Letters to the Church: Philadelphia, Revelation 3: 7-13

October 17th, 2016

Letters to the Church: Philadelphia

Revelation 3:7-13

Philadelphia (v. 7a)

·        Suffered a devastating earthquake in AD 17

o   Along with Sardis

·        Was once the hub for the spread of Hellenism in Asia

o   Hellenism: Greek language & culture

·        Known for their vineyards

o   Large temple to Dionysus

 

A Vision of Jesus (v. 7b)

·        Jesus describes Himself as:

o   Holy: Something other than creation

o   A term used exclusively for God

·        True: Both trustworthy and the source of truth

o   The holder of the key of David

o   A reference to the one who alone had unfettered access to the king (Isa. 22:20-23)

o   Jesus alone gives unlimited access to God

 

“I know…” (v. 8-10)

·        Jesus commends the Philadelphians for their works

o   Including not denying Him despite pressure to do so

§  Especially from those of the Jewish synagogue

·        He tells that He has opened a door for them

o   Probably a reference to opportunity for them to spread the Gospel

o   Much like the city was used to spread Hellenism

·        For their endurance Jesus promises to reward them by “keeping them from the hour of trial” that is coming (v. 10)

o   This is seen by some as a reference to the Rapture

o   But may also be a reference to His protection of His people throughout the coming tribulation (see John 17:15)

o   Τηρέω (tareo): keep watch over, guard

§  keep, hold, reserve, preserve

§  keep, observe, fulfill, pay attention to

o   Regardless of how you interpret it, Jesus is promising to protect His people

§  Either by removal or perseveration through trials

§  A theme throughout Revelation

·        “sealing” (7:1ff.), “measuring” (11:1–2), and “nourishment and protection in the wilderness” (12:6, 14–17)

 

The Call to Conquer (v. 11-13)

·        To those that persevere in their faith in Christ, Jesus offers:

o   A crown: The stephanos/victor’s crown

§  Having it taken is not a reference to loss of salvation

§  But rather, loss of reward

o   To be a pillar in God’s Temple: A place of permanence before God

§  In order to bring Him glory

o   Names written on them (1 King 7:12; 2 Chr. 3:15, 17)

§  The Father’s name: Showing that they belong to Him

§  The New Jerusalem: Their new place of citizenship (Ezek. 48:35)

§  Jesus’ new name: Reflecting their special relationship with Christ (Isa. 62:2)

 

So What?

·        Are we walking through the ‘open door’ that God has set before us?

o   Are we looking for opportunity to share the Gospel with others?

·        Are we comforted by the protection that God offers?

o   As He calls us His own

 

Meditation Verse: Revelation 3:8

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