The Suffering Church | TBN

The Suffering Church

Watch The Suffering Church
March 10, 2020
27:29

The Bible is clear that Christians will face persecution. In this message Dr. Jeremiah shares how it is possible to endure persecution for the sake of Christ.

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The Suffering Church

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  • Dr. David Jeremiah:Revelation,
  • 00:00:03.809 --> 00:00:06.378
  • it is known as a bookof mysterious signs and wonders.
  • 00:00:06.412 --> 00:00:11.984
  • But the prophecy containedwithin speaks of more
  • 00:00:12.017 --> 00:00:14.653
  • than just what is to comein the end of days.
  • 00:00:14.686 --> 00:00:20.359
  • Found near the beginningof the book, Revelation contains
  • 00:00:20.392 --> 00:00:23.462
  • a collection of seven letters,dispatches from Jesus, delivered
  • 00:00:23.495 --> 00:00:28.500
  • by Revelation's human author,John.
  • 00:00:28.534 --> 00:00:32.438
  • These letters aren't long.
  • 00:00:32.471 --> 00:00:33.939
  • In fact, they'reactually quite brief
  • 00:00:33.972 --> 00:00:36.041
  • and straight to the point.
  • 00:00:36.075 --> 00:00:37.943
  • The recipients?
  • 00:00:37.976 --> 00:00:39.711
  • The early Christian churches.
  • 00:00:39.745 --> 00:00:42.314
  • But while these letters spokedirectly to seven churches
  • 00:00:42.347 --> 00:00:44.817
  • of antiquity, they,like the book of Revelation,
  • 00:00:44.850 --> 00:00:48.253
  • are prophetic, propheticin that by them, Christ's words
  • 00:00:48.287 --> 00:00:52.391
  • speak to all churchesthrough all the ages.
  • 00:00:52.424 --> 00:00:56.528
  • Seven churches, seven letters,seven messages
  • 00:00:56.562 --> 00:01:01.533
  • for today's believers,relevant words of commendation,
  • 00:01:01.567 --> 00:01:05.637
  • tender encouragement,and of warning.
  • 00:01:05.671 --> 00:01:08.874
  • So join me as we lookinto the Bible and discover
  • 00:01:08.907 --> 00:01:11.944
  • Christ's timeless wordsto his followers
  • 00:01:11.977 --> 00:01:15.347
  • through the seven churchesof Revelation.
  • 00:01:15.380 --> 00:01:18.517
  • Dr. Jeremiah: Hello,I am David Jeremiah.
  • 00:01:22.421 --> 00:01:24.223
  • Welcome to "Turning Point."
  • 00:01:24.256 --> 00:01:26.458
  • Think with meabout a sobering reality.
  • 00:01:26.492 --> 00:01:30.062
  • At this very moment, somewherein the world, Christians are
  • 00:01:30.095 --> 00:01:34.099
  • being persecutedfor their faith.
  • 00:01:34.133 --> 00:01:36.768
  • The truth is we never know when,how, or where our faith may be
  • 00:01:36.802 --> 00:01:42.608
  • challenged and tested.
  • 00:01:42.641 --> 00:01:44.409
  • So we must live prepared livesby learning how God has
  • 00:01:44.443 --> 00:01:48.247
  • comforted others who havesuffered.
  • 00:01:48.280 --> 00:01:51.717
  • One such group of Christianslived in the city of Smyrna
  • 00:01:51.750 --> 00:01:55.954
  • in Asia Minor.
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  • And duringa particularly difficult period
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  • of Roman persecution,Christ sent a letter
  • 00:01:59.858 --> 00:02:03.695
  • to that church.
  • 00:02:03.729 --> 00:02:05.164
  • He told them how to respondand remain faithful.
  • 00:02:05.197 --> 00:02:09.868
  • In today's message,"The Suffering Church,"
  • 00:02:09.902 --> 00:02:12.237
  • we will discoverChrist's instructions to those
  • 00:02:12.271 --> 00:02:14.873
  • who are persecuted for him.
  • 00:02:14.907 --> 00:02:16.975
  • It's the third in our new serieson the seven churches
  • 00:02:17.009 --> 00:02:20.279
  • of Revelation, a timely messageon today's edition
  • 00:02:20.312 --> 00:02:25.184
  • of "Turning Point."
  • 00:02:25.217 --> 00:02:27.219
  • male announcer: Revelation isa mysterious book full of signs
  • 00:02:28.053 --> 00:02:30.589
  • and symbols,portraying things seen
  • 00:02:30.622 --> 00:02:32.324
  • and unseen, in the world,and those of the world to come.
  • 00:02:32.357 --> 00:02:36.361
  • Especially appearing in numbersof seven.
  • 00:02:36.395 --> 00:02:39.431
  • Gain a clearer understandingof Revelation's mysteries
  • 00:02:39.464 --> 00:02:41.967
  • with Dr. David Jeremiah's"The Revelation Sevens."
  • 00:02:42.000 --> 00:02:45.971
  • Discover all 54 7s of Revelationin the order they appear
  • 00:02:46.004 --> 00:02:49.908
  • in the Scriptures,along with a correlating
  • 00:02:49.942 --> 00:02:51.843
  • reflection.
  • 00:02:51.877 --> 00:02:52.844
  • Plus, featured sevensinterspersed
  • 00:02:52.878 --> 00:02:55.047
  • throughout this 44-page handbookto help you further your study.
  • 00:02:55.080 --> 00:02:58.817
  • Use this reference toolin your personal or group study
  • 00:02:58.850 --> 00:03:01.887
  • of Revelation.
  • 00:03:01.920 --> 00:03:03.055
  • Utilize the topical indexto search for and study
  • 00:03:03.088 --> 00:03:05.857
  • specific sevens.
  • 00:03:05.891 --> 00:03:07.292
  • And find a renewed desireand excitement to mine
  • 00:03:07.326 --> 00:03:10.195
  • the riches of Revelation.
  • 00:03:10.229 --> 00:03:11.797
  • Also inside,the Seven Praises bookmark,
  • 00:03:11.830 --> 00:03:14.766
  • to keep you ever focusedon God.
