The Faith of the Fearless

Dear Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Apartment story.
Who dresses in all black, black leggings, black long sleeve and a ski mask?
What does it mean to be fearless?
Revelation 2:8–11 ESV
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 9 “ ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 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. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
50 miles north of Ephesus Port City
City of Beauty and wealth.
Over 100,000 people
It was a city of science and medicine
Had several guilds of basket fisherman, tanners, silversmiths and goldsmiths. You had to make sacrifices to the gods and emperor to enter the guild. (Lexham Bible Dictionary)
Religious Background
20 AD a temple for the emperor Tiberius was built and became a hub for emperor worship.

Social Situation

Jewish Exemption

The Jews were given special exemptions from Rome because Rome requires sacrifices made unto the god Caesar and the Jews couldn’t do this. christians largely received this exemption but the Jews began to out them as something other than Jewish.
This led to Christians being drug out of their homes and thrown in Jail for refusing to follow Rome. The Jews partnered with Rome against the Christians.

The churches Poverty

Most likely a material poverty due to being poor or converting and having everything stripped from them.
See Hebrews 10:34 - “you accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.”

Slander is the Starting Point

The Jewish community saw the Christians as a danger to their own well being. Their religious structure was being jeopardized by the Christians and so they went to the Romans and ratted them out.
They separated themselves from them and spoke against them slanderous things.
Slandering is when you run someones name through the dirt. You speak falsehoods against another and make them appear to be something they are not.
This is what happened to Jesus and is now happening to his followers.
Slander happens because you threaten something someone else wants or has.

Fear is a Choice

Certain elements of fear are forced and you just react.
It is easy to say Fear is a choice, “You’re afraid....Stop it”
It’s another thing to work through fear and see Gods intent and purpose for it.
There is a Physical Reality to Fear.
The Twist Cone Drive by
Like when the cool guys lay on the glass driving past Twist Cone.
I did this one time.
Those big scary trucks instill fear don’t they. Makes me want to shove a sock in their exhaust pipe.
Fear can be debilitating. It can paralyze you and prevent you from moving forward in your life.
Fight or flight
Fear triggers a certain part of your brain that causes stress hormones to be released, causing your heart rate to increase, it causes your blood flow to actually change so more blood flows to your arms and legs making it easier to throw punches or run for your life. (
Fear makes you want to run or fight. (Fight or flight)

Fear reveals focus

My little Elsie is starting kindergarten this year.
She is going to walk into school and meet new friends but I bet she might be a bit fearful because its a big change.
New Boss/Manager
People either work to win their approval or they leave.
Fear happens when a major change comes and we don’t know how to handle it.
The Key to Fearlessness is faithfulness.

Right focus navigates fear

Xavier Riddle

“real courage is bravely moving forward even when you’re scared.”
Why did Harriet fight so hard? Why did she face her fears?
There was a relationship attached to it.
In the show it was her family she fought for and overcame fear.

Polycarp was killed in Smyrna in 155 AD

50-60 years after this book was written.
Is this Jesus thing a convenience for you? Is it something to do on sunday morning? Is it something
Are you willing to follow him with eveything? Are you willing to let him change you, are you willing to let him break you, are you willing to let him have everything? He doesn’t want part of you, he wants all of you!

The Faithful church gets the Crown

We know what it could look like to follow Jesus! You could die, how many of you are like, yep sign me up. How many people if you’re walking around the expo building at the brown county fair and you come across a Jesus booth where he is giving out pamphlets talking about following him and on it said
“could lead to imminant death. Could lead to being osctricized by your family and friends. Could lead to losing your home and material possessions.”
But at the bottom it says
“But you will receive a crown”
How does Jesus teach us to fight fear in this passage?
How do we make it through slander, persecution and even death?
He shows us two things.
He shows us a reward.
Rev 2:10 - Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”
The crown is not a crown in the sense of a kings crown made of gold and Jems but rather a crown of vines and twigs with leaves on it that was given out to athletes.
James 1:12 ESV
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Jesus gives the crown of life because he wore the crown of thorns.
Mark 15:17 NASB95
17 They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him;
He shows us Himself.
Revelation 2:8 ESV
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
The Ultimate motivation for facing the fear of death is none other than the one who conquered it himself.
Christ knows our suffering.
Do you know why Jesus went to the cross?
Why did Jesus wade through the fear and have the courage to endure pain, suffering and rejection?
There was a relationship attached to it.
The Faith of the Fearless exists because Jesus conquered our fear, he conquered death.
Jesus is worth it
Do you know why do you know why you don’t look at porn, because he is worth it.
Do you know why you love your spouse, because he is worth it.
Do you know why they were willing to lose their homes, because he was worth it.
Do you know why Polycarp was willing to give up his life? Because he was worth it.
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