Posts Tagged ‘ persecution ’

Jesus Reveals the Laws of Supreme Blessing, Part 12 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 185 since Jan. 20, 2017 / Day 552 since Jan. 1, 2016)


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Matthew 5:1-12:

1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

———-

After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 178 since Jan. 20, 2017, day 545 since Jan. 1, 2016.

Thomas Watson said, “To suffer as Christians is to suffer with cheerfulness. Patience is a bearing of the cross; cheerfulness is a taking up of the cross. Christ suffered for us cheerfully. His death was a freewill offering. He thirsted to drink of that cup of blood. Such must our sufferings be for Christ. Cheerfulness perfumes martyrdom and makes it the sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour to God.”

John Calvin said, “No one will calmly and quietly submit to bear the cross except those who have learned to seek their happiness beyond this world.”

As we close out this series on the laws of supreme blessing based on Jesus’ beatitudes, we are going to look at the type of attitude a Christian should have as he lives according to the principles contained in these laws. These are not principles endorsed or applauded by the world. In fact, you may be shunned and ridiculed for living in this manner. But Jesus promises a life of supreme blessing for those who are poor (or humble) in spirit, those who mourn over sin (especially their sin), those who are meek, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, those who are merciful, those who are pure in heart, those who are peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

Now, none of those principles sound good to our flesh. We would like to live in any manner that we desire and still be blessed. But the manner of living that Jesus proposes invites opposition and hatred from the world. You will find that, even though you are striving to do the right thing, there are people who, influenced by the devil, will cast you as the enemy. How we respond to this criticism is also a part of the life of supreme blessing.

Jesus says we ought to “rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.” The word translated as “rejoice” could be literally translated as “leap for joy.” F.F. Bruce said it signifies “irrepressible demonstrative gladness. It is the joy of the Alpine climber standing on the top of the snow-clad mountain.” This seems odd to us, but we must remember who it is that is giving us this command to “rejoice and be exceeding glad” in the face of persecution. These are not the words of some overly-cheerful minister, glad-handing congregants, and telling them to “praise God, anyhow!” Nor are they the words of an ivory-towered theologian or a prosperity gospel preaching megachurch pastor.

For those of you who are not saved, you can enjoy the supreme blessing of the kingdom of heaven by giving your life to Jesus Christ right now. Allow me to show you how:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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Jesus Reveals the Laws of Supreme Blessing, Part 11, Continued (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 178 since Jan. 20, 2017 / Day 545 since Jan. 1, 2016)


TEXT: Matthew 5:1-12:

1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

———-

After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 178 since Jan. 20, 2017, day 545 since Jan. 1, 2016.

Thomas Watson said, “To suffer as Christians is to suffer with cheerfulness. Patience is a bearing of the cross; cheerfulness is a taking up of the cross. Christ suffered for us cheerfully. His death was a freewill offering. He thirsted to drink of that cup of blood. Such must our sufferings be for Christ. Cheerfulness perfumes martyrdom and makes it the sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour to God.”

Charles Spurgeon said, “Never did the church so much prosper and so truly thrive as when she was baptized in the blood. The ship of the church never sails so gloriously along as when the bloody spray of her martyrs falls on her deck. We must suffer and we must die, if we are ever to conquer this world for Christ.”

Today, we will continue looking at the eighth of Jesus’ laws for supreme blessing. To recap:

#1 is to be “poor in spirit,” that is, to live in accordance with one’s true standing as an undeserving sinner before God. It is these who will obtain the kingdom of heaven.

#2 is to “mourn” over sin, especially one’s own sin. It is these who will be comforted by God in the end.

#3 is to be “meek,” to depend entirely on God in every situation and not on one’s self. It is these who will “inherit the earth.”

#4 is to “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Those who do so will experience the fullness of God in their life.

#5 is to be “merciful” so that we might receive “mercy.”

#6 is to be “pure in heart” so that we can “see God.”

