Ep5-Revelation chapter 2 part 1 – relating to 2020 – by Dr John Barnett
In this video
Welcome to our fifth class going through in 20 classes the entire book of the revelation of Jesus Christ we have come in the seven churches to the second church and if you want to open in your Bibles we’re gonna be in Revelation chapter 2 starting in verse 8 the title this lesson as you can see on the slide is lessons from when Christians were hunted nearly to extinction in the history of the church Smyrna reminds us of the three centuries when Christianity got the closest it’s ever been in history to being wiped out to going extinct we’ll talk about that but as we do I want to remind you that this 20 lesson course studies all 404 verses and that the book of Revelation contains 800 allusions or connections to the rest of the Bible so you can’t really understand revelation without seeing those connections and that’s what we’re going to be extensively connecting today there is no new doctrine contained in Revelation always remember that rather it’s a clarification and a connection of everything else that the Bible says this is the only book of the Bible that Jesus himself came down to supervise all the other books of the New Testament his spirit inspired the writers to write but Jesus came down personally and helped John write these words it it gives it the ultimate priority for us and so as we study it could I just take a moment from today look look on the screen there from April 10th this is from Bloomberg News Online secular probably the most trusted business source in America and pretty much in the Western world look at that headline Apple Google brink Ovid contact tracing to half the world you see that three billion people I don’t have time to read the article to you but today Google and Apple said that they were using a special program they wrote for contact tracing now what that means is they are going to anonymously use the contacts in your telephone to anonymously connect to the health department’s of all the nations in the world where three billion people live and connect whoever has become infected with the covetous to your contact list and they will send you a text to tell you that one of your friends is infected Wow what we’re looking at in Smyrna is now when Co vid 19 was the problem the virus then was Christianity but what’s interesting is the book of Revelation that we’re studying in this course talks about the end and during this tribulation period there’s going to be a global ruler who can track down not 3 billion people but every person and can capture and execute every one that has not the covet 19 virus but as we see in Smyrna the Christ virus there is no more timely book in the world to study then the ancient prophecy that Jesus Christ sent to us in his church chapter two we’re gonna read the first or excuse me of the starting and verse eight down through the end verse 11 of the second church and we’re going to read about Smyrna starting in verse eight and to the angel the church in Smyrna write these things says the first and the last now I always stop and remind you and you should maybe even start marking these in your Bible that every one of these introductions of Christ goes back to what he said in Chapter one and in chapter one verse 11 he calls himself the first and the last so he re introduces himself to the people of Smyrna as the first and the last who was dead and came to life Wow I know your works your tribulation and poverty but you are rich and I know the blasphemy of those who say that they are Jews and are not but are of the synagogue of Satan do not fear any of those things which are about to suffer let me repeat that’s the central message of this letter do not fear that’s the most repeated negative prohibition in all the Bible fear not Jesus says fear not don’t fear any of those things which you are about to suffer that’s the anticipation that’s what’s going on with kovat you know more people are afraid not of what’s happening to him but what might happen to them and Jesus said I have the power to keep you trusting me and not fearing what is about to happen Wow indeed the devil is about to throw some of you into prison that you may be tested and you will have tribulation ten days be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life verse 11 he who has an ear to hear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches now I didn’t emphasize this last hour but do you notice what it says to the churches plural everyone these letters was written to a specific church Ephesus Smyrna Pergamum Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia lady sia but every one of them is a message to all of us to all believers in the churches all believers in all time from the beginning of the church in the days of Christ and His apostles all the way through the end of the church age on this world and to us today no more timely message let’s ask the Lord to open our hearts to his word father I thank you that Global News is sinking with the book of the revelation not that we believe that today is the end of the world but that we believe with all of our heart that you are orchestrating and you are causing to come to pass watching over your word to perform it and what you want us to know is that we should live without fear that we should be the most fear less people the most spirit-filled emboldened joyful people alive on earth today and in any way we’re not I pray this time in your word this time listening to your voice will convict us – fear not but to live for what will last forever and to live for what can never be taken away from us we pray in the precious