  • 00:03:14.800 --> 00:03:16.868
  • This study handbook isyours when you give a gift
  • 00:03:17.069 --> 00:03:19.671
  • of any amount in supportof this program.
  • 00:03:19.705 --> 00:03:22.040
  • And if you give $60 or more,Dr. Jeremiah will send you
  • 00:03:22.074 --> 00:03:25.510
  • "The 7 Churchesof Revelation Study Set,"
  • 00:03:25.544 --> 00:03:28.113
  • which contains,"The Revelation Sevens,"
  • 00:03:28.146 --> 00:03:30.582
  • all the messages featuredin this current teaching series
  • 00:03:30.616 --> 00:03:33.118
  • on 9 DVDs,and a correlating study guide.
  • 00:03:33.151 --> 00:03:36.822
  • Support David Jeremiahand this program and receive
  • 00:03:36.855 --> 00:03:39.891
  • these compelling Revelationstudy materials as a thank you.
  • 00:03:39.925 --> 00:03:43.028
  • Contact "Turning Point" today.
  • 00:03:43.061 --> 00:03:45.230
  • ♪♪♪
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  • Dr. Jeremiah: What do you sayto somebody who is
  • 00:03:57.342 --> 00:04:02.014
  • suffering?
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  • How do you counsel peoplewho are going
  • 00:04:03.548 --> 00:04:06.018
  • through great timesof sorrow and tribulation?
  • 00:04:06.051 --> 00:04:10.789
  • What would you sayto an individual whose family
  • 00:04:10.822 --> 00:04:13.825
  • has been torn apartbecause of the stand they
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  • have taken for Christ?
  • 00:04:17.162 --> 00:04:19.164
  • What if your neighbor has losthis job and was experiencing
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  • poverty?
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  • How would you reach out to him,and what would you say?
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  • Here before us isour Lord's own formula
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  • for encouraging those who aregoing through suffering
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  • and sorrow and pain.
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  • It is a personal letter, writtento a church that was living
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  • in tremendous pressure.
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  • The word "Smyrna"actually occurs three times
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  • in the New Testamentin connection with Jesus Christ.
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  • See if you can pick it upas I share it with you.
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  • At the birth of Jesus,when the wise men came
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  • from the east and openedtheir treasures, they presented
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  • Jesus with gold, frankincense,and Smyrna.
  • 00:05:01.006 --> 00:05:06.411
  • At the crucifixion of Jesus,those who stood by offered
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  • our Lord wine mixedwith Smyrna to help deaden
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  • the pain of his suffering.
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  • At the burial of Jesus,Nicodemus came with Joseph
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  • of Arimathea, and the two mentook the body of Jesus
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  • down from the cross,they wrapped his body
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  • with linen, and in the foldsof the linen, they placed
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  • a hundred-pound weightof aloes and Smyrna.
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  • Isaiah the prophet hasan interesting omission
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  • in his predictionconcerning the second coming
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  • of Christ.
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  • Listen to Isaiah 60, verse 6,"All those from Sheba shall
  • 00:05:41.780 --> 00:05:46.485
  • come, they shall bring goldand incense, and they shall
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  • proclaim the praisesof the Lord."
  • 00:05:49.588 --> 00:05:51.523
  • Isn't it interestingthat when he talks
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  • about the second coming, myrrh,or Smyrna, is left out?
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  • Jesus will never again cometo this earth with myrrh
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  • as the suffering Savior.
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  • When he comes again, he will bethe sovereign Savior,
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  • and there's no need for Smyrnawhen he returns.
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  • Now, no one knows for surehow the church in Smyrna
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  • got started.
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  • Paul had directeda 3-year campaign,
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  • the Bible says, when he wasin Ephesus, and he caused
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  • all of Asia to hearthe Word of God.
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  • That surely would have includedthe little island of Smyrna.
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  • And the word "Smyrna"perfectly describes the church.
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  • The Christians in this city werepersecuted.
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  • And as one writer says,"They were lying embalmed
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  • in the precious spicesof its suffering."
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  • And this isone of the two churches
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  • in the list of seven churchesto which the Lord does not say
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  • anything negative.
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  • He doesn't sayanything negative.
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  • Remember last week, Ephesus wasa good church, but the Lord
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  • said, "Nevertheless, I havesomewhat against you because you
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  • have left your first love."
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  • When you read the letterto the Smyrnians, you don't find
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  • anything that he says that'snegative.
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  • What was thereabout this congregation
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  • that caused it to sufferso much, so much so
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  • that myrrh isa significant representation
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  • of the church itself?
  • 00:07:12.537 --> 00:07:14.873
  • Smyrna was the first cityever to build a temple to honor
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  • Rome and Tiberius the emperor.
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  • To the average Christian,Rome has always been held
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  • in disreputebecause of the published reports
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  • of her cruel treatmentof the church.
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  • We consider the Romanskind of like tyrants.
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  • But the people of that daydid not consider Rome like that
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  • at all.
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  • The citizens of Rome lovedtheir government.
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  • The Pax Romana,or the peace of Rome,
  • 00:07:40.599 --> 00:07:43.101
  • took from the Roman peoplethe fear of any kind of war.
  • 00:07:43.134 --> 00:07:47.105
  • War was abolishedsimply because Rome had become
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  • so strong that no one couldever attempt to attack her.
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  • And the Roman governmentwas also responsible
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  • for linking togetherthe great systems
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  • of roads that pushed the empireinto an almost instant touch
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  • with one another.
  • 00:08:03.922 --> 00:08:05.223
  • The Romans banished piratesfrom the high seas, and they
  • 00:08:05.257 --> 00:08:08.560
  • established a system of lawthat governed the disputes
  • 00:08:08.593 --> 00:08:11.897
  • of the people.
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  • No, no, no, if you lived in Romeback in those days,
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  • you loved Rome.
  • 00:08:15.634 --> 00:08:16.635
  • Rome made everything workfor you.
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  • Rome took careof all your needs.
  • 00:08:19.304 --> 00:08:20.972
  • You didn't despise Rome at all.
  • 00:08:21.006 --> 00:08:23.708
  • The emperors beganto be worshiped.
