect upon
• “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part
is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the
body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1
Corinthians 12:26-27)
• When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the
souls of those who had been slain because of the word of
God and the testimony they had maintained. They called
out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy
and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and
avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white
robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the
number of their fellow servants and brothers who were
to be killed as they had been was completed. (Revelation
6:9-11)
• Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white
robes—who are they, and where did they come
from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said,
“These are they who have come out of the great
tribulation; they have washed their robes and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and
serve him day and night in his temple;and he who
sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
Never again will they hunger; never again will
they thirst.The sun will not beat upon them, nor
any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of
the throne will be their shepherd;he will lead them
to springs of living water.And God will wipe away
every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:13-17)
And us?
• We are called to be inspired by the
persecuted church
• We must support the persecuted church
• We must be ready to emulate the persecuted
church
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