name of Jesus amen well real quickly let me with that slide in front of you remind you that the Church of Jesus Christ has a purpose on the earth and the purpose most repeated is that we fear not now that that’s what we’re told most often to not do this whole letter to Smyrna the entire letter is framed by that command of Jesus Christ just looking at that Bloomberg quote I wonder how long it’s going to be before they can contact trace all seven billion not just three all seven Wow well revelation 2 starting in verse 8 reveals many things to us first of all there’s the same pattern I showed you where Jesus picks a geographic location then he shows his titles remember all of these letters have the same pattern but all of them end after the seven parts with the same ending he that has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit says to the and notice that word churches remember I told you last time that these seven churches number one were literal geographic locations two thousand years ago number two they represent all different types of people that will always be alive in Christ Church Ephesian losing their first love distracted people Smyrna people suffering purga might people getting kind of comfortable around Cynthia tyrants infected with sin sardines people that act like like they’re not in believers philadelphians people that Jesus said I have nothing nothing to correct in your lives you guys are living the Christian life the way I designed it to be Wow I’d pause right there and say if you kind of have a mental checklist you ought to say I want to I want to get to know why those people in Philadelphia when they were scanned by Jesus Christ he said you guys you’re doing what I asked you to do we’re gonna get that church soon then the latest since the worst of all but it is a message to all the churches so think about this number one to them 2000 years ago secondly to us today but specifically not to a group Jesus isn’t saying group of people he’s saying individually I want you to come to the place where you learn to fear not how is it just okay I’m not gonna fear no the opposite of hearing is trusting you see faith is holding on to something trusting fear is letting go and not trusting revelation 2 8 through 11 well I remind you that revelation now he has seven churches and seven letters but also you can divide the whole book of Revelation 2:7 successive events right right now we’re in the church on earth then when we get to chapter four we’ll see the churches in heaven and then starting in Chapter six we start picking up with the tribulation actually the word tribulation is a Greek word which is Paul let me just anglicize it for you flip sis that’s the Greek word that’s not written in Greek that’s in English for you to see in our letters but flip sis is kind of like what you do when you wat up paper you take a piece of paper and you squash it from every place and compress it down until it’s been flip cyst that means pressure exerted and crushing it from every angle now if you’ve ever bought a piece of paper and thrown it into a trash can you have just embodied what God says it’s gonna happen to the whole world from every side they’re gonna be squished from the the contact tracing side that the Antichrist the Beast is going to use to track every person and control them financially and then the false prophet and and all of the events of the global religion are going to be crushing plus all those plagues then we go to the end the way god punctuates tribulation is Jesus returns second coming of Christ launching his kingdom then with the rebellion I see a few mistakes on his chart you probably did too because this is gonna be on your quiz the millennium ends in six and the great white throne starts in seven but they’ll go from the Second Coming to the earthly rule of Christ to the ending of human history the great white throne the lake of fire and then the eternal state dwelling with God always remember that God writes revelation like a continued history not like little pieces to pull out and say I wonder what that means but to see each piece in context of what God is doing in the entire book those clearly described events are God’s plan for us to know what’s coming why why is God want us to know what’s coming so we don’t fear remember when Jesus described the end of the world how he described it you know I was thinking about that this morning when I read that two significant things happen overnight the first one is that they’re still studying the Sawtooth fault that’s in Utah and a rare huge in excess of six on the Richter scale is about a 6.5 magnitude quake hit Utah in the United States you say why we have quakes all the time yeah but there’s never been one there that fault they didn’t record an in quake time that fault was amazing but it’s never been active so that’s one interesting thing another one is Iceland they say Iceland is waking up the little peninsula Reykjavik is on you know it’s in the southwest corner of Iceland that little island has had 8,000 earthquakes in the last two days 8,000 they said of volcanoes forming there the last time the volcano was forming there that volcano erupted continuously for 300 years they said this is gonna train change all transatlantic air flights well of course there aren’t any flying right now right we’re in the we’re in the home shelter time but what I’m saying is don’t fear the more you see what the Bible calls births Ping’s jesus said that all the normal things that are always going on in the world floods famines did you see the locusts that are hitting Africa right now locusts there was a cloud last month that scared