"Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth." Revelation 3:10
This week we look at the sixth of the seven churches, the church of Philadelphia, meaning "brotherly love." This church was smaller than the others addressed, and it was located 38 miles NE of Sardis. It begins:
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, say this: "I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Revelation 3:7-8
The letter, as all have been, are written to the angel of the church. The word angel is literally translated as "messenger." The angels were responsible for getting the message to the churches while John was exiled on the island of Patmos. We know the letters were delivered. Again, we are then reminded of the greatness of our God who is holy, true, and has the key of David which emphasizes His authority. He is the One who is in complete control. He opens doors no one can shut in our lives, and He closes doors no one can open. He knows all our deeds small and great.
Then He tells this small church He has put an open door before them no one can shut. He encourages them though they have little power, because their numbers are few, for keeping His Word and not denying His name. Perhaps you feel small with little power as I often do. Let this message encourage your heart. What is often highly esteemed by man is an abomination in the sight of God we are told in Luke 16:15. God isn’t nearly as concerned about numbers as man’s ego. We must purpose in our hearts to obey His Word and never deny who He is. We are not to justify ourselves in the eyes of man, but the eyes of God. Jesus taught us in Luke 16:15:
And He said to them,
"You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your heart; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God."
Picking back up at Revelation 3:9-10:
"Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the Word of My perseverance. I also will keep them in the hour of testing , that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth."
I think this is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible as God steps in to avenge His own, and to prove to the hypocrites His true followers by revealing His love for them. God is love.
And how do we prove our love for God to the unbeliever? By obeying the Word of God and persevering through the tribulations of this life. Notice they have kept the Word of His perseverance. Obviously followers of Christ are called to persevere obeying His Word which has often cost them a physical death. Remember we are followers of Christ. Please read from the Bible for yourself to truly see how Jesus lived on the earth!
It appears the true believers will be kept from the great tribulation. However, this doesn’t mean they will be delivered out of persecution and suffering before the great hour of testing for the whole world. And for the people who continue to lie as they profess to be Christians, they will be tested during the great tribulation and given a final chance to repent before going to hell eternally along with the rest of the world. Friends, we need to love one another enough to seek out the truth of what God’s Word says and share it with those we love. If you are His follower that includes everyone, no matter what differences you may have.
Our final verses for this church are as follows in Revelation 3:11-13:
"I Am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
When He comes, it will be quickly. We must stay focused and hold fast to our relationship with Christ. We must learn to devote more time to Him than anyone else. We must listen to Him more than anyone else. He must have first place in all things. He deserves the first moments of every day. It will change your life and those around you.
A crown is a reward, not your salvation. Don’t allow anyone to pull you back from seeking the things above. Ponder the rewards that He promises. What could possibly be greater than becoming a pillar in the temple of our God and never having to leave His Presence. I love the way Jesus declares "My God!" Jesus will write on us the name of our God, and the name of the city of our God. It is the new Jerusalem which will come down out of heaven from our God, and Jesus’ new name!
O God help each reader have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us and the church of Philadelphia this morning. Let us render our hearts, and not only be hearers but doers of Your Word. In Jesus name. Amen.
In His love.
I so enjoyed the beautiful snow that came down from heaven this past week that is a reminder for all of us:
"Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord,"Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."
How incredible is the love of the blood of Jesus! ❤️