Do Not Let Folks Hold You Hostage Because of What You Don't Have
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Delivered By
Pastor Ed Dinkins
Delivered On
October 18, 2015
Third Sunday Service

Revelation 2 and 3 Commentary Excerpts by Rev. Kevin Krell:

     "Now some of today’s television preachers would have us believe that these Christians were out of God’s will. They were living beneath their privileges. All they had to do was “name it and claim it.” Or as some have said, “God wants Christians wealthy but many lack the faith to believe God for it.” This is a terribly heretical doctrine. It grieves me that so many Christians fall for such grossly selfish teaching. The church in Smyrna was suffering because they were in the will of God. Financial prosperity is not God’s will for everyone. Sometimes it costs to be a Christian. It may even cost you financially.

     Notwithstanding their physical poverty, the Christians in Smyrna were rich spiritually: positionally (Eph 1:3f.) and practically (1 Pet 3:14-17; 4:13-14)Like the church in India—poor on the outside but rich in spiritual things. As Mother Teresa used to say, “There are different kinds of poverty.” What she meant by this statement is poverty of heart or spirit is far worse than poverty of the pocket book.

     Economic persecution can and will happen today. It’s possible that you could lose your job because your faith will not allow you to lie, cheat, or manipulate. Yet we must always remember this important principle: persecution has never been fatal to Christianity but prosperity often has."

     "Jesus concludes this letter as He does His other six letters with the words: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (3:22). How easy it would be to allow these words of rebuke and instruction to pass one by. How easy it would be to fall into the same complacency and self-reliance that plagued the Laodicean church. If we have learned anything from this letter, it is that we must not be smug and complacent, but rather be zealous, evidencing fruit worthy of repentance. Our own assets are worthless before Christ. We must obtain all our spiritual assets from Him.

     Henry Morrison was a missionary to Africa. One day he was coming home from Africa on a ship, which was also carrying President Theodore Roosevelt. When the ship docked in New York, thousands of people were there to greet Roosevelt. But no one cheered for Morrison.

     Henry Morrison had served the Lord for forty years in Africa. As he watched the crowds greet Theodore Roosevelt, he became dejected to think he had served the Lord all those years and yet no one was there to greet him.

     Morrison said that as he walked down the gangplank in a depressed mood, a voice whispered to him, “Henry, don’t worry. You’re not home yet.” Then he said he saw a vision of multiplied thousands of Africans standing at the gates of heaven, those who he had reached for Christ, applauding him as he entered heaven.

     If people are not recognizing you down here, if you are not getting applause right now, don’t worry. You are not home yet. Remember what Christ has waiting for you."

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