  • 00:08:23.742 --> 00:08:26.144
  • And, at first, they resisted it,then reluctantly
  • 00:08:26.177 --> 00:08:28.947
  • they accepted it.
  • 00:08:28.980 --> 00:08:30.181
  • And finally, not only did theyaccept it, they expected it,
  • 00:08:30.215 --> 00:08:33.885
  • and actually began to accrueto themselves the attributes
  • 00:08:33.919 --> 00:08:37.923
  • of deity.
  • 00:08:37.956 --> 00:08:39.424
  • By the timethe book of Revelation
  • 00:08:39.457 --> 00:08:41.059
  • was written, emperor worshipwas compulsory.
  • 00:08:41.092 --> 00:08:44.796
  • John was banished to Patmosand the churches were persecuted
  • 00:08:44.829 --> 00:08:49.267
  • because they would not bowdown to Caesar and declare
  • 00:08:49.301 --> 00:08:54.239
  • their loyalty to Rome.
  • 00:08:54.272 --> 00:08:57.275
  • The persecution was notso much religious
  • 00:08:57.309 --> 00:09:00.211
  • as it was political.
  • 00:09:00.245 --> 00:09:03.515
  • To be a Christianin the Roman Empire was to live
  • 00:09:03.548 --> 00:09:05.850
  • in jeopardy every day.
  • 00:09:05.884 --> 00:09:07.819
  • And in Smyrna, a citythat prided itself as the center
  • 00:09:07.852 --> 00:09:11.022
  • of emperor worship,it meant pressure and poverty
  • 00:09:11.056 --> 00:09:14.993
  • and persecution.
  • 00:09:15.026 --> 00:09:16.995
  • Some Christians in Smyrna weretortured on the rack, which was
  • 00:09:17.028 --> 00:09:23.368
  • a wheel about 2 feet wideand about 8 feet tall.
  • 00:09:23.401 --> 00:09:27.739
  • The ankles of the dissenterwould be chained to the floor,
  • 00:09:27.772 --> 00:09:31.343
  • and his wrists to the wheelor the rack.
  • 00:09:31.376 --> 00:09:34.346
  • And every time the believerwas asked to recant and refused,
  • 00:09:34.379 --> 00:09:38.350
  • the rack would be tighteneduntil his limbs were
  • 00:09:38.383 --> 00:09:41.620
  • actually torn from his body.
  • 00:09:41.653 --> 00:09:45.557
  • Other Christians were burnedin boiling oil.
  • 00:09:45.590 --> 00:09:48.426
  • Others were crucified.
  • 00:09:48.460 --> 00:09:49.694
  • Many were thrownto the hungry lions
  • 00:09:49.728 --> 00:09:51.930
  • before 50.000 bloodthirstypeople in the coliseums.
  • 00:09:51.963 --> 00:09:56.701
  • The most painful torture wasto be burned slowly
  • 00:09:56.735 --> 00:09:59.904
  • at the stake.
  • 00:09:59.938 --> 00:10:01.673
  • No, my friends, the sufferingof the Christians in Smyrna is
  • 00:10:01.706 --> 00:10:05.644
  • described for usin Christ's letter
  • 00:10:05.677 --> 00:10:07.846
  • by three words: pressure,poverty, and persecution.
  • 00:10:07.879 --> 00:10:15.053
  • Notice, as you lookat your Bibles,
  • 00:10:15.086 --> 00:10:17.122
  • "I know your tribulation."
  • 00:10:17.155 --> 00:10:20.191
  • In the letter to the church,Jesus says,
  • 00:10:20.225 --> 00:10:22.093
  • "I know your tribulation."
  • 00:10:22.127 --> 00:10:24.262
  • And the word "tribulation" isthe Greek word "thlipsis,"
  • 00:10:24.295 --> 00:10:26.998
  • which means pressure.
  • 00:10:27.032 --> 00:10:29.034
  • The picture is one of placinga heavy rock upon a man's chest
  • 00:10:29.067 --> 00:10:34.239
  • until it crushes him to death.
  • 00:10:34.272 --> 00:10:36.975
  • And they also experiencedpoverty.
  • 00:10:37.008 --> 00:10:40.311
  • Notice it says in the text,"I know your poverty."
  • 00:10:40.345 --> 00:10:44.883
  • They were penniless and poor,and were suffering
  • 00:10:44.916 --> 00:10:48.486
  • from abject poverty.
  • 00:10:48.520 --> 00:10:50.822
  • Their poverty was dueto their faith in Christ.
  • 00:10:50.855 --> 00:10:54.059
  • Not only were they mobbedand looted and robbed, they were
  • 00:10:54.092 --> 00:10:57.128
  • boycotted in the city.
  • 00:10:57.162 --> 00:10:59.364
  • When people knew that they werefollowers of Christ, they were
  • 00:10:59.397 --> 00:11:02.467
  • banned from making a living.
  • 00:11:02.500 --> 00:11:04.302
  • The trade unionsand the businesses shut them out
  • 00:11:04.335 --> 00:11:07.272
  • because they considered themdisloyal to the emperor,
  • 00:11:07.305 --> 00:11:09.974
  • and thus to the empire.
  • 00:11:10.008 --> 00:11:12.677
  • And such was the experienceof the Christians who lived
  • 00:11:12.711 --> 00:11:15.980
  • in Smyrna.
  • 00:11:16.014 --> 00:11:17.816
  • They suffered from pressureand poverty and persecution.
  • 00:11:17.849 --> 00:11:22.687
  • "I know the blasphemyof those who say they are Jews
  • 00:11:22.721 --> 00:11:26.257
  • and are not, but area synagogue of Satan."
  • 00:11:26.291 --> 00:11:29.627
  • Every day in Smyrna, thingsbecame worse and worse for men
  • 00:11:29.661 --> 00:11:34.599
  • and women who calledthe name of Christ.
  • 00:11:34.632 --> 00:11:38.503
  • Now, to this suffering familyof believers, Jesus writes
  • 00:11:38.536 --> 00:11:43.074
  • this letter, and he tells themtwo things.
  • 00:11:43.108 --> 00:11:46.411
  • And I want you to seewhat he said.
  • 00:11:46.444 --> 00:11:48.246
  • This is where the adviceof the Lord to suffering people
  • 00:11:48.279 --> 00:11:51.182
  • comes in.
