The Word This Week

Revelation 3:7...

We move from a letter to a church with no commendation from Jesus - the church in Sardis - to a church with no complaint from Jesus - the church in Philadelphia.

This church is the second exemplary church noted by Jesus. We remember the church in Smyrna was likewise commended - even though they thought themselves poor because of the extreme persecution unto death they were experiencing, Jesus told them they were rich.

Likewise, here, Jesus has nothing but commendation for the church in Philadelphia because they have remained faithful to His Word. That might seem like something we might expect every church to do – but in the seven letters to the seven churches, (which exemplify His Church as a whole,) we learn this is not the case.

By the end of the first century AD, even during the apostolic age, the majority of the church has already strayed from the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

This would probably astound us more if it were not also true on our day.

But those in Philadelphia had remained faithful to all of God’s Word, with a particular emphasis and reverence for the portions of God’s Word pertaining to prophecy.

As such, this church has, “a little strength.”

And because of their faithfulness to His Word, Jesus tells them He has set before them, “an open door.”

Jesus alone has the key which opens and shuts, and he conveys that privilege to this faithful church of being His messengers to the world. This is His invitation to the church in Philadelphia to be a sending church – which their geographical location accommodated as well.

Obviously, the church in Philadelphia exhibits traits every church and every person should aspire to. To be working in concert with Jesus means closely following His Word of instruction instead of tailoring it to fit the culture in which we live. Unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the norm.

When and if you follow THIS pattern of faithfulness, His promise is you will be spared from The Tribulation which is to come - caused by the wrath of God poured out on a fallen world. (As described in Revelation chapters 6 – 19.)

Pastor Bill