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Long-Suffering Community (Part 3 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2022 4:00 am

Long-Suffering Community (Part 3 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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May 24, 2022 4:00 am

Jesus never promised to spare His people from suffering. But find out what He did promise and how that promise helps us persevere despite our circumstances. Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg concludes our study of Christ’s letters to the church.


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Jesus never promised to spare his people suffering today on Truth for Life will learn what he did promise and how his promises. Help us persevere, no matter the circumstances we face.

Here's Alastair big concluding our study in Revelation chapters 2 and three compartmentalized venture Bank, which is completely secular venture that will get on Sunday and we brought out the file included in the put it in the laptop and brought up on the screen religious while religious exhibit his religious thought, religious aspirations to file out and start another file back into the into the world where we live the rest of our lives, not at all.

That is an inherent danger in coming to an event like this and listening to the things that are said by people like myself essentially about color standard on the wrong way. If were not very very careful we can follow file of suggesting to the gathered community that there is a way to really serve God, which is to do in the way we are doing it and you want to get up.

Secondly way to serve God then you just get on with your business and be a good, faithful mom and a loyal schoolteacher and so on, to get really serious that you know you can come and join the ranks of the funny people well you hear you're welcome to join the ranks of the five people we would be glad to have more but that the fact of the matter is, be faithful, not be faithful where you are my mother I never had to pray out loud even when we have prayer times in our home. She never prayed you very quietly. She was a great baker. She was a wonderful listener. She had a fantastic sense of humor. She prayed for her children got to go home at the age of 47 I have fought the fight. I've kept the faith.

I've run the race. Now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness. That's what he says don't be afraid to be faithful and realize that there is a crown that awaits you can want to give you the cheat sheet on the church of Philadelphia, then all right.

These are that there is nothing you by Shakespeare plays and WH Smith when you don't want to read the whole play. Just read the rebook. While I want to give you now, this can lead the rebook version for Philadelphia and then were done. You will notice if you're if you're careful that there are distinct similarities between what is said to Smyrna and what is said to Philadelphia because I distinct similarities between the two that there is no complaint I offered in Smyrna that is not offered in Philadelphia. He says I know that you have little strength, but you've kept my word, and you have not denied my name. We could spend time there, but we really did quite a bit on that yesterday.

Remember when we thought about the previous church. They were true to his name and he did not forsake the faith. Also, you will notice the Philadelphians were like the Smyrna's in that they were opposed by the Jewish population. Jesus tells the church that if it will boldly march through the door that he's opening for them then there will actually be converts from among this opposition party. These people are slandering you these people are opposing you. He says if you will seize the opportunity that I am about to present to you if you will be bold in your proclamation if you will not tremble in fear, if you will be faithful to the calling I want you to know that by the power of my spirit on the might of my word. Those who are your opponents will become your friends and your family and in Philadelphia as in Smyrna. They were confronted by the threat of future tribulation.

These people in Philadelphia, recognizing that the storm clouds are gathering might have been tempted simply to circle the wagons to sound the retreat to convince themselves that, given all that they are confronted by this is not a good time for evangelism. This is not a good time for outreach. So the risen Christ urges them with the promise not to spare them from suffering.

You will note, but to uphold them when they face it just by stealing a friend give me a copy of which abuse little book on Revelation is really helpful.

I wish you give it to me on Saturday and so do you. But anyway when I went to my bedroom last night and I read it, I submit, I maybe I could just get up there tomorrow.

It would be briefer and probably a lot more helpful but anyway I read it and I decided I would steal the best from it, and then admitted and so here it is in this section where he deals with Philadelphia. He points out very helpfully that there are three symbols mentioned in these verses, and he just gives a sentence or two on each. Let me try and follow his example. He draws attention to the key in verse seven.

The key in verse seven which is a symbol of Christ's authority.

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.

You need to check for homework and Isaiah 2222 to get a context for this. This key which Jesus alone is able to have your light like the steward in Isaiah 22 fax into his shoulder. Jesus is the one who is able to wield this key which opens the way to salvation.

What about the saying there was no other good enough to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the door of heaven and light is in-flight because he is the one who holds the key of David. It opens the way to salvation, and it is the same key that opens the door to Sarvis which is of course what he is saying to these dear people what he is saying to us this morning.

This key opens the door in the salvation and opens the door to Sarvis so the key symbol one on the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ goes in the law, which is in the door symbol number two the door symbol of the opportunity for the follower of Christ. The key Jesus holds salvation into service opens the door of opportunity to each of us. Once we have walk through the narrow gate that leads to life, we discover that it is a life of service, I beseech you, brethren, says Paul in Romans 12. Remember, I beseech you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God which is your reasonable service of spiritual worship.

Remember Eric Alexander preaching on that so powerfully when I was just a young man and he was uncharacteristically using alliteration and I never got it. I wrote it down and in and it was anchored from that point, but he said that the that the sacrifice that we offered.