#7 is to be “peacemakers” so that we might “be called the children of God.”

#8 is the blessing of the “kingdom of heaven” being granted to those who are “persecuted.”

The words that we are considering today in verses 11-12 are an extension of the eighth and final beatitude. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” As we have already learned, the reviling, persecution, and false accusation that the believer experiences all happens for Jesus’ sake. The reward for suffering as Christians comes only when we are suffering on account of the cross and the crucified Savior. There are plenty of reasons why someone might hate us based on our own human flaws and human nature, but to suffer solely on behalf of Christ is a rare blessing — one which Christ says we should “rejoice and be exceeding glad about.”

Some of the saints of yesterday set a great example of what it means to rejoice and be glad about their persecution. John Rogers was burned alive in England because of his faith in Christ. His children went with him to the place of execution and called out encouragements to him through their tears that he might be strong and not turn back and dishonor Christ. Vanya Moi-se-yev, a young Christian soldier in Communist Russia, was imprisoned and tortured for his faith. The day before his death, he wrote in a letter to his family, ‘I’m going into battle for Jesus Christ; and I don’t know if I’ll be back.’ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the anti-Nazi pastor and spy during World War II, as he left his prison cell on the way to the gallows in 1945, said, “This is the end—for me the beginning of life.”

I am afraid that many of us, when under persecution, take on a smug, look-at-me-I’m-suffering-for-Jesus kind of attitude. We know it is right for us to endure it, but we would rather not go through it. We wish that the cup would be taken from us, and that if it won’t be, we should at least get some credit for drinking it. But that is not the attitude of the man or woman of God who is living a life of supreme blessing. The supremely blessed individual is not looking for pats on the back down here; rather, he is looking for the great rewards of glory. While we ought not to endure persecution for a reward, the simple fact is that Jesus has promised great rewards for those who endure for His sake.

Jesus uses as an example the prophets of old — men who were despised by the world in their day, men who were not welcome in polite company, men who went against the grain of society in order to preach thus saith the Lord. Some were imprisoned, some were thrown to lions, some were sawn in half, some were tossed into a fiery furnace. But they were faithful to God until the end. They did not receive much praise here on earth, but they gained eternal rewards in Heaven.

Do not be surprised at the suffering you bear;
It’s not something strange, so you must not despair.
You share with Christ, and His sufferings you know;
When He comes in glory, your joy will overflow.

If you are insulted because of Christ’s Name,
You’re blessed, for God’s Spirit on you will remain.
Your suffering should never be for what deserves blame;
But if for your faith you’re hurt, be not ashamed.

God’s judgment will start with His own family.
What then will the outcome for godless men be?
In spite of your suffering, do good to all men;
For God will be faithful to you to the end.

For those of you who are not saved, you can enjoy the supreme blessing of the kingdom of heaven by giving your life to Jesus Christ right now. Allow me to show you how:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Even Though This Place Has A Great Wall, the Gates Are Always Open, and You Are Always Welcome Here (Gospel Light Minute X #272)


One of the biggest debates taking place in our world today surrounds the issue of immigration and refugees who leave their own conflict-ridden lands to find a better life elsewhere. Over the past two years, 1.3 million refugees from the Middle East and North Africa have entered Europe. In the same time period, over 150,000 refugees entered the United States. These people are running from war, persecution, violence, and lack of economic opportunity.

However, many people are not willing to welcome these refugees and immigrants with open arms. Some see them as a threat to security, as a drain on resources, or as a diluting influence on the country’s culture. Growing support for nationalism around the globe has put a spotlight on the beliefs of those who feel that a country ought to take care of its own before trying to help others. Nationalist candidates in European countries are pushing for stronger barriers to entrance. And, in the U.S., the president has issued a travel ban halting immigration from certain countries and strengthening vetting of refugees and migrants overall.

