Suffering and the Glory of God

February 9, 2018 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters to the Seven Churches

Topic: The Church, Christian Living Scripture: Revelation 2:8–11

Home Group Study

Sermon Date: 9 February 2018 Text: Revelation 2:8-11

Opening Discussion:Please view the video clip attached from John Piper.


What does God’s word say?

As you observe what God’s word says, answer the following questions from the text(s):

  • What are the key words and phrases of the text? Is anything repeated?
  •  What does this text reveal about human nature?
  •  What does this text reveal about the character and purposes of God?

 Read: Revelation 2:8-11

 What are your observations?


What does God’s word mean?

 Jesus is telling the church at Smyrna that despite their suffering, they are to be faithful towards God, remembering that our faith is proven by perseverance, and those whose faith is proven to the very end will receive the end of their salvation. 

 Read 1 Peter 4: 1-19, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 In Matthew 10, Jesus encourages His disciples by warning them to expect suffering. He exhorts them in v16, "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves”. He further encourages them in verse 22, “and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Is Jesus here teaching that we have to earn our salvation? Compare Ephesians 2:8-10.


The Scriptures clearly reveal that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. That is true when a person initially calls upon the name of the Lord, and it remains true throughout his/her existence. This is the essence of what is sometimes called the doctrine of eternal security, or “the perseverance of the saints.”

Everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour will continually be preserved by Him and thus will persevere in growing to be like Him. This process will finally be completed when the believer is perfected at their death and/or the Lord Jesus Christ’s second coming (Romans 8:28-30).

Salvation is by grace through faith, and not by works. It is a gift from God. No believer can cause himself to lose his salvation, because he did not cause his salvation. God won’t cast us out, no man can cause us to lose our salvation, and we can’t lose it ourselves.

Why is this?

  1. Because “salvation is of the Lord.” Jonah 2:9
  2. Because your relationship with God is now a Father/son relationship by birth. John 1:12-13

When you were born physically, there was a record made of your birth called a birth certificate. In the Bible, there is a written record of your spiritual birth on which you can depend. That is, you have God’s sure Word on it! 1 John 5:11-13

  1. Your birth certificate was marked with a seal. Your spiritual birth is sealed by the Holy Spirit of God. Ephesians 1:13; 4:30
  2. You will be your father’s son forever because you were born of his seed. You could leave the country, change your name, etc., but it will never change the fact that he is your father. The same is true of your heavenly Father. You can die, but you can never be unborn. Your birth is fixed for eternity, both physically and spiritually, and even God Himself will never change that fact.


How must I change?

 Is there a Truth to be believed?

  •  Are you convinced of the truth that Christians are called to suffer for the sake of the gospel?

 Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

  •  Understanding that we are saved in order to persevere, how does this then affect your resolve to NOT be a compromising Christian?

Is there a Behavior to be changed?

  •  The saying goes ‘Belief affects your behaviour’. How will someone behave who does not believe that God is sovereign over their lives and circumstances, and how will someone behave who does believe God is sovereign?

Closing Prayer: lead the groups to pray based upon the topic or theme of the study

More in Letters to the Seven Churches

April 13, 2018

Laodicea: The Useless Church

March 23, 2018

Philadelphia: The Faithful Church

March 16, 2018

Thessalonians: The Church of the Living