Hello there! Did you catch the first part of our visit with the church at Philadelphia last Monday? If not, you can go here to read all about it. We will wait right here for you.
Let’s be reminded of the words of Christ to this church.
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
8 “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you.
10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
May I just speculate a bit? When Jesus tells these believers that He would make those who had persecuted them come and bow down before their feet…..well, I imagine their might have been some private high fiving going on! These tormenters would KNOW that they had messed with the wrong people!
In spite of the ‘little power’ that this body of believers had, they had stayed faithful and not denied Christ. This is the second church commended for their faithfulness (Revelation 2:13)
The patient endurance that Jesus commends these believers for is the same endurance that Jesus exhibited during His days on earth…AND should be a model for you and me.
Many believe that Jesus’ promise to keep these faithful and patient believers from the hour of trial that would come on the earth is, perhaps, a near/far reference. The near prophecy might have been that the believers would be protected from Roman persecution, while the far reference might be the rapture that will one day remove Christians from the earth as the days of tribulation settle in on the earth. (Daniel 9:20-27, Matthew 24:21-22, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11)
A discussion of rapture theology is beyond the scope of this teaching about the 7 churches. We will discuss it when we move on into the rest of The Revelation, so hold tight.
Jesus promised He would make the believers a pillar in the temple of God, and never would they go out of it again. Do you recall last week when I told you to remember the fact that many Philadelphians lived outside the city because of the frequent earthquakes and aftershocks? Jesus is almost certainly referring to this fact in these words. A day would come when the uncertainties of life would be no more and the people of God will live with Him in His temple and city.
To have the name of God written on them symbolized ownership and intimate relationship with God, while having the name of the new Jerusalem emblazoned on them represents eternal citizenship, safety, security, and glory. Yes, friend, that is a great place for a Hallelujah!!!
Christ was watching over and guarding these Philadelphians. He promised to take care of them and to honor those who honored Him. He will do no less for you and me, if we remain faithful.
Let’s wrap it up.
- Did you learn anything today that strengthened or encouraged your faith in Jesus?
- What does it mean to know that, even as you are going through persecution or trial, Jesus knows all about it and is taking care of you? He will walk with us in tribulation or take us out of it!!
- Our faithfulness pleases God. Your faithfulness pleases God. We must decide now to remain faithful, friend.