The desire to go to a better land that is felt by thousands of people today has been a mark of the human race almost since the beginning of history. We are always seeking out greener pastures, better opportunities, that special place where all our dreams will come true. While in this world, we will never find that place; any place we settle will fall short of our dreams. But there is a place beyond this world that we cannot begin to even imagine. In this place, the hopes and dreams of all people will reach their highest realization. And, best of all, the doors of this place are always open and everyone is welcome there. Continue reading

The Church at Smyrna: No Rebuke, but Trouble Will Come, Part 5 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #306)


A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.

TEXT: Revelation 2:8-11:

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

—-

Tim Keller said, “Christianity teaches that, contrary to fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contrary to Buddhism, suffering is real; contrary to karma, suffering is often unfair; but contrary to secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “We raise our hats to the martyrs, and we thank God for the last drop of their blood, but we won’t give Him the first drop of ours.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “When Robert Haldane decided to winter at Geneva, he moved to a suite of apartments located at 19 Promenade St. Antoine. In the generation following Haldane’s death, that address was still being called ‘le berceau’ (the birthplace) of ‘Geneva’s Second Reformation.’ The reform began quietly there and never grew into a large meeting.”

—-

An age-old question, asked by countless numbers throughout history, is: Why is there suffering? Many have asked, “Why is there suffering in the world?” Most of us have asked, “Why am I suffering? Why me?” The Church at Smyrna was going through suffering, and in His letter, Jesus has just informed them that more suffering is on the way. We can imagine them asking, “Why must we endure this? Why must we suffer?” The Bible reveals at least four reasons why God allows, and sometimes even brings, suffering into our lives.

One reason suffering comes into our lives is for disciplinary purposes. Suffering can be God’s way of disciplining or chastising us for our sins. Hebrews 12:5 says, “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” No one likes pain. No one likes suffering. But suffering for the purpose of chastisement is a part of the life of the Christian. God would be less than a father if He let us get away with our sins. He wants us to recognize the painful consequences of our wrongdoing so that we won’t do wrong again. Charles Spurgeon said, “If affliction seemed to be joyous, would it be chastisement at all? If suffering has no pain, then it surely has no benefit.”

All of life is based on the principle of reaping what we sow, both good and bad. While no justice dispensed by humans is perfect, governments, parents, employers, and other authority figures mete out appropriate punishment when those under their authority do wrong. This “suffering” can be physical, material, or financial. The point is for us to experience the pain of disobedience so that we will no longer disobey.

When we are undergoing this type of suffering, we ought to recognize that it is for our own good. Hebrews 12:11 says, “No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Instead of focusing on the suffering that you are going through, focus on what comes “afterward.” The “peaceable fruit of righteousness”, and the blessings that come from God as a result of that, are worth temporary suffering through chastisement.

Let’s pray.

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

The Church at Smyrna: No Rebuke, but Trouble Will Come, Part 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #305)

bcnn1-header-homily


A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.

TEXT: Revelation 2:8-11:

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

—-

A.W. Pink said, “Troubled soul, the ‘much tribulation’ will soon be over, and as you enter the ‘kingdom of God’ you shall then see, no longer ‘through a glass darkly’ but in the unshadowed sunlight of the Divine presence, that ‘all things’ did ‘work together’ for your personal and eternal good.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there’s something wrong!”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The commitment to the Scriptures of Swiss reformers such as Zwingli and Calvin was almost nonexistent in Robert Haldane’s day. It was not uncommon for ministerial students to complete their course of training and never actually read the Bible through even once. One student testified, ‘During the four years I attended the theological teachers of Geneva, I did not, as part of my studies, read one single chapter of the Word of God, except a few Psalms and chapters I needed to read to learn Hebrew, and I did not receive one single lesson of exegesis of the Old or New Testament.’”

—-

After Jesus comforts the Church at Smyrna, letting them know that He has experienced all that they are going through, He gives them two commands.

