Two Sundays ago we studied Revelation 2:1-7, Christ’s letter to the church in Ephesus, and last Sunday we studied Revelation 2:8-11, Christ’s letter to the church in Smyrna. Read those two passages together as a group before discussing these questions.
- Why did a concern for correct doctrine and right living lead to a loveless church in Ephesus?
- How can we prevent this from happening at Sojourn both on an individual level (you) and on a church-wide level (corporately)?
- Is it possible to have concern (perhaps even a passion?) for truth, doctrine, and right living (Christian maturity) and still have Christ-like love for all? Discuss.
- The Christians in Smyrna were experiencing concentrated, focused persecution from non-Christians because they would not compromise their faith in Jesus. We are not experiencing pressure from society to make sacrifices to Caesar and worship him as Lord, but what kind of pressures do we face instead because of our faith?
- The persecuted Christians in Smyrna were holding fast to their faith in Jesus. Have you ever thought through what your response might be to persecution if and/or when it becomes a reality for us? How will you respond to persecution?
- Jesus encouraged the church in Smyrna to “be faithful unto death.” What does that kind of faithfulness look like? What does it not look like?