  • 00:11:51.216 --> 00:11:52.751
  • One is a negative prohibition,and the other is
  • 00:11:52.784 --> 00:11:55.754
  • a positive instruction.
  • 00:11:55.787 --> 00:11:57.489
  • The first thing he says to themin verse 10 is,
  • 00:11:57.522 --> 00:12:00.191
  • "Do not fear any of those thingswhich you are about to suffer."
  • 00:12:00.225 --> 00:12:05.663
  • Jesus comesto the people of Smyrna
  • 00:12:05.697 --> 00:12:08.767
  • with a simple instruction.
  • 00:12:08.800 --> 00:12:11.402
  • "I don't want you to be afraid."
  • 00:12:11.436 --> 00:12:13.905
  • Suffering, imprisonment,and martyrdom are to be met
  • 00:12:13.938 --> 00:12:16.941
  • with the gracious Wordof the Lord, "Don't be afraid."
  • 00:12:16.975 --> 00:12:21.312
  • You say, "Pastor, that's easyto say, not so easy to do."
  • 00:12:21.346 --> 00:12:26.117
  • If there's any one emotionthat I think people have felt
  • 00:12:26.151 --> 00:12:29.354
  • during these dayswe're experiencing right now,
  • 00:12:29.387 --> 00:12:31.756
  • it's kind of a quiet fear.
  • 00:12:31.790 --> 00:12:34.325
  • "Where is this all going?
  • 00:12:34.359 --> 00:12:35.727
  • What's going to happen?
  • 00:12:35.760 --> 00:12:36.628
  • What's going to happenin our culture?
  • 00:12:36.661 --> 00:12:38.763
  • What's going to happenin our economy?
  • 00:12:38.797 --> 00:12:40.765
  • What's going to happenin our faith?"
  • 00:12:40.799 --> 00:12:43.001
  • And if we're not careful,we can allow our lives to be run
  • 00:12:43.034 --> 00:12:46.671
  • by fear.
  • 00:12:46.704 --> 00:12:48.473
  • And the Lord Jesus comes to usin the midst of our troubles,
  • 00:12:48.506 --> 00:12:51.342
  • and says to us,"If you have me,
  • 00:12:51.376 --> 00:12:55.246
  • you don't have to be afraid,for I have overcome the world."
  • 00:12:55.280 --> 00:13:01.452
  • If you've come here and you'regoing through a lot of stuff,
  • 00:13:01.486 --> 00:13:04.522
  • maybe you think I'm goingto tell you to buck up
  • 00:13:04.556 --> 00:13:06.391
  • and try harder and work harder.
  • 00:13:06.424 --> 00:13:10.128
  • All I want to say to you iswhat Jesus said to the church
  • 00:13:10.161 --> 00:13:12.630
  • in Smyrna, "Don't be afraid."
  • 00:13:12.664 --> 00:13:14.933
  • You don't have to fearwhat is happening,
  • 00:13:14.966 --> 00:13:18.102
  • what may happen.
  • 00:13:18.136 --> 00:13:19.304
  • Fear not.
  • 00:13:19.337 --> 00:13:21.105
  • But notice there's another wordfrom the Lord Jesus that's
  • 00:13:21.139 --> 00:13:24.509
  • even perhaps more important.
  • 00:13:24.542 --> 00:13:25.877
  • He says in verse 10,"Be faithful until death."
  • 00:13:26.144 --> 00:13:30.715
  • Now, there's some disagreementas to what this means.
  • 00:13:30.748 --> 00:13:33.818
  • I mean, does this mean to befaithful until you're killed
  • 00:13:33.852 --> 00:13:36.354
  • for your faithfulness?
  • 00:13:36.387 --> 00:13:38.089
  • Or does it mean just to befaithful all through your life
  • 00:13:38.122 --> 00:13:40.458
  • until you die a natural death?
  • 00:13:40.491 --> 00:13:42.460
  • Really doesn't makeany difference.
  • 00:13:42.493 --> 00:13:43.862
  • The severity of the persecutionat that time, I would be
  • 00:13:43.895 --> 00:13:46.931
  • inclined to think that Jesus wassaying, "You may end up losing
  • 00:13:46.965 --> 00:13:50.468
  • your life for your faith,but be faithful unto death,"
  • 00:13:50.501 --> 00:13:54.339
  • because if you will noticea little bit later in this text,
  • 00:13:54.372 --> 00:13:57.775
  • Jesus sees lifefrom eternal perspective,
  • 00:13:57.809 --> 00:14:01.746
  • and he wants us to learnhow to do that as well.
  • 00:14:01.779 --> 00:14:04.883
  • And even though this isa short letter, there are
  • 00:14:04.916 --> 00:14:07.619
  • five things I want to tell youthat we need to know
  • 00:14:07.652 --> 00:14:10.188
  • about this letter that will helpus not be afraid,
  • 00:14:10.221 --> 00:14:13.625
  • but to live in faith.
  • 00:14:13.658 --> 00:14:16.294
  • The opposite of fear is notcourage for the believer.
  • 00:14:16.327 --> 00:14:20.565
  • The opposite of fearfor the believer is faith,
  • 00:14:20.598 --> 00:14:23.801
  • faith in God,faith in what God has said,
  • 00:14:23.835 --> 00:14:26.437
  • faith in who God is, faithin what he has promised us.
  • 00:14:26.471 --> 00:14:30.608
  • Now, notice these five thingscome right out of the text,
  • 00:14:30.642 --> 00:14:33.945
  • so let me just give them to youquickly.
  • 00:14:33.978 --> 00:14:35.647
  • First of all, the Lord wantedthe believers in Smyrna to know
  • 00:14:35.680 --> 00:14:40.084
  • that the reputation of Christwas better than the reputation
  • 00:14:40.118 --> 00:14:44.455
  • of Rome.
  • 00:14:44.489 --> 00:14:45.857
  • He says in verse 8,"These things say the First
  • 00:14:45.890 --> 00:14:49.294
  • and the Last, who was dead,and came to life."
  • 00:14:49.327 --> 00:14:53.831
  • Now remember, the descriptionof Christ was chosen
  • 00:14:53.865 --> 00:14:56.868
  • by the Lordfrom the vision of chapter 1.