everybody that was over on the Horn of Africa like Ethiopia now the cloud has doubled in size and it’s going to not the desert regions but to the farming regions of Africa Wow plagues are we in a plague right now we’re calling it a pandemic wars I mean we’re not paying attention to it but wars are still going on right now in Syria and lots of other places so basically all the the problems that are always on earth and always have been since the fall of man into sin and during the time of Christ and since are going to ramp up birth pangs are closer together and more intense those are the two factors of the birth of a child the pains become closer and stronger so what the Lord says is when you see all the normal stuff floods famines plagues Wars earthquakes earthquakes becoming stronger and closer don’t fear actually what Jesus says lift up your heads your Redemption draws nigh did you know I read the paper every day or actually it’s not paper it’s an electronic screen on the computer but I read it every day just to be reminded to lift my head up and to look for my Redeemer to come that’s what the book of Revelation was written for to a group of people going through the near extinction of Christianity now in this next slide you see where they were living the the people these letters were written to were living in what we could call the epicenter of the Roman Empire they were not living in the territories they were not living in the heartland in you know like in America’s rural areas that are not as hit with the current epidemic or pandemic these people were living in like New York City if you know anything right now New York City has more flu cases of course than any country in the world and I know that in a few weeks that will change and this epidemic pandemic will become you know ancient history and you watch this video in a month and it’s like oh that’s old news yeah but this isn’t old news the latter were studying in this class was written to a group of people that were living literally in the heart of the Roman Empire in the most roman part of the Roman Empire more Roman than Rome they had more buildings and they had more temples and they had more troops Roman Legionnaires than any other part of the world look at the map we already saw Ephesus in the last class just up from Ephesus is Smyrna Smyrna had to learn look at the next slide how to be living for God in a dangerous world now you say what’s the connection to us are you living in a dangerous world are there floods and famines and plagues and Wars and earthquakes and right now pandemics yep but behind that who’s the god of this world by the way who wants to kill and steal and destroy who is the God of War if we want to call him that who is the murderer who is the liar who is the enemy of God who is the one that wants to destroy humanity you see the real danger is not the floods and famines and plagues and Wars and locusts and earthquakes and volcanoes coming what we’re really not supposed to fear is the author of fear see God is not the author of fear it says in in 2nd Timothy 1:7 for God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and a love and sound mind God wants us trusting Satan wants us to fear and this entire letter to the people of Smyrna is all about how to keep from fearing as we live in a dangerous world now remember back up and look at these seven churches Ephesus as you see in your slide there had a crowded heart the first danger all of this face is getting distracted from the Lord by everything around this Smyrna was facing horrific fiery trials norsu don’t fear those Pergamus was overexposed to sin Thyatira was infected by sin Sardis was so exposed and so infected they appeared to act unsaved now again I read in the news today that something curious is happening 1,200 people in 10 days in New York City have died either sitting on subways or on sidewalks now they said that that’s normal in a city of millions and millions and millions but it’s ten times more than normal you see all over New York City people that are too poor to be tested too poor to get a over ride to the hospital too poor to even be known are dying all alone all over the place you know what I wish I should have put a slide on for you to see someone took their drone and took a picture of of the island where New York City has dug this trench and they’re bringing four cliffs of plywood caskets and stacking him there because they have a rule if no one claims the body in so many days they just bury him did you know if you had gone to the city of Sardis on Jesus Christ tour from his perspective it looked a little bit like New York City there were people dead all over the place they were not in the church but they were dead they were not acting like Christians they were not responding Christiane’s they had no hunger for the word of God they had no respiration which is prayer they had no no desire to trust God they just acted like lost people it’s amazing how Jesus saw the church in sardis then the church in Philadelphia I took a clean bill of health kind of like someone that can live right around the plague and not even get it and then finally the worst Church the one that jesus said made him sick the spiritually blind and distracted of late Asiya well let’s take a drone view this slide shows you the modern city of Izmir now in Turkey today if you look on an atlas or online you’ll see one of the largest cities in Turkey is called is Mir Izmir eysie Mir that’s the modern spelling for the city of Smyrna so this city is still around and right there on the slide the yellow kind of oval you see there on that slide that’s in the little dark space