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Sunday, 22 December 2013


Rev. Canon George Sinclair
by Rev. Canon George Sinclair                           
 Pastor of the Church of the Messiah, Ottawa, ON. 

(Podcast of CFRA broadcast on Sunday, December 22nd, 2013)
Broadcast Notes:

Following the Lamb’ - Part2
Following the Lamb in the dying days of the dragon: Sifted?

Today, we are looking at: Revelation 2: 8-11

To the reader and listener: I share these broadcasts with other speakers. However, with this broadcast and the next 5 or 6 broadcasts that I will do, I will speak on the Book of Revelation. In particular, I will spend a week on each of the "words to the seven churches" found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Last week I spoke on Revelation 2:1-7. Each of these broadcasts are a shortened and adapted talk from a longer sermon that I have preached in the church that I have the privilege of being the pastor. In Church of the Messiah, I hope to preach through the whole Book of Revelation. That longer series is entitled "Following the Lamb in the dying days of the dragon." Hopefully this helps explain my curious title. Obviously, in the six weeks between my two talks, the other speakers will speak on whatever the Lord is laying on their hearts to address. 

Please pray for me. In the book of Revelation there is a stern warning about those who teach the Book - we are to be faithful expositors! There are also promises to the reader of great blessing to all who read and heed this powerful part of God's word written.

The Book of Revelation is a book about Jesus: what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do. It is on one hand a book about the future, but it is also a book which is always contemporary. God desires us to listen and follow what is written in Revelation.

Before you turn in your Bibles to the Bible text for today, this talk is being broadcast on Dec 22, just a few days before Christmas, so please let me wish you a very blessed and very merry Christmas. Always remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. 

Please turn in your Bibles to Revelation 2:8-11. This is the resurrected Jesus speaking to the church in Smyrna - and also to every Christian in every church.

In this powerful word to the church in Smyrna, Jesus poses four questions for the rest of our lives.

I am an introvert. When I am having a hard time, I tend to withdraw and get quiet. In my marriage, I had to learn to let my wife know why I was withdrawing and getting quiet. 

The church in Smyrna does not hear any rebuke from Jesus. It is one of only two churches to be unrebuked. Five of the seven churches in the Book of revelation are rebuked. The church in Smyrna is also going through a very hard time. Here is the first question for the rest of your life.

1. Will suffering incline me towards God or away from Him? Will suffering incline my church towards God or away from Him?

Sometimes we suffer on purpose (we run a marathon). Sometimes our suffering is random (a natural disaster). Sometimes suffering is a result of us sinning (we drink alcohol heavily and destroy our liver). Sometimes we suffer because we come under the judgment of God (a biblical idea that we tend to apply to others rather than ourselves). We need to bring all of our suffering to God in prayer. Sometimes we experience a different type of suffering, did you see it in the Bible text?

Read 2:9-10.

Here is the second question for the rest of your life.

2. Am I being sifted by God? Is my church being sifted by God? 

There are some extra questions that we can ask God in prayer when we are having a hard time.

a) Dear God, am I suffering because I am sinning?
b) Dear God, what do You want me to know?
c) Dear God, what do You want me to do?
d) Dear God, what do You want me to become?

Suffering is often connected to a sense of shame. Suffering often effects our sense of self - are identity. That is why we need to ask God this third question.

Read 2:8-9a, 11.

3. Who has the first and last word about me? Who has the first and last word about my church?

Jesus has the first and last word about me. I need to get inside of Him and His saving word to receive and live in light of His first and last word. I need Him to get inside of me to receive His first and last word.

This leads us to the fourth question. Read 2:10.

4. How does Jesus want me to respond? How does Jesus want my church to respond?

In the original language, the key answer can be written two ways in English. "Be faithful" and/or "Become faithful".

Faith involves saying yes to the good news that Jesus has come to reconcile me to God by His finished work upon the cross. I respond to the news of this mighty act of God by asking Jesus to come to me, and have me, and live in me, as my Saviour and Lord. This is the response that God desires us to take. It is His chosen response.

A model prayer

Blessed Jesus, I know You lived Your life and died on the cross to reconcile me to God and make me His child. Please come into my life to be my Saviour. I invite You into every part of my life as Lord, with nothing held back. Please pour Your Holy Spirit into me to help me today and forever. Thank You. Amen.

Rev. Canon George Sinclair
Church of the Messiah
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:


  1. Originally Posted on Twitter: ‏- (On Twitter as @GNCMdotCA)
    "O Lord, forgive me for what I have been, sanctify what I am, and order what I shall be." -Frank MacNutt | #sifted :

  2. Originally Posted on Twitter - 9 July 12:
    Jake Tucker - (On Twitter as ‏@akajaketucker)
    God must first accomplish something in you before he can accomplish something through you. #sifted