Summary: Looking at the 6th church of Revelation
INTRO: Super Bowl of the Universe
Animals vs. insects, first 3 quarters animals stomped all over the insects. Quarterback elephant, right running back was a rhino, left running back was a hippo. Stomped all over insects.
Fourth quarter animals have football on own 20-yard line - handed ball quarterback - he handed to rhino man up line. Scrimmage got tackled (never happened before, shook up).
Second down - quarterback to hippo - he’s tackled - people can’t believe it. Third down - quarterback takes ball himself - he’s tackled, crowd goes wild.
The coach of the insects calls a time out and runs out and asks, "Who tackled that rhino?" The centipede raised his hands, "I did coach." Who tackled hippo? The centipede raised his hands, "I did coach." Who tackled elephant? The centipede raised his hands, "I did coach." And the coach said, "Where have you been for three quarters?" "Coach, I’ve been in the locker room tying up my shoe laces."
Folks, it’s time to get out of the locker room.
Today, look at a church that used the opportunities given it.
TITLE: Church of The Open Door
TEXT: Rev. 3:1-13
1. Background - We are on the 6th church. Philadelphia was the youngest of all the seven cities of Revelation.
A. Name - Philadelphia in original language "One who loves his brother."
-This is not Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it’s Philadelphia, Turkey, Asia Minor.
B. Church to belong - It’s the best of the seven churches. There is no criticism from the Lord. There is only praise.
-This town was founded with the deliberate intention that it might be a missionary of Greek culture to Lydia and Phrygia (Regions).
ex.....Owatonna town planted here to effect Rochester and Mankato. Town Philadelphia was so effective 150 years Lydians and Phrygia forgot own language and became influenced by the Greek culture and language.
Point: Church in Philadelphia influenced a large region, many people came through this city and were affected by Christianity because of the faithfulness of this small church.
-This church was a powerhouse.
’II. Letter to church in Philadelphia. There are three great descriptions of the risen Christ.
A. 1st - Holy - word literally means to be set apart "separate."
-Idea of being perfect or pure. This is a description of the one who holds your future. He is perfect and pure. There is no defect in Him.
I. The Lord will never go against His Word. He is bound by His holiness. He will never lie to you or pull something underhanded, unethical.
ex.....Caretaker accepted position, moved in. Tammy got her job - got to know the managers, owner. Then found out financial condition, cost college, condition of the car. Double teamed us by increasing our workload while decreasing our pay. Complained. Attitude - tough, don’t like it, leave! (knowing full well that we were between a rock and a hard place.) Had to quit school, get money from Mom & Dad (Didn’t want to).
-God is not like that. God will never shaft you like that because He is holy and perfect.
B. 2nd Description - He is true - Idea of being right, dependable, reliable.
1. God knows what He is doing - He is right.
-Isn’t it nice going to someone who is always right. He is never incorrect. Christ will always give us the right answer.
Key: Is we need to learn to listen. Folks, the Lord’s there with the answer. Yes, sometimes we may have to wait and be patient for an answer.
2. Dependable - Hebrews 13:5b, "God says, I will never leave you; never will I forsake you." We can rely on him.
-I think we’ve all been let down whether it’s by family, friends; yes, even Christians. But we can always depend on God.
C. 3rd Description of Christ - "One who holds the key of David." Reference to Isaiah 22:22 Eliakim who was a faithful servant of the king was given the key to the treasury of David (treasury of David was the Fort Knox of Judah where all the wealth was kept) Eliakim was given this key which represents the symbol of authority and power and resources.
-Isaiah 22:22 says, "I will place on his shoulder the key to the House of David, what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open."
-Jesus is of the lineage of David.
1. Author of Revelation has this picture/idea in his mind that Jesus holds the keys of the treasury of David.
-Meaning Jesus holds the resources of heaven at His disposal and He’s in authority over them.
2. Take comfort - God is in charge. Lord is going to take care of us. "What He opens no one can shut."
a. Doors of opportunity - Lord is waiting for some of us to be faithful and walk through some of the doors He has already opened before He opens the next one.