Revelation 3:7–13 (NKJV)
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, 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 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.” ’
What a stark difference we see here as the Lord introduces himself. Instead of eyes like a flame of fire, we see Him describing himself as holy and true. We can trust the Lord because He is holy, we can depend on His Word because it is true! Here He makes that promise, and what an awesome promise it is!
He then tells this church that He has opened the door to heaven for us and that He alone has the ability to do so. It is important to note that once it is open to us, nobody can shut it. The enemy cannot shut it, our sin nature cannot shut it, our circumstance cannot shut it… the Lord has opened it to us, and it will remain open.
It is interesting that the Lord describes them as having little strength. It is not that the Lord is calling them weak, He is commending them for their dependence on Him for strength, as we can accomplish nothing without Him. They have a complete dependence upon Him, it is a beautiful thing. Is that where we are at? Are we completely dependent upon Him? Is He our source of strength? He should be!
While the overall tone of this letter is very positive, as it should be, there is still a warning for those who call themselves Jews but are not. That hurts a little more if the rebuke were to say Christian instead of Jew, does it not? If we are Christian, our lives should reflect that outwardly. Let this be a warning to us all!
This church has kept His commandments, they have persevered, they have not defiled their garments, have clung to His name, and now they are given their eternal reward and the world now sees that the Lord does love them. Are we living in the same steadfastness? Oh, how thankful should we be for that promise! Are we living each day in that thankfulness?
The Lord is coming quickly, it feels like His return is getting closer and closer. Are we going to be found following His commandments? We do not know the time or day of His return, let us reflect the church of Philadelphia as He comes to bring us to our eternal home!
Matthew 24:44 (NKJV)
44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.