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January 14, 2021 8:00 am
God has an encouraging word for you and me today.
The Bible makes preaching of Dr. Don Wilton a message on godly people as we open the word to get another one available for your phone lines open at 866-899-WORD pray with you 866-899-WORD 9673 or online at tewonline.org.
I want you to me to Revelation chapter 2. You need your Bibles today will be in Revelation chapter 2. These all incredible just to remind you of something here not want you to get all of this. Revelation chapter full heaven opens heaven opens and John is on the island of Patmos is the one who received this vision. He gets caught up. Why, because the Bible sees when heaven opens Jesus comes out of heaven, and he stops in the clouds and all believers are going to be called up to meet him in the air go back into heaven, will be with Jesus forever. That's the picturing in chapter 4 verses one and two in following Psalm in chapter 1, two and three of the book of Revelation, Jesus is talking to the church he's talking to believers and I'm telling you this is fantastic because in chapter 2 in chapter 2.
He's what we're about to study he's talking to the church at Smyrna. Smyrna is him why got that Smyrna not is him.
Why are in. You can read it right. I'm a talk about that so why did Jesus talk to these people. What what was the purpose fantastic, so as we check our own temperature.
Jesus was checking the temperature of this group of believers is looking at believers he's talking to believers, the church.
This is what he says Revelation chapter #2 the angel of the church in Smyrna write these all the words of him who is the first Emma lost who died and who came to life again.
I know your afflictions and your poverty. Yet you are rich. I know the slander of those who say that they are Jews but are not in fact they are a synagogue of Satan.
Do not be afraid of what you're about to suffer. I tell you, the devil would put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for 10 days but be faithful, even to the point of day and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches one who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second day I may explain this to you. Let's start out nice talking to believers in a place called Smyrna. Let me tell you about Smyrna, just very quickly where it is incredible place.
It's a it's a fantastic place and it's an interesting thing by the way, if you want to know where it is. It's right on the GMC near GMC is a beautiful seam and blue blue water. You know you want to go diving and swimming and you can see the bottom in on all the fish in his system. It's just gorgeous, dropdead gorgeous. We love places like that. Lots of those places on our coastlines.
That's right on the Aegean Sea, right on a beautiful river so it's got this incredible hall, but at Smyrna by the whites in modern-day Turkey. And if you Google it. You'd have to Google the Turkish nine E. via East Mia I is MRR. That's the name of Smyrna today. East Mia I is MRR you got that you taking notes so it's in Turkey met Asian folks, okay, let me tell you something about about this place. This place back in the day was a fantastic place to live in a house to put it.
Everybody wanted to live there because it was, like they use the word like being on the Aegean Rivera right. I mean just fantastic and it was the ideal place people. Everything about you say that somebody said to you. Where would you like to live most of all a lot of people would've said right, they, the location was fantastic.
They were a people full of fun. They were very affluent people. They did well economically because they had merchants coming in and out a lot of stores and businesses that temple is everywhere, so all the temple worship and everything like at Bordelon industry and markets and everything. It was hustling and bustling.
I get this one. They kind of had an independent form of government but they were the darling of the Roman Empire. The Romans love any many ways the people from Smyrna were in fact actuated with the Romans and with the Roman political system and government get that done. Forget that. I mean, they went to extraordinary lengths by both temples in honor of them everything they needed men. I wanted to please Road that was the name of the game and in all of this. There was all this paganism. Most of the population in Smyrna with Jewish people. A lot of them were good people to say about something because Jesus spoke about that he said something about some of them and it wasn't nice yet. Bottom line, just get this. Do you know what the word Smyrna means where it comes from or just cut the air so go to Myrna which is a derivative of the word weighty. Where did you hear about the men when the wisemen came to see Jesus when he was born want to die. Bring gold, frankincense, and you got it. Why did they bring those three things. I know it's not Christmas gold was symbolical of kinship. The kingdom of God. Royal frankincense was symbolic of deity. Jesus is Lord by bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. So what in the world is murder. Murder is the substance that used to embalm bodies. It's a fragrant substance that are used when people die they put it on the body. The outside of the body at the day off today. Why would why would the wisemen bring the because Jesus came to die.
They got it kingdom of God lordship of Christ came to die because of you and me.
There is murder. So wait a minute now is something about this name and why would that name. I want to read something in here, but why would a fantastic place have the name of the embalming food.