Then, in response to the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross was a living, lasting logical sacrifice that word in Greek is low because which is where we get in the King James version. Your reasonable service. Urological service there is a logic that attaches to this CT start understood it when he wrote in his diary. If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice that I could ever make. Could ever be to grace the door of opportunity swings before us. The Philadelphian church had the chance. It would seem to spread the gospel far and wide into the interior of the Roman jurisdictions. The good news of God's grace of God's kingdom.

The door is open. They may go through it. They must go through. There is actually far more freedom of opportunity.

I think in the United Kingdom. The letters in the United States for the gospel. You can still in schools, conduct services, tension, the local minister can go in and actually say something so pray for him that he will say something rather than just dribbled down his chin because the games teacher is standing in the back is a young man he takes them out on the field.

He has questions about life.

He is working out his existence and he stands at the back and the lessons and he wonders if the establishment of religion and the Christian thing is anything to say some poor soul comes in and just utters a bunch of benign platitudes and the children are all sitting like this waiting for him to go in the games. Teacher makes a mental note forget that it's not there. I must go to the bookstore. Perhaps there is something in Zen Buddhism.

After all, something that is a bit of a bite to a good Stilton cheese religion. Now this dreadful American cheese stuff this is when she's known is not very nice. I know it's not very nice but not everything has to be nice for Fits where it's were not talking about being bombastic about being imaginative work, being creative were talking about having a 1 foot in the Bible and our other food in the culture and being able to blend our understanding of what's going on around her understanding of the biblical text, and if we do it imaginatively, humbly, sensitively, creatively, not only will children listen to the school teachers will take as a site afterwards, and the sick, excuse me, I'd like an opportunity if I may just talk to you because my mother and was in the hospital and she has cancer and frankly I have no explanation for what's going on and I have no hope in the world.

Perhaps you could tell me. It seems to me that you have direct contact with Jesus, who is apparently the resurrection and the life force in the last several years I actually do have a ledge of coffee with symbol. One key symbol to door symbol three in the final symbol, a pillar, the key represents the authority of Christ. The door represents the opportunity of the follower of Christ and the pillar is a symbol of the believer security in Christ God is putting together a temple is not a man-made structure is not going to appear in this world.

The Jews were constantly focused on Jerusalem and the temple all goodness are temple fell down. You have to build it again.

But no, Jesus is building with different materials is building a new temple.

The component parts are Christian believers. They are the living stones built together as Peter says, into a spiritual temple being put together in such a fashion that we will be the habitation of the spirit of God. Ephesians 22. If you like I may say so reverently God is working with a gigantic spiritual Lego set and he is putting together this amazing building in this amazing and in this phenomenal mixture of metaphors we discover that as we look forward were going to be a pillar in the part I said to myself this morning as I wanted. I don't how to put all these metaphors together.

Now the people so I'm going to end up a pillar in the part I want to be a pillar in paradise. I'm going to be a sponsor pillar number of names all over me written on the back and the front of my shirt and one of the name of God under the name of the new Jerusalem. I'm going to bear the name of Christ as a mentor for.

Of course, what prospect to become a pillar lots wife became a pillar that doesn't appeal what he's saying is I build this temple. I'm going to build it with people and if you will be overcome if you will take the key C serving if you will walk through the door of opportunity, then you can look forward to being a part of this is a wonderful picture in the course of pastoral duties in Scotland in the years when I was assistant to Derek prime two of the most formative years of my life and for which I will eternally be grateful.

I visited all sorts of people.

People who had strokes and one lady in particular stood out because of the loveliness of her face and the kindness of our eyes in the fact that she been so dreadfully impaired by the stroke that she was now unable to verbalize anything at all, but she still could get some kind of melodic lying and her sister who you are. Very well, and her brother-in-law were usually present when I would visit and on one occasion that I was there. She managed to get out the little melody line that went to the dude dude dude dude dude dude 2222 and her sister said, you know that one said yes she said what I never sing so we sang the three of us dreadful trio. We are building. Day by day as the moments pass away temple that this world cannot see and every victory one by grace will be sure to find a place in that building for each team here was this lady stroke written paralyzed on one site constantly having on my dad by the loving care of her sister, unable to verbalize it. But in her heart and through her eyes recognize that through this experience of suffering. I swear she was going like time is more than God is not. Let's recap an open door standing for the churches opportunity key symbol of Christ's authority. The pillar picture of the conquerors security. I want to say this before your runoff or your children. Some of us of the more behind us and we got in front of us timewise when you're five and your birthday comes around. It seems forever, doesn't it. When you're five and a year goes by 20% of your life and by when you're 50. And a year goes by 2%. Your life just went by and I wonder if there isn't something in the biological clock. You know that that registers this and that's why it makes us think the older we get, that time is actually passing quicker is going in the exact same speed, but we have this perception of it running through our hands and some of those who have been born a little early and lived a little longer attempted to say you normally would just turn around and leave it to the group that are coming behind. After all, look at all these wonderful young people here got so much. You know, in front of them. We must learn all the way to the end we must continue.

