Be the Church Week 4 – Standing with the Persecuted Church – Revelation 2:8-11 – Livestream for 1/29/23

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Small Group Guide:

Open with prayer.

Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?

If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.

Message Outline:

Throughout this sermon series we are looking parts of God’s Word that involve the church, and what it looks like for us to be the church that God created us to be. Today, we’re looking at a message in Revelation that Jesus has for the church in Smyrna. His message to this persecuted church is short, yet profound. It helps us to realize:

Revelation 2:9

 “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander[a] of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

  1. Jesus knows, and is with, those who are suffering

Rev. 2:9, Ps. 56:8, Heb. 2:10, Is. 53:3, Heb. 4:14-16, 12:2

  1. Those who suffer will know a spiritual richness that those who do not suffer will never know

Rev. 2:9, James 1:2-4, 12, Rom. 5:1-5, 1 Pet. 1:6-7, 4:12-13, Mark 10:23-25

Revelation 2:10

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

3. We should always be Heaven focused

Rev. 2:10-11, 21:4, 1 Pet. 3:14, 5:10, 2 Cor. 4:17, 2 Tim. 3:12, Col. 1:24, John 16:33, Ps. 34:19, Rom. 8:18, 35, Matt. 5:10-12


Knowing this, we now:

  1. Mourn and pray

Rom. 12:15, Heb. 13:3, Gal. 6:2, 2 Cor. 1:34

  1. Have a greater perspective about our circumstances

Col. 3:16, 1 Thess. 5:16-18

  1. Have a greater focus on the mission

Matt. 28:19-20, Phil. 4:8, 2 Tim. 2:15

Reflection Questions:

  1. Have you ever studied or hear this passage preached on before? What stood out to you?
  2. As we talked about the Christians facing persecution, both in the past and today, did anything surprise you? Did you know about the persecution that was happening around the world?
  3. Only 2 of the churches from Jesus’ 7 messages don’t have any correction. Smyrna is one of them. How can you apply Jesus message to Smyrna to your own life? Of the 3 points of Jesus’ message to them, which one is most applicable to you?
  4. Knowing Jesus’ message to Smyrna, we now mourn and pray, have a greater perspective about our own circumstances, and have a greater focus on the mission that Christ gave us. Of these applications, which one do you need to work on most, and why?
  5. How can you help other people to understand Christ’s message to the church and Smyrna, and then apply His message to their lives?
  6. What is your biggest take away from this message? What did God teach you? Do you feel led to put anything into action? If so, what, and what practical step(s) do you need to take to be obedient to what God has led you to do? Who can keep you accountable to accomplishing this?

Prayer Time:

Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.

Staying Missional:

Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:

Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?

What’s next?

Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?