“A church’s vision shouldn’t be determined by the size of it’s congregation, the limitations of it’s location, or the restrictions on it’s budget. Instead, churches should set their vision based on the power of their God. God is infinite, magnificent, awesome, and mighty — beyond description or comprehension! When He chooses to open opportunities, the possibilities are endless. All we need to do is trust and follow Him, wherever He leads.” (Charles Swindoll)
The Philadelphia church is amazing. They were a little church i.e. “little power,” but with a big vision. Christ had no word of CRITICISM for them, only COMMENDATION and COMMITMENT.
Using the outline below read through the passage and think through the following:
There are three characteristics of Christ in verse seven. Each one of these would have encouraged the church. But there is one not mentioned from chapter one, “the Key of David.” What might this mean and how would this encourage them? Check out Isaiah 2:20-25 for a clue.
He commends this church for two things: They had kept Christ’s Word and did not deny His name. I believe these are two essential qualities of a church God blesses. The first quality represents their character and conduct. It was conformed to the Word of God. The second represents their confession. They shared The Faith and openly identified with Christ.
COMMITMENT AND COMMAND, 9-13
He makes six commitments or promises to the church with a command in the middle
1. Confession, 9
They were opposed by unbelieving Jews. They might have even been disbarred from the Synagogue upon confession of Christ. But at some point all unbelievers will bow before Christ, Philippians 2:9-11.
2. Determination, 10a
Because they endured and persevered Christ would keep them from the hour of testing.” What hour is this? Does this mean that if you do not persevere you will not go to heaven?
3. Revelation, 10b
Jesus shares special things with those who love Him (John 14:21, 23)
COMMAND, HOLD FAST, 11b
4. PARTICIPATION, 12A
Those who are take their faith seriously (Character, Conduct and Confession) will in no small way participate in the coming Kingdom.
5. PROTECTION, 12b
The Psalmist was thrilled with the prospect of going to the Temple, Psalm 122:1. This meant worship and a sacred delight in worship. Jesus promises Overcomers just such joy.
6. INSCRIPTION, 12c
I do not have a football Jersey. I kind of feel weird having another man’s name on my back. But I hope to have a “faithful” jersey awarded to me in heaven!
This is a great passage! We shall jump into so many things this Sunday: Pre-Tribulationism, the hour of testing, not losing your crown, the coming New Jerusalem to name a few.