Revelations 3:7-13 – Are We In For the Long Haul? Being a Timeless Church
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”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, [f]and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed 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. 10 Because you have kept [g]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. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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.
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
Little is known about the church of Philadelphia. Turkey was overcome by Muslim control however, this area held out as a Christian population until 1392. Out of the seven letters Jesus wrote to the churches in Revelations, only two churches including Philadelphia had no rebuke, only praise, and promise.
Jesus identifies himself differently and uniquely based on the context and culture of the church in these letters to the churches. Jesus identifies himself as the Holy and True One. The word, ‘holy’ references the holiness of God. It means that God is the holiest of all beings. Jesus also says that He is the True One. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life.
He uses this phrase because there were other Jews claiming that they were God’s chosen people because they were the seed of Abraham. Jesus was using this analogy to express that He alone was the way to God. Jesus said that the Jews would bow down at the feet of those who followed Jesus.
Jesus knew their works. Philadelphia was the model church that we can learn from today.
Enter the Open Door
Jesus controls access to the keys to heaven. He provides the open door to salvation. We can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ because of the work of Jesus on the cross.
I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].
John 10:9,10 AMP
Many church people do religious things but don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and haven’t entered the open door of salvation. If you were to die right now, do you know that you would go to heaven? Our acceptance into heaven is based on our acceptance of Christ’s blood.
Jesus was also talking about an open door of service. The church of Philadelphia was an outpost where they could spread the gospel as a place of service and ministry to others. God opened doors of service and opportunity with them as they grew closer in their relationship with Jesus.
What is God doing in your church or in your life? Are you available for what God wants to do in your life? What door is God opening in your life? Is God calling you out? A timeless church keeps walking through those open doors.
2. A timeless church endures to the end.
“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.” Revelations 3:8 NLT
God will choose those who are insignificant to the world to show his glory. These Philadelphians didn’t have much strength. They may even have been perceived as insignificant, but they continued to obey God’s commands. You don’t have to be from noble birth or the wisest, God gives you everything you need to live the life He has created you to live. The Philadelphians endured to the end because of their identification and connection to Jesus. Let us confidently and courageously wear the name of Jesus.
Because 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. Revelations 3:10
Jesus promises to protect us, but there may be a time of tribulation before the second coming of Jesus. There is a gathering storm of persecution against the saints, but God promises to keep us in tribulation. We cannot allow the direction of this country to discourage us. This world isn’t our home. We must begin to put our resources into our eternal hope. We must endure to the end by obeying the Word of God and not denying Jesus.