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The Fathers Love Letter To You
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Rev. 2:8-11               THE POOR LITTLE RICH CHURCH
Intro:  Ill. Three intrepretations.  Smyrna was located 40 miles from Ephesus.  It 
was called "The Crown City".  It was famous for commercially, because it was a 
port city.  It's main export was myrrh, a spice that was used in embalming, and for 
perfume.  It was also a famous religious center.  There were temples to Zeus, 
Cybele, Diana, Aphrodite, Apollo and Asclepius. There was a street paved with 
gold running through the center of town connecting the temple of Zeus with the 
temple of Diana.  Smyrna was famous for its theater and for its music center.  It was 
a city of great wealth and culture.  It was also a city which hated Christians.  They 
stood opposed to all the sin and idolatry of that city and they suffered as a result.  
This church represents the time period from 100 A.D. to 312 A.D.  It is the Martyr 
Church.  Let's join Jesus as he come to this church that is facing the fire and the 
lion.  Notice with me the POOR LITTLE RICH CHURCH.

  I. v.8-9                      THE CHURCH'S COMFORT
    A.  v.8  IN THE PERSON OF CHRIST
	1.  The First and the Last - Jesus has aldready been there!  He tells them He is 
	      the one in charge!  Nothing can happen to them except He allows it to! 	  
	      Rom. 8:28! (Ill. Map and Dragon!)
	2.  Was Dead and am Alive - He has already conquered death for these 
              people! He can identify with their sufferings.  Jesus can help us through anything! - Heb. 4:15
    B.  v.9  IN THE PERCEPTION OF CHRIST  (Ill. He knows - Heb. 4:13)
	1.  Their Pressure - Ill. They worked inspite of trouble. (Ill. Crushing - Grape 
	      vat)  Ill. The persecution that was there and what will come!
	2.  Their Poverty  -(Ill. 2 Kinds of poverty!) (Ill. They had no material waelth.  
	      Their faith in Jesus had casued them to lose all they had financially. (Ill. It 
	      will happen again!) (Ill. Jesus knew about poverty; 2 Cor. 8:9)
	  a. A Parenthetical Statement - Were poor Materially, but were rich 	 	  
	      Spiritually.
	  b. Rich in the things the world could not touch - Matt. 6:19-20
	  c.  Ill. Believer who gave much and lost all.
	3.  Thier Provocation - 
	  a.  The Synagogue of Satan - Jews who were trying to destroy the Christian 
		        church in Smyrna.  (Ill. Preacher in Devil suit!)
	  b.  Ill. Satan is an imitator.  He has never had an original idea!
	  c.  Ill. Jesus was also provocted - Matt. 10:24-25
	  d.  The godly church will never be liked - 2 Tim. 3:12

 II. v.10a                  THE CHURCH'S COMMOTION
    A.  The Misrey Of It - (Ill. the sufferings of the believers - 70 million!)
	1. Suffering is sure - We need to be prepared!
	2. Suffered some, more on the way - Jesus knows what is ahead.  If we will let 
	    Him, he will tell us.
    B.  The Mystery Of It - Not that Satan does it, but that God allows it! (Ill. He has 
	a plan! Isa. 55:8-9
    C.  The Ministry Of It - (To try their faith!)
	1.  Our faith being tried comes out more perfect! 1Pet. 1:6-7
	2.  Ill. 10 days = 10 persecutions under 10 emperors. (Ill. Nero and 	 	  
	     description!) (Ill. We may suffer, but Jesus has put a limit on it - Ill. Job!)

III. v.10b-11                   THE CHURCH'S CONQUEST
    A.  The Secret Of It - (Faithfulness!)
	1.  You may not can be a lot of things, but you can be faithful - 1Cor. 4:2
	2.  Ill. Polycarp!!  (Ill. Believer facing the sword!)
    B.  The Sweetness Of It - 
	1. A Crown of Life - Ill. The world may kill us here, but it can never touch us 
	    there!  (ILl. A Crown of Living it up) Ill. Many will receive this crown!
	2.  No Second Death, Rev. 21:8  (Ill. Petet Acts 4:12)  We can face trials with 
	    confidence if we are assureed of our salvation and the eternal nature of it!
              (Ill. Born once die twice, Hell forever, Born twice die once, Heaven 	 
	    forever!)
	
Conc:  Are you suffering because of Jesus today?  If so, rest assured that jesus 
knows, cares and understands.  But, even better than this, He will go with you 
through your trials and afterward take you home to glory.
Sermon By Alan Carr 
 


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