in the middle of it that’s the actual first-century area we’re going to talk about with the events that the Smyrna inhabitants of the church were not to fear how does God want us to respond to our fear about our pain and struggles and persecutions and suffering well the first lesson the Lord wants to remind us of is that life is supposed to be camping and heaven is supposed to be our home now do you remember what both Paul and Peter said about the Christian life Peter as he was close to being crucified upside down you remember that’s how Peter died crucified upside down Peter said that that I am ready for my tent to be taken down folded up very interesting he actually used a Greek word from the Roman legions when they were out on the road they would break camp take their tents roll them up put them on to the cart and they would go to the next campsite Peter said I’m getting ready to roll up my tent my body is a tent I just live in it but I’m not the tent see most people nowadays they think this is all there is their body is the center of their life God says knowing you’re a Christian you realize you actually just live in that body and that body is only a tent and it’s temporary it’s gonna be taken down now Paul uses this word plus he uses another one so this is Peter Paul said I’m ready not only to break camp but I’m ready to sail away he uses the word for when the roman legionnaires would sail across the mediterranean and and the purpose of the boat was to get him there that wasn’t where they were gonna live they were just on the way and Paul and Peter both said life is temporary life is like camping having his home the early church faced three major waves of persecution Smyrna was at the cutting edge the first came when Nero needed someone to blame for failing as a leader he chose the movement called the way those who followed Christ and this way if was mostly limited to Rome so waveone was local the first persecutions were local the second wave was provincial now look at this local that’s when Paul and Peter were martyred provincial this is now the time of Smyrna and so what we’re seeing is the second wave of the persecution then as we’ll see in a few moments there was Empire wide so the church faced three waves of persecution the first one came while the Apostles Paul and Peter were still alive they were swept up in it mostly is centered around Rome mostly involved Nero it kind of subsided until near the end of the first century then it became provincial and that’s where Smyrna got involved second more widespread persecution came when Domitian became the emperor of Rome and it was during that time this time that John was exiled to Patmos and began to write under Christ’s guidance the book of Revelation as you look at the next slide you see the near extinction of Christianity this is what I would like to just take a moment to help you understand because I think most people don’t realize how the end of days the tribulation kind of what we’re starting to see is as we talk about this contact tracing and this global kind of electronic surveillance thing that we see building around us how that played into the lives of these early believers as they were getting an ancient version of it now basically Roman emperors were soldiers and most of them conquered and extended the Empire and sadly most of the Roman Empire’s Emperor’s either died of drinking too much living too wildly or they were killed in battle so basically almost every Roman Emperor died in office from either you know his body wearing out from the good life or being killed in battle or assassinated except for this one this is the only Roman Emperor who retired he was a soldier but more than a he was an engineer and Diocletian came to the Emperor and and decided he was gonna fix everything he fixed the sewers he fixed the bass he fixed the roads he fixed the army system he fixed the city of Rome’s problems and then he learned that there was a problem that kept creeping up in the Roman Empire now Diocletian is from late second – excuse me late 3rd to early 4th so in other words he’s from the 200s to the early 300s ad so late 3rd century to early 4th century and basically we can say from about 290 mm 6 – 3 Oh 6 or something along that line ad this Emperor decided that he was going to fix a reoccurring problem in the Empire he had heard about Nero’s problems with these people that were followers of the way that’s what they called Christianity the way because Jesus said I am the what the way the truth the life so these who followed the way had been you know a nuisance in Rome then they became a provincial problem but Diocletian said it’s time to get rid of them Empire wide his plan being an engineer like he was number one he had a three-part plan he said I’m going to destroy their places of worship I’m going to destroy their leaders so the church buildings the homes they met in the pastures and then he said their holy books he didn’t he didn’t know about churches and pastors and Bibles he just was smart enough to know that if you got rid of every place they met and everybody that led them and everything that they kind of all study together that you could wipe it out so he began a 10-year systematic destruction of every place the church met why do you think they went to the catacombs and other places like that it’s because they systematically lost their places to me then he found and either imprisoned or executed every pastor of every Church and guess what there’s not a complete copy of the Scriptures that predates Diocletian now there are tons of copies that are far predating him individual pieces see what the church did is