Reading the Word
Revelation 3:7–13 (ESV)
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. 8 “ ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Understanding and Applying the Word
In this passage, Jesus speaks to the church in Philadelphia. This church and the church in Smyrna are the only two of the seven addressed that are not rebuked by Jesus. Instead, they are encouraged to continue on in the face of opposition. The church in Philadelphia may have “little power”, but Jesus is the one who holds the key of David and has opened the door for them. He is the authority and no one can shut what he has opened!
Christians today can be encouraged by these words. Our Lord reigns and is the final authority in heaven and on earth. We can serve him, even in a hostile world, knowing that we belong to him and that all that he has promised will be realized. What a wonderful day that will be! Until then, let us stand strong in the truth of God’s word.
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