Maybe because on the outward.
It was just party city but on the inward man looks on the outward appearance, God looks upon the hall so into this place was the Roman influence. So if you had an emperor limb.
Let's pick on one of them done mission. He was one vicious dude, you know some of the emperors that were so vicious they would use the headings of executed Christians to adorn the steps leading up to the palace doors in that terrible and if you are a Christian you faced unmitigated persecution and suffering and Jesus looked at the church in Smyrna.
This church that had everything that I had great athletics.
I had lots of money. Their economy was good. Shops were open.
They had this giant political big daddy that watched over them and treated them special and in the middle of this there was the church who you know that Jesus did not have one single bad thing to say about the white Jesus had nothing but praise for these people.
Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying here and what right do I have this just reduce it to write no just whatever anybody wants to say on your pasta and on the shepherd of this flock. I just wanted tell you something I really commend you for the Christian people.
You are in the middle of this crisis. By the way, have you noticed how the world is falling apart.
Just have you noticed the white people talk to each other these days you noticed all the unrest will hate guys just just get this and have you noticed some of the most famous and well-known people they garden.
They were just costs blaspheme on TV front about kids and right these guys in Smyrna. They were being squeezed men. They were Christians they were believers. They love the Lord and God said the standard for the I just want to give this to you. Let me let me tell you what hardships produce persecution. This is what in the Bible is full of this one by all need to do a series on just what persecution, suffering and hardship produces and by the way, if you want to run this to the task.
You are not old know of people all around us that have gone through tough times. These three things you can see it. Hardships number one sift. They sift out. They separate out they show the real thing, hardships, challenges that you know somebody people say all the time you want to really see what a person is made of. Just watch who they all in the midst of a real challenge. Coaches do that. I mean I would coaches all my life. The team loses to strike the coach goes and sees. Now we gonna see what you really might in the team comes back and wins the race of the season you're listening to Dr. Don Wilton and The Encouraging Word and will be back with the rest of today's message incredibly godly people in just a moment but perhaps you're in that similar situation where you feel like you've lost a battle or to and how is the rest of the season can turn out. We want to know one God is with you his promise never to leave you or forsake you.
And we're with you as well. It's our privilege to pray together were connecting right now on the phone at 866-899-WORD we do that 24 hours a day you can jot the number down or visit our website tewonline.org you for all the ways to connect again it's keyboard email@example.com or this phone number 866899 word that's 866-899-9673 would love to connect with you to connect with resources that will help change your life forever.
Now back today's teaching with Dr. Don Wilton will know what you might so what hardships number 25 you go into a challenging the heart.
Family life was suddenly purified in your understanding fiction about what's see challenges make us stand up to God's standard because we live in a world in which guys what is our world say God doesn't mean that anymore times of typing we need to modernize when you need to get with it or the Bible doesn't mean that you can only take this, but not listen.
Hardships purify us in terms of God's righteousness. Number three hardships affirmative believers. I love that hardships and persecution of firm a person's faithfulness genuineness. I am just telling you guys listen to me something is not anything like Smyrna you take this coronavirus those three things. Just think of the church back in Fairbury inside everything going all hunky-dory with all of us wonderful suddenly that comes I'll guarantee you three things of taken place with believers all across America, sifting, purifying, affirming about you. That's what Jesus is saying here and he looks at this and maybe he is just congratulating this incredibly godly group of people. So what was it that caused them to face such persecution. Why were they so persecuted living in such a great place with the fiber of government with the river is bogus. Lots to eat great restaurants, powerful people influence schools. By the way they were known for science and medicine. Smyrna was a place where people trained in the medical field. Why were they so persecuted just a member. Polycarp won the church folk. He became bishop of Smyrna. Do you know just off to this took place when Jesus was talking Polycarp and incredibly godly man because of his stand for Jesus was marched out and he was publicly executed in the worst kind away the martyrdom of Polycarp go read it. It'll shock you. When I was studying for this I read the whole story of Polycarp. I mean it just get your product so why were the Christians in Smyrna persecuted in such a fantastic place. Why would Jesus have commanded them because while they were persecuted. Number one because of the devotion to Jesus see the Emperor came along and he said we gonna have Emperor worship and worship me.