as Diocletian was systematically getting him they started tearing their Bibles up and they would say here you take Genesis here you take Romans here you take Matthew and they they tore the Scriptures into pieces that’s why today there are thousands thousands and thousands into over 25,000 individual fragments that collectively we have every word of God but no complete copy because he destroyed them all he killed he demolished this event this near extinction is a foreboding picture of what’s to come when Christianity is no longer acceptable in our world Diocletian came closer to exterminating Christianity than any other Emperor there are at least 30 of them that tried this was just beginning this middle one when John was writing this I I love history so there on that slide are the persecuting Emperor’s Nero Domitian who exiled John Trajan Marcus Aurelius septimus severus I mean you know like gladiator guy Maximus Decius valerian Aurelian and Diocletian was the worse now what are some lessons that we can learn from suffering Smyrna when John Falls to his face look at revelation 117 when John fell down in his face before Jesus do you remember when Jesus put his hand on him when he said look at verse 17 chapter 1 and when I saw my fell at his feet as dad remember he was horrified seeing Jesus so angry and he laid his right hand on me yeah if we were studying the Gospels did you know what Jesus constantly did he touch people he reached out to sinners and lepers and people in need and poor people he hasn’t changed that’s kind of a reminder Jesus reached out and he touched him he laid his right hand on me and said do not be afraid see Jesus was prepping through this epistle the the book of the revelation he was prepping the church for what was to come do not be afraid why should we not be afraid because we’re not going to suffer because we’re gonna avoid all this no do not be afraid I am the first and the last I am he who lives and was dead I’m alive every more have the keys of death and hell don’t fear because of Who I am okay lesson number 1 we share in Christ’s sufferings that’s what Jesus says in verse 8 look at verse 8 these things says the first and last who was dead and came to life chapter 2 verse 8 jesus said when you’re suffering all that’s gonna come you’re not doing anything that I haven’t gone through in fact I’ve gone through more than you will ever go through and so don’t be afraid we share in Christ’s sufferings the first lesson we can learn from Smyrna is were called to share in Christ’s sufferings Jesus said to John by the way Smyrna Smyrna do you know what Smyrna means you all know this word when Jesus was born the wise men brought him gold frankincense in what say it out loud myrrh that’s what the Greek word smyrna is it’s myrrh did you know that myrrh spells of death it was used as embalming it’s so interesting that the the MIRR epistle that has to do with death and and all the sorrows of death is the one that Jesus wrote about suffering to come and not being afraid there’s such amazing symmetry that the Lord built in but Jesus was writing to a town named Smyrna the Greek word for myrrh and that’s towns major industry was myrrh and they would take a machete and they would hack at the bark of these trees and when that wounded tree healed itself it exuded little droplets that were picked off the tree that became the resin that was refined into myrrh people would gather the SAP and refine it myrrh always has to do with suffering in the scripture and when Jesus hung on the cross they even offered him wine mixed with myrrh to dull the pain and at his burial he was wrapped in myrrh and Jesus life is characterized as the most potent picture of suffering that anybody could imagine and so Jesus writes to the people of Smyrna and says don’t be afraid why because God offers to give us supernatural joy through our fears and pain and suffering for just a moment look at chapter 5 of Matthew because remember I told you there’s nothing new who in Revelation there’s no brand-new first time ever mentioned things in here all of it is just reminders chapter 5 and you can see the reference right there in the slide starting in verse 10 listen to what Jesus said blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven blessed are you and he describes forms of persecution we can all relate to when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake rejoice now look at this this is supernatural and be exceedingly glad really so when people are harming me and threatening me and scaring me and persecuting me I’m supposed to just be happy see that’s humanly impossible what Jesus said is I offer to you see the slide supernatural joy through your fears your pains your suffering your persecution now for just a minute you see on the slide there I want to tell you about my friend Boaz I’ll never forget when I met him I was in college a lot of you watching this are in college or in a Bible Institute or something and I was on a summer missions trip and we were delivering 1,800 Bibles to Romania we drove from Germany to Romania saw the Lord get us across several communist country borders we parked outside where we were supposed to this factory and our leaders said just parked there and the man that comes up and gets in the front seat without saying a word is the one you’re supposed to follow and I thought boy this sounds dangerous so we parked across the street from the factory in our van with 1,800 Bibles and all of a sudden this man walk straight out the gate walked around to the passenger side got in the front seat and said that way and for the next two weeks every day we picked him up from