The first command is “fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.” Jesus has told His church that suffering is coming. It will come in the form of some being cast into prison and some being put on trial because of their faith. These can be scary propositions under a brutal, anti-Christian government. But Jesus says the Church should not be afraid. Fearlessness in the life of a Christian is an indicator that his focus is in the right place; his focus is on God, not on the persecution, the opposition, or the circumstances. If we look around us, we will find plenty of reasons to be afraid. But if we keep our focus on God, we will be reminded that He is greater than any suffering, persecution, or tribulation that we face.

Vance Havner said, “The ‘tribulation’ here spoken of by Christ does not mean the common trials to which all flesh is heir. Some dear souls think they are bearing their cross every time they have a headache. The tribulation mentioned here is trouble they would not have had if they had not been Christians.”

Not only ought we to fear not in the midst of tribulation, but we ought to “be faithful even unto death.” This command comes immediately after Jesus’ statement that the church at Smyrna would “have tribulation ten days.” Whether this is a literal ten days of twenty-four hours or a symbol of some other length of time we do not know. The point for us today is that “trouble don’t last always.” God has an appointed time to bring us out of our persecution and tribulation. A common expression is, “All good things must come to an end.” Well, all bad things must come to an end as well. We can be faithful in tribulation because we know that God will certainly see us through the tribulation and bring us out of the tribulation. We may not see the end, but God always sees the end from the beginning.

When we are tempted to give in to discouragement during persecution and tribulation, we must remember to keep our focus on God because then we will not be afraid. We must also strive to be faithful to the end of our trouble — even if that end is death. Remembering that God will bring us through no matter the outcome will help us stay focused, fearless, and faithful during tribulation and persecution.

True New Testament Revival: No Rebuke, but Trouble Will Come, Part 1 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #293)

early-church


A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.

TEXT: Revelation 2:8-11:

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

—-

Charles Finney said, “If Christians were not such cowards, and absolutely disobedient to this plain command of God — ‘Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him’ — one thing would certainly come of it: either they would be murdered in the streets as martyrs because men could not bear the intolerable presence of truth, or sinners would be speedily converted to God.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “If Bible knowledge could change the world, we would’ve changed it long ago.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “During Robert Haldane’s day, the Reformed churches of Switzerland were in decline. In 1810, several young men had united under the banner ‘La Societe desAmis’ (‘The Society of Friends’) as an evangelical response to the apparent spiritual apostasy in their church. Opposition by the clergy, most of whom adhered to Arian heresy, had been so strong that the group had disbanded in 1814. Some of the more committed members had left the Reformed Church and joined the Moravians.”

—-

Jesus opens His letter to the church at Smyrna with these words: “These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive.” He reminds them of who He is. The words “first and last” emphasize Jesus’ eternality and Jesus’ authority. In contrast to this is another affirmation that Jesus “was dead” — literally “chose to become dead” — and is now “alive.”

This reminder of who Jesus is is important for the church at Smyrna. Smyrna was a prominent Roman city and a center of the imperial religion. The pagan citizens of Smyrna regarded Caesar as supreme ruler, almost as a god. They declared, “Caesar is Lord,” something which the Christians of Smyrna would never do. The Christians were seen as traitors to the Empire. The Bible Exposition Commentary says, “Anyone refusing to acknowledge Caesar as Lord would certainly be excluded from the guilds. This would mean unemployment and poverty. The word used for poverty means ‘abject poverty, possessing absolutely nothing.'”

Not only were the Christians marginalized by the pagan Roman citizens, but they were marginalized by the Jews as well. Judaism was a sanctioned religion under Rome, but that did not prevent the minority Jewish community from hating the Christians. So, the believers at Smyrna were buffeted on both sides.

By reminding them of who He is, that He is the One who was dead, but is now alive, Jesus helps the church at Smyrna to understand that they are not alone. Jesus Himself experienced such persecution. He was betrayed and slandered by the Jews and beaten and crucified by the Romans. He identifies with His church in its suffering. This is an encouragement for the church at Smyrna and persecuted believers today because it reminds us that we are taking part in the suffering of Christ. When the church is assaulted Christ is assaulted.