  • 00:14:56.901 --> 00:14:59.304
  • It was meant to disarm fear.
  • 00:14:59.337 --> 00:15:01.306
  • In fact, in Revelation 1:17,we read, "When I saw him,
  • 00:15:01.339 --> 00:15:05.677
  • I fell at his feet as dead.
  • 00:15:05.710 --> 00:15:07.679
  • And he laid his right handon me, saying to me,
  • 00:15:07.712 --> 00:15:10.648
  • 'Do not be afraid, for I amthe First and the Last.'"
  • 00:15:10.682 --> 00:15:16.955
  • It is awful hard when you livein the midst of the struggles
  • 00:15:16.988 --> 00:15:19.691
  • and challenges of lifeto remember that this world
  • 00:15:19.724 --> 00:15:24.562
  • is not our home,we're just passing through,
  • 00:15:24.595 --> 00:15:29.100
  • that this isn'teverything there is or will be,
  • 00:15:29.133 --> 00:15:33.771
  • that this is a momentin the scheme of God's plan.
  • 00:15:33.805 --> 00:15:39.544
  • And he is the First,and he is the Last.
  • 00:15:39.577 --> 00:15:43.881
  • The reputation of Christ wasbetter than the reputation
  • 00:15:43.915 --> 00:15:46.517
  • of Rome.
  • 00:15:46.551 --> 00:15:47.652
  • Number two, the recognitionof Christ was better
  • 00:15:47.685 --> 00:15:50.321
  • than the recognition of Rome.
  • 00:15:50.355 --> 00:15:52.423
  • Notice what Jesus says to themin verse 9, "I know your works.
  • 00:15:52.457 --> 00:15:59.197
  • I know your tribulation.
  • 00:15:59.230 --> 00:16:01.399
  • I know your poverty."
  • 00:16:01.432 --> 00:16:04.736
  • He was not just awareof their problems.
  • 00:16:04.769 --> 00:16:07.438
  • He uses a word for "know"that goes much deeper than that.
  • 00:16:07.472 --> 00:16:11.042
  • It is the word "oida,"and it means to know
  • 00:16:11.075 --> 00:16:13.978
  • by experience.
  • 00:16:14.012 --> 00:16:15.013
  • What Jesus was sayingto the church was this.
  • 00:16:15.046 --> 00:16:18.216
  • "Whatever you're experiencing,I know it.
  • 00:16:18.249 --> 00:16:21.786
  • I don't know just about it,I have experienced it myself."
  • 00:16:21.819 --> 00:16:25.990
  • And we've learned thisfrom the book of Hebrews
  • 00:16:26.024 --> 00:16:28.226
  • that, "We do not havea high priest
  • 00:16:28.259 --> 00:16:30.328
  • who cannot sympathizewith our weaknesses,
  • 00:16:30.361 --> 00:16:32.897
  • but was in all points temptedas we are, yet without sin."
  • 00:16:32.930 --> 00:16:37.435
  • You can almost hear the Lordas you pray to him and say,
  • 00:16:37.468 --> 00:16:40.938
  • "Lord, do you knowwhat I'm going through?"
  • 00:16:40.972 --> 00:16:45.910
  • And you hear the Lord say,"My child, I know.
  • 00:16:45.943 --> 00:16:48.980
  • I don't know just about it,I've already been there.
  • 00:16:49.013 --> 00:16:53.251
  • I've experienced it."
  • 00:16:53.284 --> 00:16:55.586
  • The reputation of Christ wasbetter than the reputation
  • 00:16:55.620 --> 00:16:58.856
  • of Rome.
  • 00:16:58.890 --> 00:17:00.158
  • And the recognition of Christwas better than the recognition
  • 00:17:00.191 --> 00:17:03.861
  • of Rome.
  • 00:17:03.895 --> 00:17:05.196
  • But keep reading.
  • 00:17:05.229 --> 00:17:06.364
  • The riches of Christ were betterthan the riches of Rome.
  • 00:17:06.397 --> 00:17:10.334
  • Verse 9, "But you are rich."
  • 00:17:10.501 --> 00:17:15.273
  • These words were meantto strengthen the church.
  • 00:17:15.306 --> 00:17:18.009
  • They were very poor,yet they were very rich.
  • 00:17:18.042 --> 00:17:21.913
  • The Lord's values werevery different from those
  • 00:17:21.946 --> 00:17:24.816
  • of the Jews and the paganizers.
  • 00:17:24.849 --> 00:17:27.051
  • Jesus commands us to lay uptreasures for ourselves
  • 00:17:27.085 --> 00:17:30.221
  • in heaven.
  • 00:17:30.254 --> 00:17:31.222
  • And Paul saysthat true ministers of God
  • 00:17:31.255 --> 00:17:33.991
  • would be, "Sorrowful,yet always rejoicing;
  • 00:17:34.025 --> 00:17:36.961
  • as poor, and yet makingmany rich; as having nothing,
  • 00:17:36.994 --> 00:17:41.365
  • and yet possessing all things."
  • 00:17:41.399 --> 00:17:43.000
  • Is that not true?
  • 00:17:43.034 --> 00:17:45.670
  • 2 Corinthians 8:9 says,"For you know the grace
  • 00:17:45.703 --> 00:17:48.873
  • of our Lord Jesus Christ,that though he was rich,
  • 00:17:48.906 --> 00:17:51.576
  • yet for your sakeshe became poor,
  • 00:17:51.609 --> 00:17:54.078
  • that you through his povertymight become rich."
  • 00:17:54.112 --> 00:17:57.982
  • And the Lord Jesus speaksto the suffering church,
  • 00:17:58.015 --> 00:18:00.318
  • and reminds themthat though they may have
  • 00:18:00.351 --> 00:18:02.453
  • no money, they don't knowwhere the next meal
  • 00:18:02.487 --> 00:18:05.556
  • is coming from,when it comes
  • 00:18:05.590 --> 00:18:06.891
  • to their relationshipwith the Lord Jesus,
  • 00:18:06.924 --> 00:18:09.627
  • they have a richnessthat the world cannot
  • 00:18:09.660 --> 00:18:11.896
  • possibly comprehend.
