“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. “‘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. 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. 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. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 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. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Revelation 3:7-13
Would that every church was like the one in Philadelphia. Here we have a church that Jesus has no condemnation only good things to say. This church held fast to their faith in spite of the pressures from the world around it. The Gospel message is a hard one for many to accept. First it goes against one of man’s cherished beliefs that we can somehow control our own destiny and get into heaven by our own devises. This is especially true in America where we want to lift ourselves by our own bootstraps. When you tell someone that salvation is totally out of their control and can only be accomplished by accepting the free gift of God’s grace, many will refuse.
Second, no one wants to hear that someone else has the only way to get to heaven. The very exclusiveness of Jesus turns people off. In the first century people did not want to let go of the familiar gods to accept this new idea and the God of the Jews. Today we are so caught up in the notion that truth is somehow different for each person that when one groups makes a claim to have the one and only truth we immediately go on the offensive. How can you be so intolerant?
Yet in spite of all this the church in Philadelphia persevered. They held on to the truth of Jesus. And for this Jesus will reward them.
Have a blessed day,