First Baptist Church Laredo
Sunday 6-28-2020
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        Ladies Bible Study

        August 13, 2019 - 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
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        Ladies Bible Study

        August 13, 2019 - 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
        Ladies Bible Study, “Remembering the Foundation of Our Faith” Join us every Tuesday at 10:00 am in the fellowship hall
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        Wednesday Night Bible Studies

        August 7, 2019 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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        Wednesday Night Bible Studies

        August 7, 2019 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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        Mandarin Bible Study

        November 2, 2019 - 7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
        如果需要更多信息,请联系王红卫姊妹, 联系电话 (806)620-6521,邮箱 
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        Mandarin Bible Study

        November 2, 2019 - 7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
        如果需要更多信息, 请联系王红卫姊妹, 联系电话 (806)620-6521, 邮箱
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        Pantry of Hope

        July 13, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
        Volunteers please arrive at 9 am through the back kitchen door. Thank you!
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        Pantry of Hope

        July 11, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
        Volunteers please arrive at 9 am through the back kitchen door. Thank you!
  • All Because Of Jesus
  • Way Maker
  • Living Hope
      • Psalm 24NIV2011

  • Purify My Heart
  • Let’s being by reading our theme verse together.
    Revelation 3:6 CSB
    6 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
    Last week, we began a new message series entitled, “What the Spirit Says to the Churches”. In the beginning chapters of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, John recorded seven messages from Jesus to seven historical churches. The first message was to the church at Ephesus.
    The church at Ephesus was doing many things right. They were working hard to maintain their doctrinal purity. They weren’t giving up. They had no tolerance for sin. They refused to allow apostasy and immorality to go on in the church. They tested the claims that people made. However, they had a major issue which would cause them to lose their gospel ministry if they did not deal with it properly. They had lost their first love. They were doing the right things, but their motives were wrong. They needed to remember, repent, and return to the love they had at first for Jesus.
    Let’s read the message to the church at Smyrna. Open your Bible to Revelation 2:8.
    Revelation 2:8–11 CSB
    8 “Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna: Thus says the First and the Last, the one who was dead and came to life: 9 I know your affliction and poverty, but you are rich. I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will never be harmed by the second death.
    Smyrna was located a little north of Ephesus.
    <show map>
    The city of Smyrna was known for its loyalty to political leaders. During one of the major war campaigns of Rome, the citizens of Smyrna heard that the Roman soldiers were ill-equipped. The story is recorded that the citizens of Smyrna stripped off their own clothes to send to the soldiers.
    The city was also known for its beauty. It had stone streets and beautiful trees. The builders of the city did make a terrible error in building the city. They failed to put sewers under the streets and so sewage often filled the streets after the rains. The city was also a place of learning and may have been the birthplace of Homer, the writer of Iliad.
    The church at Smyrna was a persecuted church. From all indications from the message Jesus wrote the church, the church was undergoing significant persecution. Interestingly, the church at Smyrna is the only church addressed in Revelation of which nothing negative is said.
    The key to understanding the message to the church at Smyrna, and likewise the message to us, is found in verse 10.
    Revelation 2:10 CSB
    10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
    Don’t be afraid. Do you think that is a message we need today? Don’t be afraid. You might say, “Pastor, look around you there is so much to fear. A virus threatens our health. Our economy may be on the brink of collapse. We have so much social unrest. Marriages are falling apart. People are losing their jobs. There is so much to fear.”
    Do you know how many times Scripture states, “Do not be afraid’? Over 70 times the Scriptures tell us not to fear. Rick Warren says that there are 365 times where the Bible indicates we should not be afraid, one for each day of the year. I haven’t counted them up myself, but I would say, the Bible often encourages believers to not be afraid. The church at Smyrna was told “Don’t be afraid”.
    Here is the main point. I want you to remember this and take it with you. Brothers and sisters, you are going to need this, if not now, very soon. If you forget everything else about this message, remember:

    Don’t be afraid. Be faithful to Jesus.

    Look at verses 8-9.
    Revelation 2:8–9 CSB
    8 “Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna: Thus says the First and the Last, the one who was dead and came to life: 9 I know your affliction and poverty, but you are rich. I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

    1. Don’t be afraid. Jesus understands.

    Jesus is the First and the Last. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus is the beginning and the end. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. Jesus died and came back to life again. He was arrested. He suffered. He died and rose from the dead. He offers the way of life to others who follow him.
    He understands what you are going through. He sympathizes with you.
    Hebrews 4:15 CSB
    15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.
    Take comfort and do not be afraid. Jesus understands what you are going through. He understands your pain and suffering. He understands what it means to be human and our human limitations. He understands our struggles.
    He understands and so he intercedes for us.
    Romans 8:34 CSB
    34 Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
    I don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to be afraid because Jesus is pleading on our behalf right now. I don’t know if this is what is happening, but I would have to think it possible. Imagine Jesus in the throne room of God. He sees our struggles and our pain. He feels it. He stands before the Father and says, “Father, let me go get them and bring them home. I have been preparing a place for them to be with us. Let me go get them. Let’s put an end to their pain and suffering. Is it time yet?” Don’t be afraid. Jesus understands.