  • 00:18:11.929 --> 00:18:14.065
  • Number four, the reckoningof time by Christ was better
  • 00:18:14.098 --> 00:18:17.869
  • than the reckoning of timeby Rome.
  • 00:18:17.902 --> 00:18:20.438
  • Revelation 2:10, "You will havetribulation ten days."
  • 00:18:20.471 --> 00:18:27.111
  • You may think,"Pastor, this that I'm working
  • 00:18:27.145 --> 00:18:29.280
  • on right now, that I'm goingthrough right now,
  • 00:18:29.313 --> 00:18:31.549
  • it's never going to end."
  • 00:18:31.582 --> 00:18:32.917
  • But I say to you it is goingto end.
  • 00:18:32.950 --> 00:18:36.254
  • And God has every day numbered.
  • 00:18:36.287 --> 00:18:38.156
  • He will not allow you to gothrough more than he will help
  • 00:18:38.189 --> 00:18:42.126
  • you experience.
  • 00:18:42.160 --> 00:18:44.462
  • And, in the midst of it all,he is showing you
  • 00:18:44.495 --> 00:18:47.031
  • the importance of eternityin comparison
  • 00:18:47.064 --> 00:18:50.835
  • to the temporal issueswe face in this life.
  • 00:18:50.868 --> 00:18:54.906
  • To the believer in Smyrna,the clock was moving slowly.
  • 00:18:54.939 --> 00:18:58.509
  • How many of you know troubleseems to slow time down?
  • 00:18:58.543 --> 00:19:02.346
  • But God lives and movesin a different time zone,
  • 00:19:02.380 --> 00:19:05.483
  • and fearlessnessand faithfulness are enhanced
  • 00:19:05.516 --> 00:19:08.586
  • when we understand this truth:
  • 00:19:08.619 --> 00:19:11.455
  • it's but for a moment.
  • 00:19:11.489 --> 00:19:13.791
  • It's just for a little while.
  • 00:19:13.824 --> 00:19:16.060
  • And the Lord has great plansfor his people.
  • 00:19:16.093 --> 00:19:19.330
  • Finally, the rewards of Christwere better than the rewards
  • 00:19:19.363 --> 00:19:22.934
  • of Rome.
  • 00:19:22.967 --> 00:19:24.936
  • Revelation 2:10 and 11,"I will give you
  • 00:19:24.969 --> 00:19:27.538
  • the crown of life.
  • 00:19:27.572 --> 00:19:29.307
  • And he who overcomes shall notbe hurt by the second death."
  • 00:19:29.340 --> 00:19:34.512
  • The athletic gamesof the Roman Empire were
  • 00:19:34.545 --> 00:19:37.148
  • a cause for much prideamong its citizens.
  • 00:19:37.181 --> 00:19:40.351
  • Part of the pride of Rome wasattached to the great pageants
  • 00:19:40.384 --> 00:19:43.187
  • and their games.
  • 00:19:43.221 --> 00:19:44.956
  • The crowns wonby the Roman citizens were
  • 00:19:44.989 --> 00:19:47.158
  • flaunted in the facesof believers.
  • 00:19:47.191 --> 00:19:49.627
  • But Christ remindedthese suffering saints
  • 00:19:49.660 --> 00:19:52.563
  • that they werein a different race.
  • 00:19:52.597 --> 00:19:55.132
  • They would wina different crown.
  • 00:19:55.166 --> 00:19:57.301
  • The Bible saysin Revelation 4:10 that when
  • 00:19:57.335 --> 00:19:59.837
  • we receive these crownsat the judgment seat of Christ,
  • 00:19:59.870 --> 00:20:03.074
  • we are going to cast themat the feet of the Savior.
  • 00:20:03.107 --> 00:20:07.044
  • This prize would bea great motivation to courage
  • 00:20:07.078 --> 00:20:10.147
  • and faithfulnessin times of trial.
  • 00:20:10.181 --> 00:20:12.883
  • The crown isthe positive reward.
  • 00:20:12.917 --> 00:20:15.920
  • But notice the 11th verseof the second chapter.
  • 00:20:15.953 --> 00:20:19.423
  • There'skind of a negative reward,
  • 00:20:19.457 --> 00:20:21.692
  • if you will.
  • 00:20:21.726 --> 00:20:22.893
  • Revelation 2:11, "He whoovercomes shall not be hurt
  • 00:20:22.927 --> 00:20:27.632
  • by the second death."
  • 00:20:27.665 --> 00:20:32.303
  • Every one of us in this roomwill die the first death
  • 00:20:32.336 --> 00:20:37.008
  • if the Lord Jesus doesn'tcome back soon.
  • 00:20:37.041 --> 00:20:40.244
  • But there are a lot of usin this room that will never die
  • 00:20:40.278 --> 00:20:42.280
  • the second death.
  • 00:20:42.313 --> 00:20:44.382
  • The first death is when you dieand your soul is separated
  • 00:20:44.415 --> 00:20:47.551
  • from your body temporarily.
  • 00:20:47.585 --> 00:20:50.721
  • But the second death isseparation of your soul
  • 00:20:50.755 --> 00:20:55.192
  • from the Lord God foreverand ever and ever.
  • 00:20:55.226 --> 00:20:58.529
  • Listen againto what the Lord God said
  • 00:20:58.562 --> 00:21:00.364
  • through Jesus Christto this church,
  • 00:21:00.398 --> 00:21:02.800
  • "He who overcomes shall not behurt by the second death."
  • 00:21:02.833 --> 00:21:08.673
  • The original language here isvery strong.
  • 00:21:08.706 --> 00:21:10.975
  • It says literally, "He shallin no wise, on no account
  • 00:21:11.008 --> 00:21:14.879
  • be hurt of the second death."
  • 00:21:14.912 --> 00:21:17.648
  • The first death is a shadowof the second death.
  • 00:21:17.682 --> 00:21:19.950
  • And it is the first deaththat seems so dreadful to us.
  • 00:21:19.984 --> 00:21:23.254
  • So will the second death.