You non-Christian sin not, we can obey the law. Go to Romans 12 will obey the law, but you drawing a line in the sand we not gonna worship the emperor. Not gonna worship politics in a worship government to worship any person really worship Jesus and they paid for it by Sonata. We gonna keep the main thing the mind thing you worship Jesus I pay the price they got persecuted they lost their lives's first reason, second reason why they were so persecuted was their refusal to pay denies is one thing to be devoted to Jesus, but it was their refusal to pay denies what is that mean pagans were everywhere.
They were temples everywhere and associated with temple worship was immorality was partying, sacrificing ceremonies, gatherings, drunken this and drunken that in the Christian Satan note were not going to do that.
I refuse to pay denies I said no not not not not wait. We can't do that.
That's not God's standard.
You know, maybe some of them said. Listen man, it's okay. Just gone participate but just don't do. Have you ever heard someone say that it would some as I man just go get involved in that thing, but just, you know, just be careful to speak it.
None of these Christians in Smyrna said you know we not going to be square pegs around here, but I'll tell you one thing we know, gonna do in order to worship the emperor. We devoted to Jesus and number two at great cost to ourselves. We not gonna pay denies the third reason why they were persecuted which was big was their determination to obey. See, it's one thing to be devoted to Jesus. It's another thing to be refusing to pay denies that it sold together.
Another thing to actually obey what God says that Jesus tells us about a group of Jews most the larger population in Smyrna were Jews. Jesus said I know that even though they are in the synagogue. I can see their hearts they just pretenders by hypocrites by not the real thing by the way in making a top statement. I'm not so sure that all churches in the midst of all the godly wonderful people. You don't think most churches have pretenders inside Jesus was just saying it straight out he was commending these Christians that look just put this in context.
Okay, why did the Jews persecuted the Christians so much why we give you five reasons, among many other number one because they accuse the Christians of cannibalism. Imagine that you're not can't quite identify but the Christians would celebrate the Lord's supper.
They would eat and drink the flesh of Jesus so they accuse them of being cannibals, they would they would accuse them of immorality immorality accuse Christians yell they had this thing called a holy kiss. I got body slammed of the stuff from the Jews. Any excuse to criticize the Christians to demean them.
Third reason why they criticized and went off to the Christians because they said Christians were breaking up families and homes.
Now why would they say that because Christians believe that you should not be unequally yoked at Slack, prejudiced as an and get this, so you'd have to pagans that would get married in Smyrna and then one of them. The husband or the wife would hear about Jesus and their whole life would change what happened when they life change. They refused to worship the emperor. They refused to pay. Denies and they were determined to obey and the other one was still a plague so it would seriously affect their family and many times would lead to the breakup of the family who did it to you Christians did, you better be careful of you become a Christian. My gonna persecute you. Another reason I persecuted them.
You know the Jews actually accused the Christians of being atheists all well accuse them of being atheists. Yeah, because the Christians would not accept pagan deities. They wouldn't believe in the pagans got that what you believe in the gods wouldn't do what God wouldn't get involved wouldn't sacrifice to the gods.
Therefore, they were atheist Jesus because they didn't know. I'm not about Jesus. That's not belief.
As far as the satanic Jews were concerned but the accusation against him lead to the greatest persecution used the Christians in Smyrna of treason and disloyalty because they wouldn't worship the Roman government and the Roman Emperor that wasn't true.
They accuse them of that because they didn't get out, then hoist the flag of the Romans. Even seemingly high in the flag of Jesus in their lives and in their hearts. So what a nisei said three things to them what he said to them, number one, he said, do not fear even though you gonna suffer even though they might imprison you fear that a great word. Second thing he said the faithful Edward faithfulness is amazing. As you know, God is faithful. You never leave you, never for site number three in rating says what's gonna happen, gonna receive, block, get ready you can sense the excitement in our pastor's heart, Dr. Don has more than just preaching and teaching to share with you. He wants to ask you a most important question. Next, are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm so happy to hear that wanting to pray this prayer with me today. Fear God, I know that you love me very, very much and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ came and died on the cross so that I might be forgiven of my sin.
Today, I repent of my sins, I confess my sin. And I invite you to come into my heart come online by faith in Jesus name I pray, if you prayed that prayer that may be the first want to welcome you to the family of God. This is wonderful. I hope that you know how much I'm going to be praying how very important this is for me so that we can make you place you can begin this wonderful trade… Welcome to the family of God tell somebody and why not tell us communicate right now it 866-899-WORD would love to talk with you put some free resources in your hands.
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