Summary: Week 9 in a Wednesday evening study through the book of Revelation
“The Open Door Church”
Christ’s letter to the Church at Philadelphia
Date: July 31, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Revelation 3: 7-13
This is the sixth of the seven letters to the churches in Asia. Remember every church represents a period of the church age. From Pentecost to the rapture.
The church at Philadelphia is what some call the revived church. Last week we studied the dead church at Sardis. This church represents the church age from 1700-1900 during which time we see in church history great revivals & Great Awakenings, and men who stood and preached God’s Word like Whitfield, Wycliff, Edwards, Moody, & Finey.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia”
Was located on a hillside 30 miles SE of Sardis. The city was founded around 190 A.D. by Attalus II king of Pergamos. His unusual devotion to his brother Eumenes.
The city was an important city commercial stop on a major trade route called the “Imperial Post Road”, a 1st century mail route.
Next we see 4 aspects of Christ
1. Holy- 1 Peter 1:16 tells us be holy for I am Holy
2. True – John 14:6 Jesus says “I am the way the truth and the life. True means Genuine
3. He who has the key of David- This is different from the keys of Hades & death, which we saw in Rev. 1:18. This speaks sof His regal claims as Ruler of this universe.
Luke 1:32-33 “He shall be great, & shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”
Jesus has the sovereign authority to control entrance into the kingdom. He holds the keys to salvation.
4. “He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.
Jesus gives admission into the kingdom or an opportunity for service. We minister only through the doors He opens.
“I know your works”
This reminds me Jesus is looking for fruit; He is looking for works in the lives of believers.
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace are you saved by faith & that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”
James said show me your faith without works & I will show you my faith by my works.
Our faith must produce works or fruit. There is something with your faith if it doesn’t produce works.
John Calvin said; “Faith alone saves, but faith that saves is not alone.”
“See I have set before you an open door & no man can shut it”
Some see this as the door to the joy of the Lord others see it as the door to the knowledge of the scriptures
Maybe it’s the open door to share the Gospel.
Whatever the case when Jesus opens the door He intends for us to move through it.
“For you have a little strength”
This was a small group of believers; they didn’t have impressive buildings & programs.
This group of believers was not acting on their own strength; they were working in the power of the Holy Spirit.
“You have kept My Word and not denied My name.”
They stayed true to the Scriptures
They held true to the deity of Christ.
False teaching and worship had taken over in the Jewish synagogue.
Jesus say those who are true to Me and true to the Word of God are the true Israel
I believe this to be referring to the great tribulation, the 7 year period before Christ’s earthly kingdom is consummated, featuring the unleashing of the divine wrath in judgments expressed as seals, trumpets & bowls.
This period will be described in detail in chapters 6-19
The word “to keep” supports the pretribulational rapture of the church.
The church is to be removed from this world. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
“ Behold, I am coming quickly”
Quickly does not mean soon. But, it has the idea of suddenness. He will come at a time we do not know.
Here’s what we need to remember folks; we are not told to look and wait for the Great Tribulation, but as Titus 2:13 says; “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
“Hold fast what you have”
Remember this is the revived church.
The church that has returned to the truth of God’s Word.