Seven Churches: Philadelphia

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.’

Jesus is the “one who has the key of David.” This means he is the One who holds the authority to open doors and close doors. His authority is complete and no one can close what he opens and no one can open what he closes. Jesus offers an open door to the church in Philadelphia. The church had faced much trouble, but they had remained firm and faithful in their commitment to Christ. Jesus promised this church that it would not face the judgment of God coming on the world.

Philadelphia is the only church of the seven that does not receive a warning from Jesus, but only encouragement. They are commended for remaining faithful through trials and called to “hold fast”. Jesus promised that he was coming soon. As believers in the world today, we can learn much from this church. As we live in a world that often rejects Christ and his followers, we can be encouraged to remain faithful and hold onto the hope that we have that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is coming soon. What a wonderful promise! And the door he has opened to those who believe can never be closed.

Thank you, Lord, for saving those who trust in you and for the promises we have in you. Amen.

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