Summary: This sermon deals with the open door the Christians in Philadelphia had to spread the Gospel. It's still open for us today.
The Door Is Still Open
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":
8I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
9Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
10Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
11Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
12He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '
Today's passage from Revelation
is the message Jesus sent to the Church in Philadelphia.
Obviously, this is not some church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!
So far, we have looked at messages sent to churches
in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, and Sardis.
Each message has three applications.
The first applies to the actual church
at the time of the writing of the letter.
The second application is to an era of actual church history.
The third is how their experience and message
applies to our lives today!
The 7 churches represent 7 church ages.
beginning with the time of the apostles
and concluding with the time of the Rapture.
The Church in Ephesus: Apostolic Church (33--100 A.D.)
The Church in Smyrna: Era of Roman Persecution (100--312 A.D.)
The Church in Pergamos: Era of Church-State Union (312--590)
The Church in Thyatira: Era of the Dark Ages (590--1517)
The Church in Sardis: Protestant Reformation (1517--1750)
The Church in Philadelphia: Era of Revival and Great Awakening (1750--1925)
The Church in Laodicea: Era of Apostasy (1900--Rapture)
Philadelphia represents a time period
when great evangelical movements revitalized the church.
Christians established the British Missionary Society,
the British and Foreign Bible Society,
and the Sunday School Movement.
They also founded many private church colleges.
Revival moved the church forward as never before.
The church was able to present Jesus to numerous people.
The opportunity was "an open door that no one can shut."
The church of Smyrna and the church of Philadelphia
are the only 2 churches in these 7 letters
where Jesus had no reprimand for them.
The city of Philadelphia was built on a hill
overlooking two valleys.
The city was located 25 miles southeast of Sardis
and about 100 miles east of Smyrna.
This ancient city was founded in 189 B.C.
by King Eumanes II.
When he died, he was succeeded by his brother, Attalus II.
King Attalus talked about his brother constantly.
He named buildings after him.
He even minted coins with his brother's image on them.
Attalus loved his brother
so people began to call the city "Philo-delphia,"
the city of brotherly love.
Philadelphia was famous for growing grapes and making wine.
The city's economic prosperity was also influenced
by the large textile and leather industries.
In addition to its agricultural success,
Philadelphia prospered in commercial business.
People traveling from Rome
passed through this Philadelphia on their way to the east.
This location at the juncture of the trade routes
had helped Philadelphia earn the title "Gateway to the East."
In 17 A.D. an earthquake destroyed Sardis, Philadelphia
and ten other cities.
After the earthquake,
Roman Emperor Tiberius had the city rebuilt.
Nothing is known about beginning of the Philadelphian church,
but between 100 to 160 A.D. the church prospered.
Verse 7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true,
The message from Jesus is directed to the church pastor.
It's his job to preach the message to the church.
Jesus is called, "He who is holy, He who is true."
In Hebrews 4:15, the Bible describes Jesus:
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Indeed, Jesus is holy!
In John 14:6, Jesus says,