This passage matters to us today because the church is still under assault. According to the Center for Studies on New Religions, nearly 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith in 2016. That works out to one death every 6 minutes. The annual study also indicated that between 500 and 600 million Christians experienced other forms of persecution that prevented them from freely practicing their faith.

Christ accepted His suffering. He chose to die. But now He is alive and He is the beginning and the end of all things. The Christians at Smyrna knew that, ultimately, they lived in Christ and would one day live with Christ. Just as Jesus overcame, they would overcome if they remained faithful. For them and for us, the persecution of the present does not diminish the victory of the future.

Timothy Dwight wrote:

I love thy church, O God.
Her walls before thee stand,
dear as the apple of thine eye,
and graven on thy hand.

For her my tears shall fall;
for her my prayers ascend;
to her my cares and toils be given,
till toils and cares shall end.

Sure as thy truth shall last,
to Zion shall be given
the brightest glories earth can yield,
and brighter bliss of heaven.

Let’s pray.

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Jesus Explains Why He Has to Go Back to Heaven, Part 6 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 266)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 16:12-15:

12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 266.

Henry Blackaby said, “When God spoke to Moses and others in the Old Testament, those events were encounters with God. An encounter with Jesus was an encounter with God for the disciples. In the same way, an encounter with the Holy Spirit is an encounter with God for you.”

Notice the emphasis on the fact that the Holy Spirit will draw attention to Jesus Christ in this passage. Jesus says, “He shall glorify ME: for he shall receive of MINE… All things that the Father hath are MINE: he shall take of MINE, and shall shew it unto you.” The entire job description of the Holy Spirit is wrapped up in His mission to draw people and point people to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is like an amplifier for the Messiah. He increases, if you will, the broadcast signal of the Saviour. He draws the disciples further into Christ, and, as we saw in a few previous messages, He points sinful man to Christ as well. It is all about Jesus.

The work of the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus. If the work of any Christian is not glorifying Jesus then he cannot say that he is being led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes what belongs to Jesus and shows it — opens it up, reveals it — to the disciples and to the world. Of course, this is the same as showing the Heavenly Father to the world as Jesus did, because God the Father and Jesus the Son are one.

The chief way in which the Holy Spirit takes the spiritual truths of the Father and the Son and shows them to believers is through the Word of God. The writers of the New Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wrote thru them — explaining, expounding, and expanding on the message of Jesus Christ. One commentator likened it to the unfolding of a flower. The Holy Spirit was not creating or giving new knowledge; He was showing believers more of the knowledge that God had already given through Christ.

There is no new revelation in the body of Christ. No one can truly say that they have something to add to the Word of God. There is only the Holy Spirit opening our eyes to truths that are already present in the Word so that we can apply those truths to the situations that we face every day.

Another theologian said, “We do not study the Word of God in order to ‘argue religion’ with people or to show off our grasp of spiritual things. We study the Word to see Jesus Christ, to know God better, to glorify Him in our lives. As we witness in this hostile world, the Spirit uses the Word He has taught us; and we share Jesus Christ with the lost. It is our job to witness; it is the Spirit’s job to convict.”

Like the Holy Spirit, we ought to constantly be pointing people back to Jesus. We ought to take the light that God has given us and use it to show others the way of salvation.

Mary Dagworthy James wrote:

All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
All my being’s ransomed powers;
All my thoughts and words and doings,
All my days and all my hours.

Let my hands perform His bidding;
Let my feet run in His ways;
Let mine eyes see Jesus only;
Let my lips speak forth His praise.

Since mine eyes were fixed on Jesus,
I’ve lost sight of all beside—
So enchained my spirit’s vision,
Looking at the Crucified.

If you want to accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and the entrance of the Holy Spirit into your life right now, here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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