  • 00:21:23.287 --> 00:21:25.256
  • Christ reminded the believersof a tremendous fact:
  • 00:21:25.289 --> 00:21:27.858
  • the world lives to die,but the believer dies to live.
  • 00:21:27.892 --> 00:21:33.397
  • The Christian church in Smyrnahad nothing to fear
  • 00:21:33.431 --> 00:21:35.466
  • from martyrdom.
  • 00:21:35.499 --> 00:21:36.967
  • No matter how cruel the torture,the Romans could never separate
  • 00:21:37.001 --> 00:21:40.438
  • them from God.
  • 00:21:40.471 --> 00:21:41.806
  • Separation from God isthe second death,
  • 00:21:41.839 --> 00:21:44.442
  • and the separation of the soulfrom the body is
  • 00:21:44.475 --> 00:21:46.944
  • the first death.
  • 00:21:46.977 --> 00:21:48.045
  • If Christ tarries in his coming,all who are alive will
  • 00:21:48.079 --> 00:21:52.383
  • experience the first death,but those who have put
  • 00:21:52.416 --> 00:21:55.186
  • their trust in Christ willnever, ever, ever experience
  • 00:21:55.219 --> 00:21:58.923
  • the second death.
  • 00:21:58.956 --> 00:22:00.191
  • The simple truth is wrapped upin this little slogan,
  • 00:22:00.224 --> 00:22:02.960
  • "If you were born once,you will die twice.
  • 00:22:02.993 --> 00:22:05.429
  • But if you've been born twice,you only have to die once."
  • 00:22:05.463 --> 00:22:10.000
  • Thank God for many of us herewho have been born again.
  • 00:22:10.034 --> 00:22:13.237
  • We have been born twice.
  • 00:22:13.270 --> 00:22:15.139
  • We may have to gothrough physical death,
  • 00:22:15.172 --> 00:22:18.309
  • but on the promiseof the Word of God,
  • 00:22:18.342 --> 00:22:20.778
  • we shall never, ever experiencespiritual death,
  • 00:22:20.811 --> 00:22:24.248
  • the second death.
  • 00:22:24.281 --> 00:22:25.649
  • You say, "Well, what does thathave to do
  • 00:22:25.683 --> 00:22:27.752
  • with these believers?"
  • 00:22:27.785 --> 00:22:28.886
  • These believers realizedthat many of them would give
  • 00:22:28.919 --> 00:22:31.989
  • their lives for their faith.
  • 00:22:32.022 --> 00:22:35.025
  • And the Lord Jesus reminded themthat's nothing to fear.
  • 00:22:35.059 --> 00:22:38.596
  • In fact, Luke chapter 12 says itthis way, "Do not be afraid
  • 00:22:38.629 --> 00:22:42.533
  • of those who will kill the body,and after that have no more
  • 00:22:42.566 --> 00:22:45.903
  • that they can do.
  • 00:22:45.936 --> 00:22:47.371
  • But I will show youwhom you should fear.
  • 00:22:47.405 --> 00:22:49.273
  • Fear him who, after he haskilled, has power to cast
  • 00:22:49.306 --> 00:22:52.343
  • into hell.
  • 00:22:52.376 --> 00:22:53.577
  • Yes, I say to you, fear him!"And Jesus said to the believers
  • 00:22:53.611 --> 00:22:57.915
  • in Smyrna, "You don't haveto fear him.
  • 00:22:57.948 --> 00:23:01.285
  • You don't have to fearthe second death."
  • 00:23:01.318 --> 00:23:04.255
  • Because of your faithin Jesus Christ,
  • 00:23:04.288 --> 00:23:05.723
  • they may take your lifethrough some of those terrible
  • 00:23:05.756 --> 00:23:08.959
  • persecutions I mentionedearlier, but they can't take
  • 00:23:08.993 --> 00:23:12.196
  • from you the one thingthat matters ultimately,
  • 00:23:12.229 --> 00:23:14.565
  • and that'syour eternal relationship
  • 00:23:14.598 --> 00:23:16.300
  • with Almighty God.
  • 00:23:16.333 --> 00:23:18.803
  • The reputation of Christ isbetter than the reputation
  • 00:23:18.836 --> 00:23:22.006
  • of the world.
  • 00:23:22.039 --> 00:23:23.374
  • The recognition of Christ isbetter than the recognition
  • 00:23:23.407 --> 00:23:26.210
  • of the world.
  • 00:23:26.243 --> 00:23:27.378
  • You don't have to be knownby the world, but if you're
  • 00:23:27.411 --> 00:23:28.746
  • known by Christ,you're somebody.
  • 00:23:28.779 --> 00:23:32.149
  • The riches of Christ are betterthan the riches of the world.
  • 00:23:32.183 --> 00:23:35.953
  • The reckoning of time by Christis better than the reckoning
  • 00:23:35.986 --> 00:23:38.789
  • of time by the world.
  • 00:23:38.823 --> 00:23:40.024
  • And the rewards of Christ arebetter than the rewards
  • 00:23:40.057 --> 00:23:43.461
  • of the world.
  • 00:23:43.494 --> 00:23:44.528
  • When you're going through stuff,like we're all going
  • 00:23:44.562 --> 00:23:47.631
  • through stuff right now,how important it is for us
  • 00:23:47.665 --> 00:23:51.068
  • to get our head out of the sandand out of the doldrums, and get
  • 00:23:51.101 --> 00:23:54.872
  • our eyes upon God, and our heartand our head in his Word,
  • 00:23:54.905 --> 00:23:58.776
  • and remind ourselvesthat the really important things
  • 00:23:58.809 --> 00:24:01.846
  • are already ultimatelytaken care of
  • 00:24:01.879 --> 00:24:04.348
  • for every single one of uswho know the Lord.
  • 00:24:04.381 --> 00:24:07.151
  • And he who gave to us his Son,will he not also freely give us
  • 00:24:07.184 --> 00:24:11.555
  • all things?
  • 00:24:11.589 --> 00:24:13.591
  • announcer: Dr. Jeremiahwill return
  • 00:24:14.725 --> 00:24:16.527
  • to close today's program,right after this.
  • 00:24:16.560 --> 00:24:19.029
  • announcer: Revelation isa mysterious book full of signs
  • 00:24:22.566 --> 00:24:25.102
  • and symbols,portraying things seen
  • 00:24:25.135 --> 00:24:26.837
  • and unseen, in the world,and those of the world to come.
