Summary: A sermon about the seven church in Asia Minor.
Philadelphia, You’ve Got Mail!
Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
As we’ve studied these letters to the seven churches you can’t help but notice that the Lord pulls no punches, He calls a “spade a spade.” Whenever and wherever He saw sin it is revealed, judged and punished! But now we come to the letter to the church at Philadelphia and there is not a single note of condemnation, not a single fault, not a single sin. Now don’t get the wrong impression, it was not a perfect church. There has never been a perfect church and never will be here on earth but the Lord does commend this church in particular. As we look at this church we find four things:
I. The Presentation
Jesus starts every one of these letters by presenting the different facets of His character.
a. His character
He is holy, literally the hole one! He is free from all sin and imperfection and perfect in every way.
b. His conduct
He is true which means that every word that he said is true. Pilate examined the Lord for twenty minutes and declared that there was “no fault” in him and looking back twenty centuries we can say that there is “not fault” in him.
c. His crown
He has the “key of David.” This speaks of his position. David is the greatest king Israel ever produced but there is “one greater than David.”
d. His control
He is the one who opens and shuts and shuts and opens. This means that He is active in the world and arbitrary.
II. The Passage
Jesus knows the works of every church and he knows why we do what we do. There is nothing that can be hid from him. Because they have been faithful he is opening a new door of opportunity for them. We don’t know what it was but they took advantage of it and most the most of this opportunity. At the end of WWII there was a great opportunity for missions work in Japan. Gen Macarthur sent word for the churches to send missionaries by the thousands to this country that was open to the Gospel, less than 100 responded.
a. The weakness
Jesus did not say that they were strong or powerful, as a matter of fact he said they had “little power” but Jesus doesn’t reward us according to our greatness but according to our faithfulness.
b. The Word
He says that they had kept His Word and had not denied His name! If we stick to God’s Word we will naturally honor Christ who is the core and center of the Bible.
III. The Promise
Now these Christians who kept his word and were true to him had some enemies. If you are true to Jesus you will have some too!
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
a. The defeat
Their enemies would be made to come and bow before them in defeat. Their enemies would be vanquished by the Lord.
b. The deliverance
They would be delivered in the hour of temptation.
c. The declaration
“Behold, I come quickly…” and they are to “hold fast” so that no man would take their crown.
IV. The Prospect
Those who overcame would realize several promises.