1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are so glad that you tuned in to this broadcast.
3. If you had listened to the last broadcast,
4. you will remember that I ended with a question;
5. and I told you that, in this broadcast, I will give you the answer;
6. and the question was this:
7. why do some people, whether they claim to be religious or not, hate the Gospel?
8. Why do they hate the believers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
9. And here is the answer, as I promised:
10. the Gospel exposes man’s sin and guilt,
11. and man does not want to be confronted with that.
12. The Gospel reveals the judgment and the wrath of God upon sin;
13. and man does not want to face the wrath of God.
14. The Gospel announces that man can never save himself;
15. and man’s pride rejects that.
16. The Gospel announces that only through the cross of Jesus Christ can a person be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life;
17. and man’s arrogance refuses that;
18. and, because of all of this, they reject the Gospel;
19. and, because of that rejection of the Gospel,
20. even preachers of the Gospel are tempted to compromise and water down these objective truths.
21. Do you know why they do this?
22. Fear of rejection.
23. Satan, who failed in Smyrna, is succeeding in many parts of the world today;
24. and, so, here is what the risen Christ wants all of His children who are facing trouble, to know.
25. Here is what the risen Christ offers to all who are victims of fear.
26. Here is what the risen Christ wants all of His timid children to know.
27. Basically, three things.
28. First, that the Lord Jesus Christ has all power.
29. Secondly, that the Lord Jesus Christ knows all things.
30. Thirdly, that the Lord Jesus Christ has a purpose in everything.
31. Let’s look at the first thing Jesus wants His troubled, fearful children to know.
32. Jesus has all power.
33. “I am the First and the Last.
34. I was here before creation and I will be here when it is all destroyed.
35. No one came before Me and no one will be after Me.
36. I created it all and I control it all.
37. I died and they all thought I was finished; but, on the third day, I rose again.
38. I have defeated your most powerful foe—even death;
39. and all you need to do is trust Me.
40. I will bring you through your pain.
41. I will bring you through your difficulties.
42. I will bring you past your enemy’s attack.
43. I will bring you past your false accusers.
44. I’ll bring you past your temporary suffering.”
45. Not only does Jesus have all the power;
46. but, secondly, He knows all things.
47. He knows all about your affliction.
48. He says, “I am with you in the middle of your affliction.”
49. Not only does He say, “I understand your affliction,”
50. but, also, He says, “I have experienced the worst of all afflictions and that is why I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
51. Your suffering may be causing you financial reversal;
52. but, remember, I do not judge you by your finances.
53. People may call you “poor,”
54. but, because I know everything, I call you “rich,”
55. for I was rich, and, for your sake, I became poor;
56. and, through my poverty, you’ll become rich.”
57. Not only does the Lord Jesus have all power;
58. not only does He know all things;
59. but, also, thirdly, the Lord Jesus has a purpose for everything.
60. The devil tempts us so that he may destroy us;
61. but the sovereign, resurrected Jesus Christ turns the temptation into a test so that He may prove us.
62. Listen to verse 10 of Revelation 2.
63. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.
64. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you and you will suffer persecution for ten days...”
65. What is the resurrected Jesus saying here?
66. He is saying that, “What Satan will mean for evil, I will mean for good.
67. What Satan tries to use to destroy you, I will turn it around and use it to bless you...”
68. and what Satan designs to work against you, God will turn it to your favor.
70. Because Jesus promised when He walked the earth, in John, Chapter 10, verses 28 and 29,
71. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
72. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;
73. no one can snatch them from My Father’s hand.”
74. My listening friend, do you want to banish fear out of your life?
75. Then memorize John, Chapter 6, verse 39.
76. “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.”
77. My listening friend, this is not just good news-
78. this is great news.
79. When you put your trust in Him, who is the Alpha and the Omega,
80. all of their persecution,
81. all of their false accusations,
82. and all of their harassments,
83. and all of their lies,
84. will amount to nothing and are doomed to failure.
85. Listen carefully, my listening friend, as I conclude.
86. Fifty years after this letter was delivered to the pastor of the church in Smyrna,
87. the man who pastored the church also faced death at the hand of his persecutors.
88. His name was Polycarp.
89. Polycarp was the pastor of the church in Smyrna in the year 156 AD.
90. He left the city at the urging of his people;
91. but the police tracked him down.
92. He made no attempt to flee;
93. but, instead, he held a feast for those who came to arrest him.
94. He asked for only one thing.
95. He said, “Give me two hours for prayer...”
96. and they gave him two hours.
97. After the prayer and on the way to the city, the commanding officer pleaded with him, “Swear by the genius of Caesar, and I will let you go.
98. Revile Christ, and I will release you...”
99. to which Polycarp made his famous statement
100. My listening friend, this is a powerful statement.
101. I hope you can memorize it.
102. Here’s what he said.
103. “For 86 years, I have served Him and He has done me no wrong. How, then, I can blaspheme my King, who saved me?”
104. The Proconsul said, “I have wild beasts. I will throw you to them.”
105. Polycarp replied, “Call them.”
106. The Proconsul said, “Since you made light of the beasts, I will have you destroyed by fire unless you recant.”
107. When he would not deny his Christ,
108. angry Jews and Gentiles alike gathered piles of wood, upon which Polycarp stood.
109. Polycarp asked only that they would not fasten him to the stake as he prayed a long prayer.
110. Let me give you a summary of it.
111. “Oh, Lord God Almighty, God the Father of Your beloved Son Jesus Christ,
112. through whom we have to come to know You,
113. I thank You for counting me worthy this day and hour of sharing the cup of Christ among the number of Your martyrs...”
114. but, when the fire was lit,
115. a wind blew the fire away from Polycarp,
116. so the soldier killed him with a sword.
117. My listening friend, do not be afraid when troubles beset you.
118. Jesus will not lose you out of His hand.
119. The One who suffered on the cross for you will hold you all the more tightly;
120. and He will raise you up on the last day.
121. Until next time, I wish you God’s strength and power and blessing.