work and he sit that way and he took us from house to barn to house to village across the country Romania delivering those 1800 Bibles he only spoke a couple words of English that way we’re about the extent of his English when we got to the first place hours and hours of driving later we looked at our sheet we were supposed to deliver 20 Bibles I picked up 20 Bibles out of our car I brought in like this and this man Boaz put his hands out to receive the Bibles but this part of his hand I could see as the Bibles went in his hand you see what I’m wiggling my fingers I looked at his fingernails I’d never seen fingernails like that his fingernails were I don’t have anything well they were between these two colors dark the fingernails worth I mean they were thick enough to be like cedar shakes for shingles they were thick like a quarter inch thick and I thought huh and all night long as he stuck his hands up I started to seeing those fingernails well we work together for a whole week and I’ve never seen a man like that he worked all day rode all night would fall asleep between places when he was directing us where to go with his little brown fingernails he radiated what I now believe is supernatural joy I found out later when the ministry that summer was over I asked our leader in Germany I said what was the thing with the guy with the brown fingernails does he paint him that way in the man said oh who you met Boaz he said he’s been captured almost every year they do delivers that he helps deliver the Bible’s the Romanian police tie his hands down on a bench so yes to crouch over like this and while they’re telling him what’s coming the police chief takes his jackknife and a little piece of pine wood and cuts off little sharp splinters jams them under each of his fingernails that are his hands are tied down to the bench and while that man is talking to him he turns on his cigarette lighter and comes around and lights all of those splinters that are underneath his fingernails and they burn up underneath and totally disfigure and and horrific pain they torment him well we came back to next year by the way Boas came a year later hopped in but he wasn’t quite the same and I found out that they went from finger torture to that year after our group they tied him down in the same bench and took a rubber hose and they beat his feet taking turns the police by the hour so that it so damaged the nerves in his feet he could not stand upright and couldn’t go to work for six months yet 12 months later he jumped into our car the Lord said no matter what danger is coming your way I offer you supernatural joy that’s what jesus promised it’s true I saw it in his life well lesson two persecutions inevitable 2nd Timothy 3:12 says this all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution the side you see there is the heights of this empire-wide persecution they would take them they would hunt them down the Christians they would feed them to the wild beasts they would some of him crucified some of them burnt at the stake but let me tell you about one the next slide one of the sufferings Revelation chapter 2 verse 10 let me illustrate what happened in Smyrna from history it says do not fear any of these things be faithful until death and I’ll give you the crown of life on the slide what you see are the archways going into the forum area do you remember way back a few slides back I showed you a big yellow circle around the heart of Izmir which I said was first century Smyrna this is what was in that circle this what you can see on that slide are the archways which all the citizens of Smyrna had to line up and walk through that archway with the city clerk the roman legionnaires standing and a little table and this is all they did on the table the emperor said and this was in this middle level of persecution the emperor said I want you to have every citizen of Rome that lives in Smyrna to walk through this those arcs ways come up and there’s a bowl with incense reach in with two fingers and get a little bit of incense between your fingers sprinkle it over a flame of a lamp that was burning next to the clerk and if they would say Caesar is Lord actually two words in Latin Kairos days that the Cesar is God say two words as you sprinkle your incense and you were safe for one year well they lined up to town and people started standing in that line and it was announced to them that if they didn’t do that they would take them into the forum and they would be burned at the stake alive executed martyred horrifically tortured you know what people began to think lines about a mile long nobody’s here except Clark and that soldier no one will ever know Caesar his Lord and they got off for another year until Polycarp the 86 year old pastor of the church at Smyrna got into the line and he looked down at the incense and looked at the flame and he looked at the clerk and he looked at the soldier and he said he said eighty and six years have I lived and I have followed Christ all my days how could I deny him now and they marched him into the forum and that day burned him alive you see Jesus wasn’t joking when he said you’re gonna face death they did remember those who suffer persecution are the ones that are godly in Christ Jesus that was the earliest controversy in the church what you do with the Lapp sirs they called him to people that did the incense because they didn’t want to die and the church had a great controversy over whether they should let them stay in the church because they weren’t faithful but here’s a lesson in Jesus letter to Smyrna he doesn’t promise they’ll escape see people think wow the rapture