Summary: Number 6 in series: Philadelphia "The Letters to the Seven Churches"
Philadelphia: # 6 in series of The Letters to the Seven Churches
“Is Bayview Baptist Church Similar to Philadelphia Baptist Church?”
From the pulpit of Bayview Baptist Church July 15, 2001
Philadelphia Baptist Church is the revived church that has turned back to the Word of God and represents any church of any denomination, which remains true and faithful to the Word.
Today there are multitudes of people who are turning to the Word of God.
The city of Philadelphia today is a prosperous Turkish town with vineyards that cover the surrounding hills.
The main occupation is to produce excellent wine.
In Bible times, Philadelphia was a fortress city with garrisons stationed to stop or delay the enemy as the enemy marched to attempt to destroy the greater cities like Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.
The city of Philadelphia is called the “city of brotherly love”, and is named because of the love that Attalus II had for his brother, Eumenes, who was king of Pergamum.
This is the one church besides Smyrna that Christ had no word of condemnation.
There is a reason for that and it’s because the people had turned to the Word of God.
It’s interesting to note that the two places that Christ had no condemnation for are still in existence today.
There are apparently still Christians who live in Philadelphia today.
Christ commends the Philadelphia church on seven counts:
Verse 8 is a key verse!
1. “I know your deeds” (verse 8).
Folks, Jesus is looking for the fruit of your salvation.
Ephesians 2:8-10 teaches us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
There is something really wrong with your faith if your faith does not produce works.
Yes, faith alone saves us, but saving faith produces works.
Is Bayview Baptist Church really working for the Lord Jesus Christ and producing good works for Him?
2. “I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut” (verse 8).
This open door we have is a door to the joy of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the knowledge and the wisdom of the Scriptures.
If Christ opens a door in your life through His Word, He intends for you to move into that door of opportunity for witnessing and sharing the Word of God.
Let me ask you a simple question.
When was the last time our Lord Jesus Christ opened a door for you and I to witness and we didn’t move into that door, but instead we turned our backs and took the coward way out?
Remember, that when Jesus opens a door for you, step in, for no one can shut that door.
3. “I know that you have little strength” (verse 8).
A better translation would be, “I know that you have little power.”
The Philadelphia Baptist Church was a humble group of Christians who didn’t have impressive numbers, or huge beautiful buildings, but they were true to the Word.
I get a little weary sometime hearing about how our mega churches around Columbia are able to do so many wonderful things because they have such wonderful facilities.
Folks, the important thing you and I can say about Bayview Baptist Church is that we consistently get the Word of God into the ears of the listener, and God’s got His own computer counting those who hear and feel His presence at Bayview Baptist Church.
That’s why I don’t worry too much about playing a numbers and counting game with the Lord.
4. “you have kept my word” (verse 8).
In a day of low spiritual reserves, I may be old fashioned, but I still believe in the inspiration of the Bible and I don’t think that I will ever have to apologize for it.
Are you true to, and do you keep God’s Word?
5. “and have not denied my name” (verse 8).
In a day when the deity of God is denied in many places, Bayview Baptist Church remains true to God by proclaiming Christ and His substitutionary death for sinners.
The Philadelphia Baptist Church was a revived church and a Bible believing church that kept God’s Word right up until the 13th century when the Seljuk Turks came in and brutally murdered all the Christians left in the Philadelphia church.
Would you and I remain true to God’s Word, even under this kind of severe persecution?
6. “I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you” (verse 9).
Do others know that Jesus loves you?