  • 00:24:26.871 --> 00:24:30.875
  • Especially appearing in numbersof seven.
  • 00:24:30.908 --> 00:24:33.944
  • Gain a clearer understandingof Revelation's mysteries
  • 00:24:33.978 --> 00:24:36.480
  • with Dr. David Jeremiah's"The Revelation Sevens."
  • 00:24:36.514 --> 00:24:40.484
  • Discover all 54 7s of Revelationin the order they appear
  • 00:24:40.518 --> 00:24:44.421
  • in the Scriptures,along with a correlating
  • 00:24:44.455 --> 00:24:46.357
  • reflection.
  • 00:24:46.390 --> 00:24:47.358
  • Plus, featured sevensinterspersed
  • 00:24:47.391 --> 00:24:49.560
  • throughout this 44-page handbookto help you further your study.
  • 00:24:49.593 --> 00:24:53.330
  • Use this reference toolin your personal or group study
  • 00:24:53.364 --> 00:24:56.400
  • of Revelation.
  • 00:24:56.433 --> 00:24:57.568
  • Utilize the topical indexto search for and study
  • 00:24:57.601 --> 00:25:00.371
  • specific sevens.
  • 00:25:00.404 --> 00:25:01.805
  • And find a renewed desireand excitement to mine
  • 00:25:01.839 --> 00:25:04.708
  • the riches of Revelation.
  • 00:25:04.742 --> 00:25:06.310
  • Also inside,the Seven Praises bookmark,
  • 00:25:06.343 --> 00:25:09.280
  • to keep you ever focusedon God.
  • 00:25:09.313 --> 00:25:11.248
  • This study handbook isyours when you give a gift
  • 00:25:11.582 --> 00:25:14.184
  • of any amount in supportof this program.
  • 00:25:14.218 --> 00:25:16.554
  • And if you give $60 or more,Dr. Jeremiah will send you
  • 00:25:16.587 --> 00:25:20.024
  • "The 7 Churchesof Revelation Study Set,"
  • 00:25:20.057 --> 00:25:22.626
  • which contains,"The Revelation Sevens,"
  • 00:25:22.660 --> 00:25:25.095
  • all the messages featuredin this current teaching series
  • 00:25:25.129 --> 00:25:27.631
  • on 9 DVDs,and a correlating study guide.
  • 00:25:27.665 --> 00:25:31.335
  • Support David Jeremiahand this program and receive
  • 00:25:31.368 --> 00:25:34.405
  • these compelling Revelationstudy materials as a thank you.
  • 00:25:34.438 --> 00:25:37.541
  • Contact "Turning Point" today.
  • 00:25:37.575 --> 00:25:39.743
  • announcer: And now,with one last word
  • 00:25:42.346 --> 00:25:44.181
  • for today's program,here is Dr. Jeremiah.
  • 00:25:44.214 --> 00:25:47.151
  • Dr. Jeremiah: Someone once said,"Until you have something
  • 00:25:47.985 --> 00:25:51.121
  • to die for, you really havenothing to live for."
  • 00:25:51.155 --> 00:25:56.293
  • That makes us wonder, why havepeople through the centuries
  • 00:25:56.327 --> 00:25:59.697
  • been willing to suffer,even to die for Jesus Christ?
  • 00:25:59.730 --> 00:26:06.070
  • They found that livingfor Christ takes the fear
  • 00:26:06.103 --> 00:26:09.139
  • out of life and death.
  • 00:26:09.173 --> 00:26:11.909
  • And that makes us wonderwhether we have made
  • 00:26:11.942 --> 00:26:13.844
  • the same discovery.
  • 00:26:13.877 --> 00:26:15.312
  • I certainly hope you have.
  • 00:26:15.346 --> 00:26:18.048
  • But perhaps you have questionsabout what it means to live
  • 00:26:18.082 --> 00:26:20.884
  • for Christ, for the one who diedfor you.
  • 00:26:20.918 --> 00:26:25.155
  • I would love to send youtwo free resources
  • 00:26:25.189 --> 00:26:27.858
  • from "Turning Point"that can help.
  • 00:26:27.891 --> 00:26:30.794
  • One is a booklet called"Your Greatest Turning Point,"
  • 00:26:30.995 --> 00:26:33.797
  • and the other is our monthlydevotional magazine,
  • 00:26:33.831 --> 00:26:37.201
  • "Turning Points."
  • 00:26:37.234 --> 00:26:38.535
  • And we will gladly sent themboth to you free of charge
  • 00:26:38.569 --> 00:26:41.972
  • if you will contact usat "Turning Point" today.
  • 00:26:42.006 --> 00:26:46.043
  • announcer: Next time,on "Turning Point."
  • 00:26:48.278 --> 00:26:49.947
  • Dr. Jeremiah: There's so muchworld in the church
  • 00:26:50.481 --> 00:26:51.682
  • and so much churchin the world,
  • 00:26:51.715 --> 00:26:53.550
  • you can't tellthe difference between the two.
  • 00:26:53.584 --> 00:26:56.086
  • And I could citeall of the statistics that come
  • 00:26:56.120 --> 00:26:58.589
  • from all of the surveysthat say when it comes
  • 00:26:58.622 --> 00:27:01.458
  • to how we live, it's nota whole lot better than how
  • 00:27:01.492 --> 00:27:03.794
  • the rest of the world lives.
  • 00:27:03.827 --> 00:27:05.929
  • And people say, "Why hasthe church lost its influence?"
  • 00:27:05.963 --> 00:27:09.500
  • We have become so fixatedon being relevant
  • 00:27:09.533 --> 00:27:12.636
  • that we've becometotally irrelevant.
  • 00:27:12.670 --> 00:27:14.738
  • announcer: Join us next timefor Dr. Jeremiah's message
  • 00:27:16.707 --> 00:27:19.343
  • "The Church of Satan's City"
  • 00:27:19.376 --> 00:27:21.679
  • here on "Turning Point."
  • 00:27:21.712 --> 00:27:23.313
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:27:24.114 --> 00:27:29.920