I’m not going to go through all this I’m gonna be in heaven yeah but remember the birth pangs I told you about here it’s gonna get bad before the Lord takes us out the Lord never promised we’ll escape he doesn’t promise to blind the eyes of those hunting them he doesn’t promise their careers will be safe their homes will be safe he never says their friends and family will be safe he says be faithful until death when we serve for each summer smuggling Bibles into the former Soviet Union Soviet bloc communist countries in Eastern Europe I learned something if you’re a Christian and love the Lord and follow the Lord the government would not allow your children to go to college did you know that under communism Christians children could not go to college they were to be day laborers ditch diggers whatever but they could not get educated in other words if you became a Christian it didn’t just harm you your family would suffer you know what in America today people will sacrifice anything for their kids to get ahead they are not willing to suffer and so their children become less and less reflective of Christ because they skip Church for their activities and their sports and their academics and their art pursuits and they gradually get comfortable around sin infected with sin and acting like they’re not even believers but throughout history God has used persecution to advance the gospel I’m going to close with this how can you apply the scriptures to suffering well I propose this here’s the third lesson God’s attribute shapes persecution for his purposes what do I mean by that well there are 20 plus prime attributes of God you can see them on the slide independence unchangeableness eternity omnipresent omniscient you’ve heard of all these now watch how do we apply the attributes of God to the horrific things that are going to be in our lives well let’s just take for the ones that are bold there and let’s apply the attributes of God to get my fears into perspective so I make a little box effect I’ll draw this as I do this because I know your slide is little and before we go I want you to think about applying the truth of the word of God to what ever you face in your life today okay so we’ll put a box here and this is you and me this is us and these are all our fears and God says I want you to see that nothing can get into that box don’t fear it’s gonna get into that box without remembering four things four attributes of God here they are when we get a financial hit when we get a accident you know car accident work accident unexpected loss so when we know love that it’s in our life or maybe we get a health problem like cancer how do we trust God well we remember number one God is always good now that’s one of his attributes God is always good in other words my life is protected by the fact that God will never harm me Wow he is not trying to harm us number two God knows everything God knows now what does that one his omniscience in other words God is too good to let anything into my life that I fear that will harm me he’s not gonna harm me he might refine me he might have me go through fires of persecution or even die but it’s not to harm me it’s for my good you know what that means God knew about it before it ever happened you know a lot of people think that when a disaster strikes they got to pray real quick because the Lord was not watching over them right then God knows everything from eternity past he is good look at the next slide God is present now he’s not present out there he’s in the box with us he lives in us so God is present with us when all of our problems come he knew they were coming he’s too good to let anything happen to us and look at this last one he is so powerful we call that his omnipotence God is so powerful he could stop it from happening have you ever thought about that look look at what we have we have a box we live in made by God that’s so powerful he is so good nothing gets in there except what’s good for us he knows about it so nothing escapes his attention he lives in there with us and he’s so powerful he could prevent it from happening to us when he doesn’t it’s for this reason God wants us to learn to trust him he is either good or bad he’s either wise or dumb he is either all-powerful or weak he’s either everywhere present or absent he is he’s allowing these problems we fear to come into our life because our responses declare whether or not we trust him trusting God means that we believe nothing accidentally touches us that’s his attributes because God is good and he always loves us God is omniscient and he always knows before it happens what’s happening he’s omnipotent and he could prevent it from happening and he’s omnipresent because he’s always with us so the lesson from the Christians who were hunted nearly to extinction is one word are you gonna trust God if you’re not God’s not the author of fear trust the God who’s with you who knows who’s good and it was so powerful you could stop anything if he doesn’t trust him that’s about for where to pray or father thank you for letting us read your letter to the Smyrna inhabitants that suffered so much thank you for letting us see the current situation our world to remind us that soon there’s going to be a virus that’s not covet it’s going to be Christianity and we’re going to suffer and until you come or call us I pray we would trust that you are the God revealed in your word and that we would follow you all of our days in the precious name of Jesus we pray and all God’s people said amen [Music]
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENINT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.