There is no sitting in the grass is not throwing ourselves down on the field you prepared to give yourself again unreservedly to walk through the door of opportunity to say Lord Jesus Christ, anywhere, anytime anyone I'm yours to take those little courses in your childhood and sing them when you're driving the car. Lord, send me here in my send me I want to be greatly used of the across the street or across the sea.

Lord, send me. I mentioned in my favorite film is terrorism, fire, the best part of little story is not in the film. Perhaps in another film. It will be when he came back to Edinburgh after winning gold and setting a new world record in the 400 m in the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

The asked him what was the key to his success in the 400 m he thought for a moment and then he said I run the first 200 as fast as I can and then with God's help, I run the second 200 even faster visit while I'm in the second, 200 yes what you think. You get to slow down speeded speeded up.

There are people coming behind you young people were you going to do, what are you going to do what are you going to do with yourself.

That's the request on the evening that little left Edinburgh 11 from Edinburgh Waverley station and when he was settled on the train and put his case in the compartment.

He came back out the door and a letdown with the leather thing. Remember we used to jam your fingers in the wheatgrass mix that you did on on the locals and your mother said to all right so you let it down very carefully as a sensible chap and now he's going to China. Now he was fulfilling this other part of the picture. He had a great vision before them the vision of Revelation 7, he had seen a company that no man could number would gather from every tribe and nation, and he realized that in the giving of his life now. What a wonderful and fellow he was in the sporting world and that missionary school and so on. What an impact on the lives of so many people, but in giving his life. Not he was doing so in order that he might see the glorious vision of the risen Christ. The expectation of the Lamb in all his glory brought to fruition the new part by his willingness to walk through the door of opportunity and history records that he put his head out through the window to the gathered crowd shouted Christ for the world for the world needs Christ and then he led them in the singing of the hymn, Jesus shall reign where the sun dog. His successive journeys run his kingdom stretched from shore to shore to moon shone wax and wane no more. He had walked in to salvation and was walking out to service to remember where we began the Bible reader. The letter said will expound the text, but will also focus on Christ revealed in the text.

I've tried my best, let us consider who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose let us run with patience the race marked out for us.

Setting aside every sin. The things that trip us up and entanglements looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Suffering is indeed an inevitable part of a Christian's life.

We can persevere in faith as we trust in Christ as promised he will uphold us listening to Alister big on Truth for Life.

Alastair will be back in just a minute to close today's program with prayer today is the last day in our series titled letters from the risen Christ, Alister ended today by asking if we are prepared to commit our lives to Jesus. If you'd like to know more about what that means we want to recommend to you a couple of short videos. One is a brief talk from Alister explaining the gospel. The others in animated feature titled the story you'll find both videos the Truth for more. You'll also find several suggestions for additional teaching from Alister about Jesus in the Bible about church about the basics of Christianity.

Again, the website is Truth for more. If you are already a follower of Jesus. We want to recommend to you a book titled mere evangelism. 10 insights from CS Lewis to help you share your faith, the author of this book is an evangelist who became a believer after reading CS Lewis's well-known book mere Christianity. He was so impressed by Lewis's effective presentation of the gospel that he began to analyze Lewis's approach the book mere evangelism explores 10 specific strategies used by Lewis to compel others to consider the Christian faith.

These are approaches that you can adapt to your own style as you share the gospel with others request the book mere evangelism. When you give a donation Truth for or you can give us a call at 888-588-7884.

Our mission the Truth for Life is to teach the Bible with clarity and relevance will be outcomes that stems from this mission is that local churches are strengthened as pastors are able to your Alister's preaching on this program are prayer is they will be encouraged to faithfully preach the gospel in their own local churches. We recently have a number of pastors and local church leaders joining us for the basics conference. In fact, if you can remember to keep those who were here with us in your prayers. I'm sure they would be grateful asked God to help them apply all they learned while they were here.

The conference sessions can be revisited online that basics and as an additional learning tool for pastors, there's a free course titled the basics of pastoral ministry. It's available on our website.

This study provides instruction from Alister for how to lead a congregation out of projects positionally, how to make the gospel central in every message there are other sessions in the course as well that cover topics important for church leadership. All four modules and the corresponding online study guides are accessible for free Truth for search for the basics of pastoral ministry. When you go to our website. Now here's Alister with the closing prayer. Father God write your word on our hearts make the Lord Jesus increasingly precious to us and give us a heart of compassion, forgive our limited vision, forgive our benign mumblings vanished from our recollection. What is unkind, unhelpful, untrue, unclear, necessary, and maybe retain only and all that you desire for us from your word and by fully pray and that strong name of Jesus Bob Lapine. Thanks for listening. Tomorrow will learn how God reveals himself continually to everyone throughout the earth.

Even those who never read the Bible Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by learning is prolific

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