    2. Don’t be afraid. Jesus limits.

    Revelation 2:10 CSB
    10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
    I wish I could stand up before you and tell you that once you become a believer, you will be completely free from difficulty. The reality is nowhere in the Bible does God promise freedom from suffering in this life. As a matter of fact, it promises the opposite.
    John 16:33 CSB
    33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
    But here is the truth and it is precious. There is a limit to our suffering. Jesus will step it and say, “That’s enough. No more. I have allowed this testing. They have shown themselves faithful. No more suffering. No more pain for my precious children.”
    The suffering you will endure is only temporary. For the church at Smyrna, it would be limited to 10 days. I don’t know if that refers to a specific time frame or if it simply means there is a limit to the trial. In any case, the time of their testing is limited. Jesus will not allow you to suffer forever. He will step in and put an end to it.
    Maybe the end is by calling you home to be with him. Maybe the end is the rapture. Maybe the end is by destroying your enemies. However he does it, he will limit the testing and suffering of his children. Jesus will take what the evil one meant for your destruction and make you stronger.
    Don’t be afraid. Jesus understands. Don’t be afraid. Jesus limits.

    3. Don’t be afraid. Jesus rewards.

    Revelation 2:10–11 CSB
    10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will never be harmed by the second death.
    Jesus rewards his faithful followers with eternal life in his house. He encouraged the church at Smyrna to remain faithful, no matter what, even to the point of physical death. He encouraged them not to fear death because eternal life awaited them.
    You would need to know Greek to pick up on the nuance of what Jesus is saying. In the Greek language, there is no article with the word “death”, but there is an article with the word “life”. Jesus is drawing our attention to the reality that this life is not “the life”. Real life is found in eternal life. This life is temporary. We are just passing through.
    This doesn’t mean that we are reckless or careless. We have a mission to complete. As long as Jesus leaves us here in this life, we are to give people the good news that they too can have eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. They don’t have to die. They can have eternal life.
    John 10:27–28 CSB
    27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.
    John 3:16–18 CSB
    16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
    History records that severe persecution broke out in the city of Smyrna. Polycarp was the senior pastor of the church at Smyrna. He was 86 years old at the time of this event. Here is the record:
    Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, was martyred on Saturday, 23rd February, ad 155. It was the time of the public games; the city was crowded, and the crowds were excited. Suddenly the shout went up: ‘Away with the atheists; let Polycarp be searched for.’ No doubt Polycarp could have escaped; but already he had had a dream in which he saw the pillow under his head burning with fire; and, when he woke, he told his disciples: ‘I must be burnt alive.’
    His whereabouts were betrayed by a slave who collapsed under torture. They came to arrest him. He ordered that they should be given a meal and provided with all they required, while he asked for himself the privilege of one last hour in prayer. Not even the police captain wanted to see Polycarp die. On the brief journey to the city, he pleaded with the old man: ‘What harm is it to say: “Caesar is Lord” and to offer sacrifice and be saved?’ But Polycarp was adamant that for him only Jesus Christ was Lord.
    When he entered the arena, there came a voice from heaven saying: ‘Be strong, Polycarp, and play the man.’ The proconsul gave him the choice of cursing the name of Christ and making sacrifice to Caesar—or death. ‘Eighty and six years have I served him,’ said Polycarp, ‘and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?’ The proconsul threatened him with burning, and Polycarp replied: ‘You threaten me with the fire that burns for a time, and is quickly quenched, for you do not know the fire which awaits the wicked in the judgment to come and in everlasting punishment. Why are you waiting? Come, do what you will.’
    So the crowds came flocking from the workshops and from the baths with bundles of wood—and the Jews, even though they were breaking the Sabbath law by carrying such burdens, were ahead of everyone in bringing wood for the fire. They were going to bind him to the stake. ‘Leave me as I am,’ he said, ‘for he who gives me power to endure the fire will grant me to remain in the flames unmoved even without the security you will give by the nails.’ So they left him loosely bound in the flames, and Polycarp prayed his great prayer:
    O Lord God Almighty, Father of thy beloved and blessed Child, Jesus Christ, through whom we have received full knowledge of thee, God of angels and powers, and of all creation, and of the whole family of the righteous, who live before thee, I bless thee that thou hast granted unto me this day and hour, that I may share, among the number of the martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, for the resurrection to eternal life, both of soul and body in the immortality of the Holy Spirit. And may I today be received among them before thee, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, as thou, the God without falsehood and of truth, hast prepared beforehand and shown forth and fulfilled. For this reason I also praise thee for all things. I bless thee, I glorify thee through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, thy beloved Child, through whom be glory to thee with him and the Holy Spirit, both now and for the ages that are to come. Amen.
    Polycarp remained faithful and died martyr for Jesus. Eternal life awaited him. You can have eternal life. Are you trusting in Jesus? Is your hope found in Jesus’ blood and his righteousness? Are you trusting in anything or anyone else to save you from your sins?
    Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and he was born without sin. He is the Son of God. He was the only person who could be the perfect sacrifice for our sin. He died for you and he was raised from the dead. Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved and forgiven.
    There are those of you here today who need to surrender to Jesus. You do not need to clean up your life first. You don’t need to get better and stop doing bad things. You come to Jesus just as you are. When you come to him he will change you from the inside out. He will forgive every sin you have ever done and will make you clean.
    There are those of you who recognize that you are not serving Jesus. You are serving yourself, but today, you will say, “I am turning away from my sin and giving my life to Jesus.”
    Please bow your heads and close your eyes during this time of reflection. If that is you, will you pray this prayer with me, “Heavenly Father, forgive me for my sins, make me clean. I ask Jesus to be my Savior and to be the Lord of my life, first in every way. My life is not my own, I give it to you. Thank you for new life. In Jesus’ name, I pray.”
    If you prayed that prayer and you want to talk more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus, this is what I want you to do. My email address is on the screen:

    pastorben@fbclaredo.org

    Write to me. Let me know of your decision to follow Jesus. Use the QR code on the bulletin to fill out a connection card, so we can get int contact with you. You can also go to our website and at the bottom of the page is the link to Connect with Us. We want to help you and support you in your decision.
    Brothers and sisters, are you afraid? Why are you afraid? Listen to these words from the Psalmist.
    Psalm 56:3 CSB
    3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
    We don’t need to fear. God is in control. We are to be faithful.
    1 Corinthians 4:2 CSB
    2 In this regard, it is required that managers be found faithful.
    Jesus is coming and he is bringing his rewards with him. Be faithful. Fear not. God is with you. Don’t be afraid, he is your God. He will strengthen you. He will help you. He will uphold you with his right arm. If you are fearful, talk to God. Admit your fears and let the Holy Spirit strengthen you. I can’t tell you what tomorrow has in store for you, but I know God will never leave us or forsake us.
    Let us pray with you and support you. Our church staff is here to support you and help you. Write to me. Just a short email to let me know what is happening in your life. Use the QR code on the bulletin to fill out a connection card, so we can get int contact with you. You can also go to our website and at the bottom of the page is the link to Connect with Us. Let us help you grow and support you in your relationship with God.
    Close in Prayer.
      • Revelation 3:6CSB

      • Revelation 2:8–11NIV2011

      • Revelation 2:10NIV2011

      • Revelation 2:8–9CSB

      • Hebrews 4:15CSB

      • Romans 8:34CSB

      • Revelation 2:10NIV2011

      • John 16:33NIV2011

      • Revelation 2:10–11NIV2011

      • John 10:27–28CSB

      • John 3:16–18CSB

      • Psalm 56:3CSB

      • 1 Corinthians 4:2CSB

  • Speak To My Heart
      • Psalm 116:2HCSB

  • Alive In Us
      • Download

        Ladies Bible Study

        August 13, 2019 - 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
      • Download

        Ladies Bible Study

        August 13, 2019 - 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
        Ladies Bible Study, “Remembering the Foundation of Our Faith” Join us every Tuesday at 10:00 am in the fellowship hall
      • Download

        Wednesday Night Bible Studies

        August 7, 2019 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
      • Download

        Wednesday Night Bible Studies

        August 7, 2019 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
      • Download

        Mandarin Bible Study

        November 2, 2019 - 7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
        如果需要更多信息,请联系王红卫姊妹, 联系电话 (806)620-6521,邮箱 
      • Download

        Mandarin Bible Study

        November 2, 2019 - 7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
        如果需要更多信息, 请联系王红卫姊妹, 联系电话 (806)620-6521, 邮箱
      • Download

        Pantry of Hope

        July 13, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
        Volunteers please arrive at 9 am through the back kitchen door. Thank you!
      • Download

        Pantry of Hope

        July 11, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
        Volunteers please arrive at 9 am through the back kitchen door. Thank you!

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