Summary: The church at Philadelphia is the church "I" would probably want to join. It is the church who received from the Lord, a word of observation, affirmation, and even commendation - but NO WORD of CONDEMNATION.
The Consistent Church
* Of all the churches which Jesus wrote to in the Revelation, the sixth church is the most consistent in the fulfillment of ministry & mission. This is the church that I would have wanted to be a member of. It is this church that our Lord gives no word of condemnation. He gives words of affirmation and even consideration, but no condemnation. Think it; the Holy One, the True One, The Just One, the one who has the eyes of fire which nothing can escape His notice; this one looks at the church and says, “I cannot find anything to condemn.”
* What would it be like to be a member of a church like that? The church at Philadelphia blows a hole in the popular concept that every church has their issues, so lack of faithfulness is okay. Personally I believe that too often the church hides behind the ‘nobody’s perfect’ slogan to justify falling short of God’s best and being less than faithful. To be clear;
* As believers we are called to be two things; faithful and fruitful. Being faithful means being consistent. We are not faithful ‘if’ we only pick and choose what part of the church we attend. While we may not like this truth; a believer (church member) cannot count himself or herself faithful if they attend only once per week. The world will consider you faithful, but the Bible says, ‘forsake not the assembly of yourselves together - - as is the manner of some.’ In Acts 2, they were ‘all’ together when the Holy Spirit fell. We need to come to a new realization that we are not consistent (faithful) if our attendance in services is like popcorn.
* Today, I pick on Adam Stevens (and in a good way). In small group Adam said that at work his desire was to ‘be the guy.’ You know the one. The one which can be counted on no matter what. Did you know that this is the person whom God is looking for and this is the church that our Lord demands? The one who can be counted on, the one who is consistent, and the one who is faithful. Faithfulness is the first step in God’s call to you.
* The lie of the enemy is that ‘God just called us to be faithful.’ While He did & does call us to be faithful, to say this is only a half-truth. He calls us to be fruitful. Fruitfulness is the result of Faithfulness. The picture Jesus draws in John 15 is that we must we faithfully connected to vine. And if we are faithfully connected to the vine, the result will be fruit. And Jesus expects you and me and this body to be fruitful. He reserved His harshest words for the unproductive and the unfruitful. He uses words like “prunes” and “removes” for the unproductive branches. The consistent church stays the course even when it is not popular, convenient, or it hurts.
* Take a look at the church in Philadelphia (the city of brotherly love). This was a Christ-honoring and people loving church what was evangelistic and mission minded. They impacted their city with the gospel of Jesus.
1. The Opportunity – They had a great opportunity for mission & ministry because had Jesus opened the door of opportunity. Scripture tells us one thing about the door that Jesus opens, and it is this; ‘what Jesus opens, no one can close.’ I believe that God had given us a great opportunity. Over the past 40 years this fellowship had come through some huge struggles for the purpose of not wasting our hurts, but rather, using the trials & tests as the raw material to make a difference in this community for our grandchildren. Once more I say, our goal is not to be & build a church for our grandparents but rather for our grandkids. Our opportunity is to show Jesus to this community so that we can go to this community for Jesus. We need to be in a constant state of prayer so that the Holy Spirit of God can soften, clean, and prepare our hearts. We need to be ready