This series is based on the video produced by Appian Media. Trial & Triumph explores the seven churches of Asia from the book of Revelation. Travel with Jeremy Dehut and watch the video as we explore the seven churches.
Philadelphia, like Sardis, is a region known for earthquakes. The Lord's promise to those who overcome will be to make them a "...pillar in the temple of My God" (ref. Rev. 3:12). Words that would have reminded Christians in Philadelphia of God's strength and stability.
Revelation 3:7-13 (NKJV) “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”: “I 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. 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. 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. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 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. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
Reading the letters to the seven churches of Revelation, both Philadelphia and Sardis stand out. Of the churches, these two do not receive any correction or instruction to repent. Jesus indicates Christians in Philadelphia have been going through difficult times, "...for you have a little strength, have kept My word and have not denied My name." (ref. Rev. 3:8), which might explain the comforting tone of the letter.
Jesus holds the "key of David," a reference to (Isaiah 22:22) and also (Rev. 1:18), which signifies the authority of God's Messiah over entrance or exclusion in God's kingdom. Set before this church is an open door, entrance for those who remain faithful.
Although the Christians in Philadelphia are tired from strife and conflict, they remain faithful. Conflict and opposition to the way of the Lord, coming from the "synagogue of Satan", continually places pressure on the church to deny and doubt the Lord's love for them (ref. Rev. 3:10). Jesus used this term (the synagogue of Satan) earlier in the letter to the church of Ephesus (ref. Rev. 2:9). Some within the synagogue were actively opposing the work of God rather than being involved with what God was doing. Pressure from false teachers continues to be an active force in attempts to lure Christians away from the truth of Christ.
Life In The Kingdom
The letter to the church at Philadelphia is dominated by the promise of life in the kingdom. The risen Lord is "holy" and "true," and to those who persevere, they shall become pillars in the temple of God.
The message to the church at Philadelphia is one of endurance and faithfulness.
Those who overcome will be identified as belonging to the Lord (see; Rev. 3:12).
Today, Christians face similar pressures to deny, grow weary, or tired of doing the "work of the Lord" (ref. Col. 3:23). However, like the church in Philadelphia, we need to be strengthened and encouraged to continue faithfully in service to Him.
What can you do today to encourage someone in the Lord?
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.