Pastor David Willets continues studying the churches of Revelation in order to identify certain characteristics of Aspen Park. These churches will help us look at how our church as a whole is doing. This week we turn to Revelation 2:8-11 to see what we can glean from the church at Smyrna.
The city of Smyrna was notable for their wholehearted embrace and worship of Caesar. It was a beautiful and wealthy town, but there was a steadfast group of Christians there that never wavered and never bowed a knee to Roman power. This church was one of the few that didn't receive a correction or rebuke of any kind from Jesus. They were poverty-stricken because of their continued insistence upon standing up for the name of Christ, but despite their poor situation, the members of this church were rich in spirit. The church at Smyrna knew not to put their trust in the wealth of the world, but in the kingdom of God.
The church at Smyrna was accused of a number of terrible things for not complying with common attitudes and opinions of the time. So why did God let such a faithful church suffer so much hardship? God sometimes allows things He hates in order to accomplish what He loves. The testing of your faith teaches perseverance, and every test you face builds a more complete faith in God. There may come a time when we identify strongly with Smyrna's battle for the truth. Does Aspen Park have the strength to stand firm against the pressure of today's culture?
Other sermons in this series: